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Employers

Employer Bulletin

All WRS Employers
Vol. 20, No. 18
December 1, 2003

DETF's Extranet Site Offers New On-Line Applications; Spring Employee Benefit Presentations Scheduled

New Employer Extranet Applications

The Department of Employee Trust Funds (DETF) is pleased to introduce two new applications available to employers via its Employer Extranet site. DETF implemented the Employer Extranet site in 2000, allowing employers to view certain Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) participant data on-line using the WRS Previous Service and Benefit Inquiry application. This application eliminated the need for employers to telephone or fax requests to DETF to obtain essential information for determining an employee's eligibility date for DETF administered insurance programs.

The two new on-line applications on the Extranet site are the:

  • WRS Account Update Application
  • WRS Contribution Remittance Application

These applications allow employers to securely transmit information directly to DETF via the Internet. Functionality for both applications is explained below.

Employers interested in obtaining access to these new on-line applications must complete an Employer Extranet Application Security Agreement, ET-8928, (REV 11/2003), prior to receiving authorization. All employer personnel requesting access to the new update applications must complete a new Security Agreement, even if the designated employee is currently authorized to access the Previous Service and Benefit Inquiry application.

WRS Account Update Application

The WRS Account Update application includes several functions and will be implemented in phases beginning with the Enrollment Update function, which is now available. When all phases of implementation are complete, the WRS Account Update application will include the following functions:

  • Enrollment Update
  • Descriptive Data Update
  • Termination/Annual Update
  • Corrections to Current Year Update
  • Corrections to Prior Year Update

Enrollment Update Function

Effective immediately, the Enrollment Update function provides authorized personnel of WRS participating employers the ability to enroll eligible employees in the WRS via the Internet. The on-line Enrollment Update function will expedite processing through the overnight creation of an individual's WRS account. The on-line Enrollment Update function provides:

  • The ability to enroll a new employee in the WRS immediately following your determination of eligibility.
  • An efficient and timely method to transmit WRS enrollments to DETF, eliminating the need to manually complete and mail a WRS Enrollment, ET-2316.
  • The elimination of processing delays in setting up an employee's WRS account as well as the elimination of potential enrollment delays in other DETF administered benefit programs.
  • Up-front editing at the employer's location to reduce or eliminate reporting errors.
  • The ability to print confirmation reports for the employers and employee's record.

WRS Contribution Remittance Application

Note: This application is NOT available to State agencies that make payments via WiSMART

DETF is currently completing testing on the Internet-based WRS Contribution Remittance application. However, employers may submit authorization requests now, while requesting authorization to the WRS Account Update application, eliminating the need for a second Employer Extranet Application Security Agreement when this application is implemented. Employers electing authorization for the WRS Contribution Remittance application will be notified when the application is implemented. DETF expects to implement this application on February 1, 2004.

The WRS Contribution Remittance application will give employers the ability to securely transmit WRS Monthly Remittance Reports, ET-1515, to DETF via the Internet. In addition, this application will allow employers to:

  • Select a payment date or default to the statutory due date.
  • Make the contribution payment to DETF via an Automated Clearing House (ACH) Direct Withdrawal.
  • Print confirmation reports of the on-line Monthly Remittance Report.
  • Reduce or eliminate reporting and/or calculation errors.
  • Increase efficiency through more accurate data transmission and faster processing time.
  • Eliminate late payment charges due to mailing delays.

DETF strongly encourages all employers, including employers currently using the telephone Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System, to migrate to the new on-line WRS Contribution Remittance application. Employers using the telephone IVR system to file their WRS Monthly Remittance Reports will discover that the new on-line application works in much the same way. However, the on-line application is faster and easier to use.

Employers must submit an Automated Clearing House Direct Withdrawal Authorization (ACH), ET-1734, with the Employer Extranet Application SecurityAgreement to use the WRS Contribution Remittance application. The ACH form can be downloaded from the Employer Section of DETF's web site at http://etf.wi.gov. Please attach your ACH authorization directly to the Security Agreement when submitting to DETF for authorization.

Note: If you are a current user of the telephone IVR system, DETF already has an ACH authorization on file. You do not need to submit a new ACH form. Send only the Employer Extranet Application Security Agreement.

System Requirements

To ensure proper security for all on-line applications, you must have a browser that supports the capabilities of Netscape Navigator, version 7.1 or higher or Microsoft Internet Explorer version 5.x or higher.

Requesting Access Authority

As provided in State law, WRS participant account data is confidential and can be released only for WRS program administration purposes. In addition, creation of an individual WRS account must be undertaken only for an employee meeting WRS eligibility criteria as set forth in Wisconsin Statute 40.22.

Employer personnel requesting access to DETF's Employer Extranet site can be authorized for any or all of the Extranet site applications. The person requesting access must complete the attached Employer Extranet Application Security Agreement, ET-8928, (REV 11/2003). Please note that staff authorized for the WRS Account Update application will automatically be authorized for each additional update function implemented in the future; additional Security Agreements will not be required as these future functions are made available to employers. Additional copies of the Extranet Application Security Agreement, ET-8928, can be printed from the Employer Forms section of DETF's Internet site at http://etf.wi.gov.

All fields on the Security Agreement must be completed. Incomplete applications will be returned to the employer. The employer's designated WRS Agent must approve all requests for authorization by signing the Security Agreements. In doing so, the WRS agent is certifying the requester's administrative need for access to the DETF application(s) requested.

Upon receipt DETF will forward the Security Agreement to the Wisconsin Department of Administration's (DOA) Security Officer. Once the request for authorization has been approved, the DOA security officer will mail the Logon identification numbers, passwords, and identifier codes to the authorized employee's home address. DETF will send the employer's designated WRS Agent a copy of the WRS Extranet Applications User Manual, ET-1733 (REV 12/2003), following approval of the Security Agreement. The process takes two to three weeks to complete.

Questions

For more information about the Employer Extranet site, or if you have questions regarding the instructions for obtaining access to the site, please contact the Employer Communication Center at (608) 264-7900.

For questions specific to the WRS Contribution Remittance Application and/or the ACH form, you may contact either Steve Berg at (608) 264-6637 or Dale Ferron at (608) 266-0728.

Employee Benefit Presentations Set for February - March, 2004

The Department of Employee Trust Funds (DETF) and other sponsors will offer 14 free public presentations in February and March for Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) participants. Those considering or planning retirement in the near future are encouraged to attend. The workshops are valuable opportunities for members, spouses and other individuals seeking general information on retirement issues and other WRS benefit programs.

Topics covered during the presentations include calculating retirement benefits, annuity options, disability benefits, separation benefits, taxes, survivor benefits, and health and life insurance benefits. Questions about when to retire and how to determine actual benefits will also be discussed. Each session is free and runs from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. except as noted on the schedule. All locations are handicapped accessible.

Attached to this bulletin is a list of presentation dates and locations. No reservations are needed except for the Interactive Television presentations identified in the presentation schedule. Feel free to reproduce the page for display at your work site. Take a moment to highlight any presentation(s) held in your area. If you have an internal means of communication (employee newsletter, Intranet, etc.) we would appreciate your assistance by including the date, time and place of the public presentation(s) in your area.

For more information, please contact Kristine Butch, DETF Member Services Bureau at (608) 261-0153 or e-mail kristine.butch@etf.state.wi.us.

 

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