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Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds
Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds
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Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds

myETF for Employers

Employers

myETFEmployer Glossary

If you can’t find a term, please email the myETFEmployers@etf.wi.gov mailbox and let us know.

A

Account
A financial account that contains all financial transactions (such as work reports, bills, payments, miscellaneous transactions) associated with a given billing location. The billing location account includes individual transaction details, as well as a summary of the overall running balance of the account.
Active Status:
The term used to describe the status of an employee who has met the eligibility requirements and is currently in the service of, or an employee who is on a leave of absence from, a Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) participating employer.
Active Employment (AE):
AE is one of the options for the Employment Status Change field (Sequence #32 in the myETF Payroll File). This status should be used for employees who are typically expected to have hours and earnings reported on each payroll cycle of the assigned Report Generation Type. Note: Also, use this status during periods of seasonally active/regular employment for affected employees. Examples include teachers during the school year and seasonal employees during their on-season. (See also Occasional Active Employment.)
Agile:
Agile is a method of managing a project. Agile methodology is based on the premise that it is better to design, configure and review bite-size chunks of functionality that steadily builds a complete solution rather than design, build, and finally test the complete solution.
Alternate Payee:
The former spouse of a WRS participant to whom the court has awarded a percentage of a participant's WRS account or annuity through a Qualified Domestic Relations Order.
Annuitant:
A person who receives an annuity. There are three types of Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) annuitants: disability annuitants, retirement annuitants and beneficiary annuitants. Disability annuitants are disabled and unable to work until normal retirement age due to a physical or mental disability. Retirement annuitants are those who have reached their minimum retirement age and are taking a WRS retirement annuity. Beneficiary annuitants receive an annuity as the beneficiary of a deceased WRS participant or alternate payee.
Attribute:
A characteristic or feature to be captured or tracked for an entity. Examples include birthdate and marital status.
Authentication:
A mechanism through which computer systems securely identify their users. Essentially, authentication determines who the user is, while authorization determines what they can do.
Authorization:
A mechanism through which a computer system determines what level of access an authenticated user should have to system resources. Authentication determines who the user is, while authorization determines what they can do.
 

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B

Beneficiary:
A person, entity, trust or estate designated by a WRS member to receive a member's benefits upon the member's death.
Benefit Improvement Unfunded Liability:
A benefit improvement is a prior service liability based on a benefit improvement bill enacted by the legislature/governor in which service credit was earned prior to the effective date of the legislative change. Due to these legislative changes, the actuarial benefit now exceeds the funding of those benefits. These legislative benefit changes do not add service to an employee account. They do, however, require the fund to charge an additional unfunded actuarial accrued liability amount to the employer to cover the unfunded liability.
Billing Cycle:
The frequency with which an employer submits work reports for each billing location. Each billing location must have at least one billing cycle (e.g. bi-weekly, monthly, etc.) in order to process work reports in myETF. The billing cycle is used to derive the start and stop date associated with the reported billing cycle. Most ETF employers have only one billing cycle. Some larger employers (e.g. UW) have multiple overlapping billing cycles.
Billing Location:
A secondary level under the employer that is used for billing-related setup and processing. The system supports one or more billing locations per employer. All billing-related employer configurations and financial transactions are associated with a billing location.
Most ETF employers have only one billing location. However, an example of an employer with multiple billing locations is Central Payroll (a reporting agency) submitting wage/contribution reports on behalf of multiple employers (state agencies). In this scenario, employer (= Central Payroll) has multiple billing locations (= state agencies). Each state agency has its own employer account. (See example below)
Breadcrumbs:
The term “breadcrumbs” refers to the navigation path that displays at the bottom of all screens in myETF. Breadcrumbs start with the word Home followed by the navigation path that you used to access the current screen.
Business Rules
Configurations that can cause an event to happen in the system based on a condition whereby both the event and condition can be defined. Business rules are typically triggered upon a system event, most typically when new or edited data is saved via the ‘Save’ or ‘Apply’ button.

