Eau Claire / Augusta Clinic Transition - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Augusta Staff - please see section at the end of the FAQ.


These questions apply to UW academic staff (including CT and CHS faculty) and University Staff unless otherwise noted.

1.  What happens to my Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) account when my employment ends? [added 9/23/2016]

You may have one or more account options at end of employment depending upon your age and whether or not you are vested in the WRS:

1)      Take an immediate Separation benefit

2)      Leave your account to earn interest and take a future Separation benefit

3)      Leave your account to earn interest and take a future Retirement benefit

4)      Take an immediate Retirement benefit

When you leave state employment, you may opt to take a Separation benefit, pulling out your WRS employee contributions and interest as well as any additional contributions you may have made and interest on those additional contributions. A Separation benefit closes your WRS account, zeros-out your Creditable Service and does not pay-out any employer-required contributions made on your behalf.  Please review the separation benefit details here:  http://etf.wi.gov/members/separation.htmor contact ETF at 608-266-3285 for more information about taking a separation benefits.

If you are both vested and age 55 (or age 50 if you have some protective category service) at the end of your employment, you may apply for an immediate retirement benefit (http://etf.wi.gov/members/how_to_retire.htm). 

If you terminate employment and leave funds in the WRS, your account receives annual interest. You will continue to receive your Annual Statement of Benefits. 

If you pass away and have not taken a separation benefit nor started a retirement benefit, a death benefit would be paid to your beneficiaries.

The ETF "Explanation of WRS Annual Statement of Benefits as of January 1, 2016" is an important resource. You can find a link to the explanation and to your personal Annual Statement in your MyUW portal.


2. If I will not have accrued 5 years of Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) Creditable Service by the time the transition occurs, what happens to my WRS account? [added 9/23/2016]

If you first began WRS employment on or after July 1, 2011 and do not have five years of WRS Creditable Service as of when your employment ends, you will not be considered vested with the WRS. Please see the information regarding the separation benefit in Question 1.


3. What if an employee turns 55 after the transition and he/she has 16 years of service?  [added 9/23/2016]

The minimum retirement age is 55 (or age 50 if you have some protective category service that is not purchased forfeited service).  You could not retire on the transition date, but you would be eligible to begin the WRS retirement benefit when you turn 55.

Employees with specific questions regarding their personal benefits, Creditable Service years, retirement, and sick leave balances should contact UW-Madison Benefits Services at:

Madison Benefits Services

Office of Human Resources

21 N. Park St., Ste 5101



Please visit UW-Madison’s Layoff and Non-Renewal website

for additional resources including a detailed FAQ:

www.benefits.wisc.edu > Employee Information > Layoff/Nonrenewal




4. I will be separating with the UW before I reach the age of 55.  Once I reach 55 or beyond and want to take my retirement benefit, will I be able to get my portion and the employer contribution?  Can I still use my sick leave for anything at that time? [added 9/23/2016]

If you are vested at separation of employment, once you turn age 55 (or age 50 if you have some protective category service) you may apply for the retirement benefit.  A retirement benefit (whether a monthly annuity or a lump sum) would be calculated using both employee and employer contributions. 

Whether or not you can use your sick leave balance to pay for health insurance premiums in retirement depends on certain personal information. (Those with 20 years of Creditable service with the WRS may have their sick leave accounts preserved.) 

Please contact Madison Benefits Services, Office of Human Resources at 608-262-5650 to discuss your specific employment situation. 


5. What are the milestones for age 55-57 and Creditable years of service  (15, 20, 25, 30)?  What benefits do these milestones bring? [added 9/23/2016]

If you are both vested and age 55 (or age 50 if you have some protective category service) at the end of your employment, you may apply for a WRS Retirement benefit. 

If you are under the minimum retirement age of 55 (or age 50 if some protective category service) at the end of your employment and you have 20 years of WRS Creditable service, your sick leave will be preserved to later pay for health insurance premiums when you become a WRS annuitant. 

If you have 15 or more years of adjusted Continuous state service (local service is not included in this calculation), you are eligible for certification of Supplemental Health Insurance Conversion Credits (SHICC).

