Payroll News

University Increases Minimum Starting Pay Rate

The university has announced a plan to increase the system-wide minimum pay rate for regular full- and part-time employees to $9.00 an hour effective January 1. A second increase will follow on June 30 to $9.50 per hour. The increases will impact approximately 223 current employees across the UT system; 171 Knoxville campus employees and eighteen employees from the Institute of Agriculture will benefit. Student workers are not included in the minimum pay increases.

Reminder to UT Employees Working on Graduate Degrees

Are you using the university’s fee waiver benefit to earn a graduate degree? If so, a new fiscal policy that went into effect July 1 requires you to complete a form to avoid being taxed on a portion of the tuition the university has waived. Employees are able to receive up to $5,250 in non-taxable graduate tuition waivers in a calendar year. Tuition waivers exceeding that amount is taxable, but Fiscal Policy FI0900 allows employees to apply for a tax exemption for hours exceeding this amount as long as their program of study relates to their current job.

How to Navigate the Partnership Promise

As the deadline for insurance enrollment draws near, UT employees should familiarize themselves with Partnership Promise requirements for 2014. Eligible university employees must enroll or make changes to their state insurance benefits by Friday, November 1. The Partnership PPO and Standard PPO are the state’s two health insurance plans.

Seeing the Benefits of Vision Insurance

For as little as $3.27 a month, university employees can enroll in the state’s new vision insurance program. First introduced last year, the vision program provides for an annual routine exam, allowances and discounts toward eyeglass frames and lenses or contact lenses, and a discount on Lasik/refractive surgery.

Reminder to Complete Partnership Promise Wellness Requirement by July 15

Employees and covered spouses participating in the state’s Partnership PPO health insurance plan must complete one Partnership Promise wellness requirement by July 15 to remain in the plan for 2014. Participants agreed to the terms of the Partnership Promise during annual enrollment and at other times during the year, and by doing so, receive the benefits of lower monthly premiums, a lower annual deductible, lower pharmacy co-pays and coinsurance, and a lower out-of-pocket maximum.

Employee Self-services Now Available in IRIS

IRIS Administrative Support, in cooperation with the university system’s Payroll and Human Resources offices, has been working for several months to develop additional employee self-services similar to the online pay statement and benefits statement. Today these new services are available. All employees, including regular, term, students, full time, and part time employees, have immediate access to this information by using your NetID and password to log in to the IRIS portal. The new services include a personal profile, leave balances, time statements, and a personalized benefits statement.

Federal Tax Changes

For Your Benefit

Legislation passed earlier this week by the US Congress will affect taxes deducted from paychecks beginning this month. It’s important to know how these tax changes will affect your pay. Paychecks issued on Tuesday, January 8, to employees paid biweekly will reflect the changes, and employees paid monthly will notice the changes in paychecks issued on January 31. Read on for a summary of the changes passed by Congress.

Deadline Extended for Improved Flexible Spending Account

The deadline for enrolling in UT’s improved flexible spending account program with a debit card for eligible expenses has been extended through 11:59 p.m. CST on Saturday, November 10. The flexible spending account allows employees to set aside pre-tax dollars to pay for eligible medical and dependent care expenses such as co-pays, daycare, prescriptions and prescribed over-the-counter medications.

Enrollment Period for Health, Dental, and Other Insurance Programs

The annual enrollment period for the state of Tennessee’s health, dental, vision, basic and term life, long-term care, long-term disability, and optional special accident programs begins today. All changes must be made online by November 1. During open enrollment, employees have the opportunity to change, enroll in, or cancel coverage options for calendar year 2013.

Important Message About Partnership Promise Health Questionnaire

The deadline for completing the health questionnaire and health screening required by the Partnership Promise is June 30. To help you complete the health questionnaire requirement, the University of Tennessee has arranged for APS Healthcare to come to the Hermitage Room on the third floor of the University Center between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Thursday, June 23.