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C

Continuant:
A subscriber enrolled under the federal COBRA or state continuation provisions following loss of eligibility for coverage in certain circumstances.
Contract:
The period of employer participation in ETF-administered benefits. Since ETF employers cannot ‘leave’ the system unless they merge or split, there would be only one ‘contract’ set up for each employer agreement. The agreement maintains the rates for each job category and fund combination and is used along with information reported from the employer to calculate the amount due from the employer.
Contributions:
The set up and processing of wage and contributions data reported on the employer’s work report.
Contribution Rate:
These rates are configured for each job category/fund/period combination. Rates are stored as percentages and are used for deriving the contribution amounts due (e.g., employer required) and for validating the reported contribution amounts due (e.g., employee paid contributions).
CSV:
CSV (Comma-Separated Values) is a file format that stores tabular data in plain text. CSV files are often used to move tabular data between programs that operate on different and incompatible formats.

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D

Data Migration:
The process of moving data from the old system to the new.
Deactivation (of a User):
Deactivating a user in myETF means that the user will not be able to login to myETF unless a system administrator reactivates their account. Deactivation does not delete the account from myETF.
Dependent:
A person who may be eligible to receive coverage due to a relationship status connecting him/her to a member.
Disability Recipients:
A member who receives a benefit under an ETF-administered disability program due to a disabling condition.
Document:
myETF uses documents to send out correspondence, email, letters to members, employers and other entities. Documents are either ad hoc or generated from templates that contain default content, as well as placeholders (i.e., bookmarks) for real, variable data. myETF refers to these as Doc-Out documents. ETF members, employers and other entities will also submit documents through myETF. myETF refers to these as Doc-In.
Domestic Partner:
Chapter 40 of the Wisconsin statutes establishes domestic partnerships for benefits administered by ETF. Establishing a A Chapter 40 domestic partnership provides a member and partner with certain benefits. Chapter 40 domestic partnerships are not the same as domestic partnerships established under Chapter 770 of the Wisconsin Statutes other state law. As of September 22, 2017, no new domestic partnerships are allowed to be established under Chapter 40.
Drop-Down Menu:
A drop-down menu is a list of options that drops down (or fans out) when you click on certain fields (distinguished by an arrow icon on the right side) or icons, or when you mouse over menu and submenu names. After you have exposed the drop-down menu by clicking on it, you can click on an option in the list to select it.
In some cases, when a large number of options are available to select for a particular field, you can type inside the field to search for the option you want to select (as an alternative to clicking the icon).

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E

Employee:
A person in myETF who is currently employed by an employer enrolled in any ETF-administered benefits programs.
Employer:
Either an actual employer (for example, City of Madison) or a reporting agency (for example, Central Payroll) that submits wage/contribution information to ETF on behalf of one or more employer(s).
Employer Account:
A financial account that contains all financial transactions (i.e. work reports, bills, payments, miscellaneous transactions) associated with a given billing location. The employer account includes individual transaction details, as well as a summary of the overall running balance of the account.
Employer Billing Location Account:
Employer billing location account is a financial account that contains all financial transactions (such as work reports, bills, payments, miscellaneous transactions) associated with a given billing location. The employer billing location account includes individual transaction details, as well as a summary of the overall running balance of the account.
Employment File:
An employer-submitted file (either CSV or XML format) that contains data from the employer about it and its employees’ demographic and employment information for the purpose of establishing an employee’s benefit eligibility. This includes health, life, and income continuation insurances. If an employer prefers, it can use this file as an automated means to electronically provide required information, instead of keying it manually into myETF Employer Online Services, prior to receipt of the employer’s payroll file. Non-WRS employers that will not submit a payroll file may also use this file. Employers can submit this file at any frequency (daily, weekly, twice daily, etc.), but ETF will process it daily.
Employment Status Change:
The Employment Status Change field (Empl Status Change in the Payroll File and Employment File) designates an employee’s status. The field is required for new employee enrollments or any time a new employment record is created, such as in the event of a job category change. Other examples include employee terminations, going on or returning from a leave of absence, a work status change or a reporting cycle change.
Enterprise Content Management (ECM):
The Enterprise Content Management (ECM) tool provides functionality to scan, store and index (associate with an entity such as a member or employer) letters, forms, and other types of correspondence and documents received at ETF.
Error:
Errors indicate that the employer must correct the data before submitting the work report to ETF. An error message will display and describe the reason for the error. For example, myETF – Employer detects a duplicate record. This will be flagged as an error and must be corrected before the file can be successfully uploaded and/or submitted.
Exception:
Exceptions indicate that during validation a condition exists that prompts the user to review the condition and determine if the information is correct or if requires a change. Exceptions do not prevent a file from being submitted to ETF.