More information about sick leave may be found in ETF’s publication: Sick Leave Conversion Credit Programonline at www.etf.wi.gov/publications/et4132.pdf.

If you are age 57 or older and have at least 30 Creditable years of WRS service, when you begin your annuity you will not have an age reduction factor applied if it is determined your annuity is highest under the Formula calculation. 

Learn more about how age affects your annuity in ETF’s publication:  Calculating Your Retirement Benefitsat http://etf.wi.gov/publications/et4107.pdf.


6. What will happen to our ALRA or sabbatical? [added 9/23/2016]

We will respond to this questions when the details of the transition are known.  The details depend on employment type (academic staff or university staff) and the nature of the separation (layoff, nonrenewal, retirement, resignation).

If balances are paid out to an employee, the payout is computed using the employee's rate of pay at the time UW employment ends. 


7. Is the lump sum payout added to our total yearly salary?  Is that bump in salary used in calculating the retirement formula? [added 9/23/2016]

ETF does not consider lump-sum payouts of earned time for retirement calculation purposes—a lump-sum payout would be excluded from earnings for WRS purposes.  (Wis. Stat. § 40.02 (22) (b) 6.)

However, any lump sum payout for earned/accrued vacation hours, personal holiday, legal holiday, comp time, banked leave and ALRA balances will be added to an employee’s annual earnings on their W-2.


8. What happens to my accrued sick time? [updated 4/17/2017]

Sick leave is never paid out at termination from UW-Madison.

Permanent University Staff employees- Upon return to any sick leave-eligible appointment at the university within five years, the employee's sick leave balance at the time of termination will be reinstated.

Academic Staff employees- Unused accumulated sick leave credits remain on record and will be restored if you are re-employed in an eligible state WRS position within 3 years termination.

If you transfer directly into another WRS state agency/position, many of your insurance benefits may also transfer and your sick leave hours may go with you as well. Check with your new agency to ask specifically if they will accept the sick leave hours as a transfer.

If retiring, your sick leave may have a value to assist in paying post-retirement State Group Health Insurance premiums. For more information on sick leave and eligibility to use the value to pay for insurance premiums, please refer to ETF's Sick Leave Conversion Credit Program: http://etf.wi.gov/publications/et4132.pdf.


9. How can I access my annual Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) statements? [added 9/23/2016]

If you were covered by the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) in 2015, your WRS Annual Statement of Benefits is available in the MyUW portal. Go to the Benefit Information module and click on the Statements tab. Click on “2015 ETF Annual Statement of Benefits (WRS) Issued 2016” to view or print your statement.

The WRS Annual Statement of Benefits provides you with information about your WRS account as of January 1, 2016. The Explanation of Annual Statement of Benefitsprovides you with information to help you understand your statement. The Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) has also published an Introductory Letterfor the statement.

It is recommended that you review each section of your statement using the explanationas a guide:

  • 2015 Earnings and Service
  • Years of Creditable Service as of January 1, 2016
  • 2015 Employee Required Contributions (Note:In section 3, the small amounts shown in Employer Paid Employee contributions occur due to rounding in calculations used to produce this statement or from the payroll system.  This does not apply to all employees.)
  • Additional Contribution
  • Primary Beneficiary Designation(s) for WRS Required Account
  • Separation Benefit
  • Death Benefit
  • Formula Benefit Data
  • Money Purchase Balance (Total required employee and matching employer contributions, including interest.)
  • Retirement Benefit Projections

NOTE:New WRS participants who enrolled in late December 2015, and whose first wages were paid in January 2016, did not receive a statement because no WRS contributions were paid in 2015.

Additional Resources

In addition to the Explanation of Annual Statement of Benefitsand the ETF Introductory Letter, a schedule of the Live Webinar: Understanding Your Annual WRS Statement of Benefits is available on the WRS Annual Statement of Benefits Help Pagealong with other resources.

If you have questions, please contact benefits@ohr.wisc.edu.


10. How can I request an official Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) estimate from the Department of Employee Trust Funds? [added 10/6/2016]

You may request a retirement packet annually beginning at 54 (49 for the protective category).  If you are planning to retire it is recommended that you request your retirement estimate/application 6 to 12 months before your retirement date. You may take the first step in the WRS retirement process by completing the Online Retirement Estimate Request. (Alternatively, you may print a paper copy of the Retirement Estimate Request(ET-4207), fill it out and return it to ETF.)

