The employee benefits summarized in this overview are available to eligible nonjudicial employees. Eligibility is based on a number of factors, including previous service and expectations regarding current service, and determining benefits eligibility for certain benefits can be complex. Part-time and limited term employees (LTEs) may not be eligible to receive certain fringe benefits unless his/her employment meets certain requirements. The information provided in this summary is meant to be educational in purpose and does not guarantee participation in any one program or benefit.
Most of the fringe benefits summarized in this section are administered by the Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF). ETF is the benefit administrator for state and local government employees and retirees.
Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS)
Eligibility for the Wisconsin Retirement Systems benefit is determined upon hire. An eligible employee is required to participate and enrollment begins immediately; no application is required. For 2014, employees contribute 7.0% of their gross wages to the retirement system, this amount (7.0%) is matched by the Wisconsin Court System.
Variable Trust Fund Enrollment: An employee interested in participating in a Variable Trust Fund must apply within 30 days to have this effective at the beginning of his/her employment. Enrollment beyond 30 days will result in the election being effective at the beginning of the next calendar year. If an employee participates in the Variable Trust Fund then 50% of the Wisconsin Retirement System contributions will go to the Variable Fund, with the other 50% being invested in a Core Fund.
More information is available on the ETF Internet site at http://etf.wi.gov (external link).
An employee may enroll in one of several state group health insurance plans. The plans provide comprehensive health care coverage. Preventative and diagnostic dental coverage vary among plans. All of the health plans, except the Standard Plan, offer a uniform benefit package. All participants in the State of Wisconsin health insurance plans receive prescription benefits from a centralized Pharmacy Benefits Manager. Both single and family plans are available.
2014 employee contribution rates for health coverage are as follows:
|Plan options||Single coverage||Family coverage|
Detailed information about state health insurance plans can be found in the most recent "It's Your Choice" booklet available for public viewing on the ETF website at http://etf.wi.gov (external link).
For most full-time employees coverage begins on the first of the month following two months of employment, with the employee paying the employee monthly contribution listed above and the state paying the remainder of the premium. An eligible employee who wants health insurance as soon as possible upon hire may apply within 30 days of starting his/her employment with the courts. However, the employee must pay the full monthly insurance premiums in full until he/she has completed two months of WRS service. Employees transferring from other state agencies may have different coverage availability dates. Individualized Premium Cost Estimates are prepared for employees upon hire.
The life insurance program offers group term insurance coverage with a basic coverage amount equal an employee's annual WRS earnings rounded up to the next $1,000. In addition to the basic coverage, an employee under 70 may select a supplemental component and up to three additional components for a maximum coverage amount of five times his/her annual WRS earnings.
Spouse and dependent life insurance
If an employee enrolls in the basic portion of the life insurance plan, he/she may also select either one or two units of spouse and dependent coverage.
|Units||Monthly premium||Coverage for spouse||Coverage for each eligible dependent|
Income continuation insurance (ICI)
This wage protection plan is integrated with the sick leave program and may provide benefits during short-term or long-term disability. This benefit provides that covered employees may receive up to 75% of their gross salary on an approved claim for physical or mental disabilities. The employer's contribution, which can range from 0% to 100%, is contingent upon an employee's accrual and use of sick leave. Benefits begin after 30 consecutive calendar days or use of all accumulated sick leave, whichever is greater.
Epic Benefits +
A hospital surgery benefit, accidental death, Davis vision discount program and limited dental coverage are the primary provisions of this program. There is a provision to exchange a vision insurance for the vision discount program for an additional fee. An employee is eligible to enroll in this benefit after completing 30 days or may also have the option of enrolling when his/her health coverage begins. Monthly premium rates vary based on type and level of coverage.
Anthem Dental Blue insurance
Supplemental dental coverage to enhance the dental provision under an employee's health plan or to provide basic – major coverage for those who elect the Standard Plan health which has no dental coverage. Employees are required to maintain coverage until the end of the calendar year, after which they may cancel coverage. Monthly premium rates vary based on type and level of coverage. Effective dates of coverage vary by participant.
Hartford Accidental Death and Dismemberment insurance
Additional low-cost, high-limit accidental death and dismemberment insurance protection that cover you as an employee 24-hours a day, on or off the job. No evidence of insurability is required, and employees may enroll at any time. Coverage is effective on the first of the month following the receipt of an employee's application.
Epic Dental Wisconsin
Supplemental dental coverage affording an employee the flexibility to design optional dental coverage as it suits his/her needs. If an employee has an existing supplemental dental plan outside of the State or with Anthem the waiting periods for Dental Services will be waived. Former coverage may not have lapsed more than 63 days. Prior coverage thru a health plan or the existing Epic plan, now known as Benefits+ does not meet this qualification. Effective dates of coverage vary by participant.
Vision Service Partners (VSP)
This is a plan offering additional coverage for vision exams and expenses. An employee must enroll within 30 days of beginning his/her position for coverage during the current calendar year. An employee is required to maintain coverage until the end of the calendar year, after which he/she may cancel coverage. An annual open enrollment will occur each fall for the following plan year. Once an employee enrolls, automatic re-enrollment occurs each year unless the employee cancels coverage.
Employee reimbursement accounts
The ERA program includes three components that operate independently: automatic tax-free premium conversion, tax-free medical expense reimbursement and tax-free dependent care reimbursement. Participation in the ERA program reduces federal and state taxable income and social security income. It does not reduce WRS earnings. You must enroll within 30 days of beginning your position for coverage during the current calendar year. An annual open enrollment occurs each fall for the following plan year.
A qualified transportation benefit program under the Internal Revenue Code for eligible pre-tax deductions. An employee may enroll at any time. More information is available on the ETF site at http://etf.wi.gov (external link).
This plan is a supplemental 457 retirement saving program. It allows an employee to defer salary either pre or post tax (ROTH) into a personal investment account. Deferred compensation deductions do not reduce reported social security income or Wisconsin Retirement earnings. An employee may enroll at any time. For more information see http://www.wdc457.org (external link).
This plan covers short-term and long-term home health care, assisted living, community-based care and nursing home care. Participation in the plan is optional, and available to state employees and annuitants including their spouses, parents and spouses' parents. An employee may enroll at any time. Information is available at http://www.healthchoice.com.
This is a flexible way for parents and grandparents to open an account and save "tax free" money for college expenses for a family member or themselves. Additional information is available at http://edvest.com/savenow (external link).
Aflac Accident insurance
This plan provides cash benefits paid to the insured for injuries and related medical treatment associated with covered accidental injuries. There is also an accidental death and dismemberment benefit if the loss occurs within 90 days of the accidental injury.