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F

Funds:
A collection of money for which contributions are tracked and from which benefits are paid. The fund usually represents the highest level at which an employer and/or member can contribute monies for a given benefit. Examples of funds in the retirement category include employee paid contributions, employer contributions, additional employee contributions and prior service. Funds related to insurance include health, ICI and life.

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G

Grid:
Grids display information in a spreadsheet-like format: each row represents a distinct thing with corresponding data displayed in columns.
Grid column headers provide access to grid controls that allow you to sort the records in the grid and hide or reveal available data columns.

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H

Home Page
The home page is the first page seen each time a user logs into myETF. The home page includes information relevant to the employer account.

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I

IAM:
IAM is the acronym for Wisconsin Identity and Access Management. This is the online location where employers will maintain their login credentials (login ID and password) for accessing myETF.
ICI:
ICI is the acronym for Income Continuation Insurance. This is the disability benefit which provides replacement income for short- and long-term disabilities for members who elected to enroll in this insurance coverage.
Initial Setup:
Before using myETF, employers will upload their employee roster into the system in order to establish the active employees with information to report. This is the initial setup to prepare them to use myETF. This process will be easier for employers who keep their data up-to-date before myETF goes live.
Insurance File:
An employer-submitted file (either CSV or XML format) that contains data about an employee’s and, conditionally, his or her dependent’s ETF-administered group insurance enrollment elections and changes. For this project phase, this includes health, life, and income continuation insurances. If an employer prefers, it can use this file as an automated means to electronically provide required information, instead of keying it manually into myETF Employer Online Services. An employer may also require its employees to submit information through its own portal, which could then be submitted via this file. Employers can submit this file at any frequency (daily, weekly, twice daily, etc.), but ETF will process it daily.
Insurance Only:
Describes employers that offer ETF-administered insurance programs but not Wisconsin Retirement System benefits. All employees for such employers must be reported as “Insurance Only.” WRS contributions will not be calculated/accepted for any employee reported with this status.
Invoice:
A transaction that itemizes all insurance premiums charged to a particular employer or billing location within a single billing cycle.

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J

Job Category:
Used to categorize employee groups for the purpose of deriving contribution rates, perform various validations, insurance calculations, etc.

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L

Late Payment Interest:
If an employer submits payment after the 24th of the month following the pay date, they will be responsible for paying interest.
Late Reported Earnings:
Late reported earnings are adjustments that are made to a pay period in a previously reported calendar year. Adjustments of this nature will result in the employer owing contributions and interest that the applicable earnings would have earned had the original earnings been reported in a timely manner.
Life Event:
An event which may occur in a member’s life that impacts that person’s eligibility for certain group insurance coverage and/or allows the member to make or change group insurance elections. This includes, but is not limited to, HIPAA life events.
Line of Business (LOB):
The term Line of Business (LOB) refers to the primary myETF application that ETF uses internally, in contrast to myETF Member Online Services or myETF Employer Online Services.
Linked People:
The term linked people refers to people who are related to a member of ETF, such as dependents and beneficiaries. Linked people are recorded on the member’s Relationships tab.

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M

Member Employment Record:
A table that contains employment details (e.g. employment status and history, WRS Enrollment Date, Original Hire Date, etc.) for a given employee tied to the billing location.
myETF Employer Online Services:
Employers are able to access the myETF Online Services application from their home or office as needed using the URL myETF.wi.gov. myETF Online Services functionality allows members to view and maintain their own demographic data, view historic documents, submit requests to ETF, enroll in group health, life, and ICI. The actual design, look and feel of myETF Online Services will be determined as part of the BAS implementation process.

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N

Navigation Bar:
Navigation Bar refers to the area at the top of screens in myETF. This area contains features that help you to navigate within myETF.