ETF will calculate your retirement benefit estimates up to one year in advance of your anticipated retirement date.  You may wish to project your own unofficialestimate using the Retirement Benefits Calculator.

  • For additional information you may wish to watch online videos about Your Retirement Benefits.
  • You will receive an individualized Retirement Benefit Estimate and Application (ET-4301) by return mail from ETF. Please note that it takes approximately 5 weeks for estimates to be completed. The How to Retire—What You Need to Know Once You Receive Your Estimatepage will lead you through your next steps.
  • If you prefer that the Retirement Estimate Request (ET-4207) be mailed to you, use ETF's self-service lines to request forms: 1-877-383-1888 (toll free) or (608) 266-2323 (local Madison); or call ETF at 1-877-533-5020 (toll free) or (608) 266-3285


11. Am I able to buy creditable service back through the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS)? [added 10/6/2016]

You may be eligible to buy years of WRS creditable service while you are actively employed under the WRS.   To learn more about this process please contact Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) directly at 608-266-3285 or review ETF’s website for more information here: http://etf.wi.gov/members/benefits_creditable_svc.htm.


12. Faculty and academic staff have received their layoff notices.  What date will the university staff receive their layoff notice? [added 2/9/2017]

The University Staff layoff letters are prepared at our School of Medicine and Public Health dean's office.  They anticipate having the letters prepared by early to mid-March.


13. Do Clinical Adjunct Faculty have the same access to the DFMCH website (and intranet) as paid staff? [added 2/10/2017]

They do not have the same access; however, DFMCH HR can work with DFMCH ITS and DFMCH leadership to grant access for business-related circumstances.


14. When using accrued sick leave to pay for health insurance after retirement, does my current health insurance plan automatically continue?  Do I have an opportunity to change health insurance plans during the October open enrollment period (with the change being effective the following January 1)? [added 2/10/2017]

If an employee is taking an immediate retirement benefit, their health insurance will end at the end of the month in which they terminate employment.  If the employee takes no action, their health insurance will automatically roll into the retiree plan and continue with Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF).  Retirees have the ability, each open enrollment, to make changes to their health insurance.  This includes changing the health insurance plan.


15. I am interested in knowing the value of my estimated sick leave balance to use to pay health insurance premiums after I retire.  How do I calculate this, or how do I request this estimated sick leave value? [added 2/10/2017] [revised 2/14/2017]

Employees interested in knowing the value of their sick leave are able to use the UW System Administration's online estimator here: https://www.wisconsin.edu/ohrwd/benefits/sle/.  If employees met with a retirement counselor (https://www.ohrd.wisc.edu/OHRDCatalogPortal/Default.aspx?SeriesKey=300) they would be provided a personalized estimate.  Register for the one-on-one appointment and then follow up with the person you are assigned to meet with to discuss having the meeting over the phone rather than in person.


16. Who can answer questions about my WRS annuity options? [added 2/14/2017]

Employees who have questions about their different annuity options should speak with ETF directly.  They do offer virtual retirement appointments.  More information can be found in their most recent online newsletter here: http://etf.wi.gov/news/WRS_news_11152016/WRS_News_11152016.asp#art1.


17. Do Clinical Adjunct Faculty have access to a wisc.edu account and a NetID? [added 2/14/2017]

Clinical Adjunct Faculty are granted access to UW electronic resources through a unique campus identifier called a "NetID".  These resources include an @wisc.edu email address, access to the MyUW Portal, Box online storage, and online library access.  A Clinical Adjunct Faculty appointment also entitles you to a faculty/staff identification card which permits access to the University facilities such as the Natatorium, Nielson Tennis Stadium, libraries, and student unions.  Fees and/or an additional identification card may be required to use certain facilities; contact the facility for specific information.