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O

Occasional Active Employment (OE):
OE is one of the options for the Employment Status Change field (Sequence #32 in the myETF Payroll File). This status should be used:
  • For employees who work primarily on an ad hoc basis and may often have payroll cycles with no hours and earnings to report. Examples may include substitute teachers, poll workers, per diem/on-call nurses, exam proctors, special event staff, etc., OR
  • During periods of seasonally inactive/irregular employment for affected employees. Examples here may include teachers during summer break, seasonal employees during the off-season, etc. Note: Occasional Active Employment should not be used year-round for such employees. Rather, these employees should be recorded as Active Employment during the periods when actively working and moved to Occasional Active Employment during the off-season. The menu of group insurance plans that an employer offers to its employees, categorized by program options.(See also Active Employment.)
Offering:
The menu of group insurance plans that an employer offers to its employees, categorized by program options.
Online Help:
There will be two kinds of help for employers to use in myETF. Employers will be able to send messages directly to ETF staff as one form of help, and they will be able to access a library of user guides and work process documents as another form of online help.

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P

Payroll File:
An employer submitted file that contains data about wages, contributions, hours, demographic updates and other data that is reported by an employer to ETF. Upon successful passing of all file-level validations, the file is broken down into one or more work reports and/or work report adjustments on a billing location account.
Plan:
A specific insurance plan offered by ETF and administered by a given vendor. Plans fall into various categories depending on the subject matter of the plan, such as a health insurance plan, a life insurance plan or an ICI plan. The plan, and subsequently the level of coverage within each plan, constitutes the specific choice of insurance coverage the ETF user selects when enrolling in group insurance. This choice impacts the potential benefits received and the associated premium rates. Vendors may offer multiple plans.
Pop-Ups:
Pop-ups are separate browser windows that you can move freely on top of (and outside of) the main browser window in which you are accessing myETF.
Practice Environment:
A myETF system available to myETF users, both staff and employers, which offers a chance to practice the skills they have learned during myETF training and confirm their payroll cycle(s). This environment may provide access to training data or real data, depending on the reason for use.
Premium Formula:
Used to determine amounts payable for group insurance benefits. Also used to determine the total premium amount for group insurance benefits.
Prior Service Unfunded Liability:
Prior Service Unfunded Liability is service that a WRS employer may purchase on behalf of its employees for service that the employee has worked at that employer prior to that employer coming under the WRS. The actuarially determined cost of this service, if purchased, is billed to the employer as either a lump sum payment or as an added portion to the employer’s agreement rate as a percentage of employee payroll.
Program Option:
An umbrella grouping of insurance plans that can be categorized together in a way that is relevant to ETF’s operations. It is a group of plans from which the member is able to choose only one. Once plans are grouped into program options, the program options can be added to employer offerings as a whole.

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R

Rate:
Rates are used to calculate contribution due amounts. These rates reside within myETF under employer Agreement and are configured for each job category/fund/period combination. Rates are stored as percentages and are used for deriving the additional contribution amounts due (e.g., employer required) and for validating the reported contribution amounts due (e.g., employee paid contributions).
Rate Fields:
Configured under agreement fields for each job category. These fields and are used for validation during contributions reporting, as well as for deriving expected contributions.
Rate Formulas:
These equations are used to calculate contribution amounts due for each fund (member/employer/additional) based on the information that employers give on contribution reports. Along with basic formulas, rate formulas determine which basis fields and work codes can be entered in the earnings and service report.
Reporting Cycle:
The frequency with which an employer submits work reports for each billing location. Each billing location must have at least one reporting cycle (e.g. bi-weekly, monthly, etc.) to process work reports in myETF. The Reporting Cycle is used to derive the start and stop date associated with the reported period. Most ETF employers have only one reporting cycle. Some larger employers have multiple overlapping reporting cycles for different types of employees.
Role (User Role):
myETF roles define user privileges for users with a certain business role. For example: a role might be defined for people who process retirement applications. Permissions for that role can be tailored to either read-only or editing privileges. A role is defined for people who process payroll reports, and another might be defined for the person who processes insurance.
Roster:
A list of all active and inactive employees tied to a given billing location.

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S

Screen:
A screen in myETF refers to a distinct section of the myETF application. A screen is, in essence, a Web page that can display different data depending on your input.
Secure File Transfer Protocol (sFTP):
This a method to securely, electronically send files of data to (or receive from) a file directory on ETF’s network. Employers will use a logon and password for a file folder on the designated Employer sFTP directory at ETF. There will be a test version and a production version of the Employer sFTP system with a separate URL. Files placed on the sFTP directory will be processed via interface programs for payroll cycle confirmation. The payroll data, employment data including employer setup, and insurance data can be sent via sFTP.
Sick Leave UAAL:
The Sick Leave UAAL (Unfunded Actuarial Accrued Liability) is the unfunded liability portion of the sick leave program in which the costs of the actuarially determined benefits exceed the funding for those benefits. There are two portions to the UAAL Sick Leave Rate - regular UAAL and supplemental UAAL. This applies to state agencies only.
Status Code:
A status code is a field on the member-level detail record of the work report submitted by an employer. There are four possible status codes, as detailed below, which are used to determine whether a given employee is eligible to participate in WRS and as a result whether contributions are due for a given employee being reported.
Subscriber:
An eligible employee, annuitant or continuant who enrolled for single or family coverage and whose dependents are also eligible for benefits.

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T

Third Party Administrator (TPA):
A company that ETF contracts with to provide administrative services for certain benefit plans (such as ERA and the WDC).
Trigger Condition:
When validating a payroll file or work report, a trigger condition determines when a validation should occur. For example, if the Employer (ER) ETF ID is not populated, it triggers a validation to see if this is required and if this considered an error or an exception based on ETFs’ business rules.  

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U

Usability Testing:
Usability testing is the need to check if the user interface is easy to use and understand. It is concerned with the use of the system.

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V

Validations:
Validations keep entered data clean and logical by confirming it is within defined ranges. They are typically triggered when new or edited data is saved via the ‘Save’ or ‘Apply’ button, but sometimes tabbing out of a field triggers validations as well.
Validations can result in either an error, exception, or success. Only data that passes the validations successfully will be saved in myETF. Basically, validations check entered data to see if it conforms to the business rules that myETF has created.

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W

Wisconsin Identity and Access Management:
This is the online location where employers will maintain their login credentials for accessing myETF. Identity and Access Management is abbreviated as IAM.
Wizard:
A user interface tool that that presents a user with a sequence of steps that lead the user through a series of well-defined, structured set of questions to ensure data accuracy. Complex or unfamiliar tasks may be easier to perform using a wizard.
Work Report:
A set of data containing wages, contributions, hours, balances due, and other member data that is reported by an employer to ETF and stored in myETF as a transaction that resides within an employer account. A work report is specific to a billing cycle (ex. bi-weekly, monthly, etc., see ‘Billing Cycle’). Upon creation, the work report shows in the employer account as an open debit transaction. Payment transactions (credits) can be applied against a work report until the work report balance becomes zero at which point the transaction is closed.
Work Report Adjustment:
A set of data containing adjustments to wages, contributions, hours, balances due and other member data that is reported by an employer to ETF and stored in myETF as a transaction that resides within an employer account. A work report adjustment is specific to a reporting cycle (for example, bi-weekly, monthly, etc., see ‘Reporting Cycle’). Upon creation, the work report shows in the employer account as an open debit transaction. Payment transactions (credits) can be applied against a work report until the work report balance becomes zero, at which point the transaction is closed.
Work Report Editor:
The Work Report Editor is the screen in myETF used to modify the data within a work report, such as hours, earnings, deductions, etc.
Work Report Posting:
A process of releasing employee wage, contribution and service data into the member accounts. This is the last step of the work report process.
Work Report Release:
A process by which validated wage and contribution data is posted into the appropriate member accounts.
WRS:
WRS stands for the Wisconsin Retirement System.

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X

XML:
XML stands for Extensible Markup Language. It essentially makes a document readable by both humans and computers. Some employers will have the option of submitting payroll information to myETF in XML format.

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