See here for more information on NetIDs, Wiscards, and appointment details:



 18. Is there any UW benefit information I can read prior to speaking to a UW benefits representative? [added 2/28/2017]

This would be for employees under the minimum retirement age of 55 years old or not vested in the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS):

How Layoff Impacts Your Benefits If Not Eligible to Retire

 This would be for employees at least 55 years old and vested in the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS):

How Layoff Impacts Your Benefits If Eligible to Retire


19. Is physician leave payout (accrued vacation, ALRA, personal holiday, and floating holiday hours) paid out using the physician’s UW pay rate and fte only?  Or would my UWMF pay rate also be used in the calculation of the payout. [added 3/28/2017]

Physician leave payout is paid from the UW only.  The physician’s UW pay rate and fte are used in the calculation.  The physician’s UWMF pay is not part of a leave  payout  calculation.


20. What happens to my UWMF retirement? [added 3/28/2017]

Physicians may contact Caroline Horswill through email at CHorswill@uwhealth.org or by phone at 608-263-6500.


21. Will physician’s be required to provide 90 days notice if they decide to resign or retire prior to their layoff date (of either June 30, 2017 or July 27, 2017)? [added 3/28/2017]

Yes, per the physician compensation plan (which is posted on the DFMCH intranet):

 “Faculty who give at least ninety (90) days written Notice prior to the clinical faculty’s last proposed full day of employment shall be eligible for participation in the Department’s Compensation True-up / Withhold Payment Process. Clinical faculty who provide less than ninety (90) days written notice prior to the clinical faculty’s last proposed full day of employment are not eligible, and shall not be entitled to Compensation True-up / Withhold Payments."


22. Can you provide a contact list? [added 3/29/2017]

For questions regarding benefits, Wisconsin Retirement System, sick leave balances:

UW – Madison Benefits Services




For UW-Madison payroll questions:

June Daws

Payroll & Benefits Specialist - Advanced

Department of Family Medicine & Community Health




For UWMF general questions:

Nancy Gerke

Employee Relations Consultant (UWMF)




For UWMF physician retirement questions:

Caroline Horswill

Benefits Specialist (UWMF)




For University Staff questions about reemployment, reinstatement, layoff, and job vacancies:

Anne Mekschun

Human Resources Manager

School of Medicine and Public Health




For other questions:

Mary Fendry

Human Resources Director

Department of Family Medicine and Community Health




23. Can I keep my fammed email?  If so, how long? [added 4/5/17]

No.  Access to fammed.wisc.edu email accounts will terminate at 5:00pm on the last day of employment with DFMCH.  All network and system access will also term on that date.


24. I intend to put an automatic response on my fammed email.  How long will that response stay active? [added 4/5/17]

This will remain active for at least 30-45 days.


25. How will access to New Innovations be handled after June 30, 2017? [added 4/10/17]

Access to New Innovations for residents will not change.  Access to New Innovations for those who will have Clinical Adjunct Faculty or Honorary appointments will change only slightly.  Instead of using the "Inside DFMCH" web page, users will login to New Innovations through the normal New Innovations sign-in page.  All accounts will still be active; however, passwords will need to change.  Randy Ballwahn has the necessary information and will be coordinating this shift for ECFMRP faculty and staff that need to access New Innovations.  Access will remain active for current DFMCH residents and others through the tenure of the residents and possibly longer to complete any reporting requirements.


26. How long will I be able to have MyUW and facilities access?  We are currently allowed to use UW Eau Claire Facilities. [added 4/18/2017]

University Staff and Academic Staff receive MyUW (My UW includes wisc.edu email) and facilities access for at least 5 years from the layoff date.  This includes access to UW Eau Claire facilities.  Employees will be notified before deactivation and may request that access be extended.  Temporary Employees (formerly called LTE's or Limited Term Employees) cannot keep MyUW and facilities access.


27. How can I retain certain electronic information such as email, documents, powerpoint presentations I've developed, etc., after June 30, 2017? [added 4/25/2017]

Any personal documents you have developed will need to be removed, by you via a flash drive or other portable media.  Please keep in mind, you are not allowed to take any information/documents/files or materials with you that contain any of the following information:

- Patient information (of any sort)

- Proprietary information regarding UW Health, UW, or DFMCH.  This includes operational information, personnel information or other business-related information.

- Resident records or educational information

- Financial information

If you have questions about specific documents, or if you are allowed to take certain documents with you, please contact DFMCH HR.


Augusta Staff