Military Leave Benefits
University of Wisconsin System


State statute and labor agreements generally provide 30 work days of leave without loss of pay each calendar year for military service. In addition, 2003 Wisconsin Act 162 (§230.32 Wis. Stats.), effective March 31, 2004, provides for new military leave benefits. Furthermore, Governor Doyle signed Executive Order #156, which extends the military leave and pay benefits provided by statute, labor agreement and Executive Order #50 for an additional two years. With this extension, employees called up for eligible military service on or after January 1, 2003 may receive pay and benefits, pursuant to s. 230.315, Wis. Stats., for a period of four years.

 

These new military leave benefits are outlined in Office of State Employment Relations Bulletins:

During a paid military leave of absence, deductions for coverage will continue unless you let coverage lapse. If you do let coverage lapse, you have the option to reapply for your benefit plan within 30 days of returning to work (RTW).

 

If you choose to continue your coverage for the duration of your military leave of absence, you will need to arrange for personal payment of employee contributions for the coverage. See your staff benefits office for details.

 

For information on prepaying premiums, determining your eligibility, or for obtaining forms and instructions for continuing coverage, contact your staff benefits office.

  1. If possible, contact your staff benefits office immediately on receiving your orders to make arrangements for insurance prepayments and obtain a prepayment form (UW1110).
  2. Determine which plans you wish to continue.
  3. Submit the appropriate payment to your staff benefits office. Premium payments are due on or before the first of the payroll month for which premiums are being paid.
  4. Consider updating beneficiary designation forms for plans that offer survivor benefits.

Important: During Military Leave, State Group Health Insurance coverage may be continued indefinitely; see the State Group Health Insurance section below. You may continue coverage for all other plans for up to 36 months by prepaying your share of the premiums.

Upon return to work (i.e., active pay status) from military leave, WRS contributions immediately resume. You may reenroll in any benefit plan that you let lapse, at the level of coverage you had prior to the leave of absence (LOA), by applying within 30 days of return to work (RTW). University Insurance Association (UIA) reenrollment is automatic for unclassified employees.

 

Eligibility by Appointment Type

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Eligibility for military leave benefits ends when the employment contract ends unless the employee would have received another consecutive appointment if not on active military duty.  If there is an established pattern of consecutive terminal appointments, the employer should make a reasonable determination of whether the employee would have received another consecutive terminal appointment if he or she were not on active duty and, if possible, renew the appointments prior to the beginning of the military leave.  

 

In cases where the intent is not to renew the appointment in absence of the military duty, incumbents should be notified prior to reporting for active duty.  If the incumbent has a back-up appointment, he or she should be placed in the backup appointment prior to military leave, if possible.

 

Appointment Type

Eligible for 30-days of military leave with no loss of pay?

Eligible for duration of deployment, up to 2 years with no loss of pay or benefits?

Classified Permanent Represented

Yes

Subject to collective bargaining agreement.
Currently, applies to all eligible represented employees.

Class Permanent Non-represented

Yes

Yes

Classified Permanent (rep or non-rep) during probation

No

Yes

(Statute does not require the employee to be permanent)

Classified Project (w/o permanent status)

No

Yes

Classified Project w/ Permanent Status

Yes

Yes

Limited (e.g., Chancellors, deans, directors)

Yes

Yes

Faculty

Yes

Yes

Academic Staff w/ renewable appt.

Yes

Yes

Academic Staff – terminal appt

No

Yes

Teaching Assistant/PA (under TAA)

No

No

MGAA

No

Yes

Limited Term Employee

No

No

Non-represented Graduate Ass’t

No

Yes

Student hourly

No

No

Research Assistant

No

No

Employees in Training (employees) w/ renewable appt.

No

Yes

Employees in Training (employees) w/ terminal appt.

No

No

Employees in Training (not employees)

No

No

 

Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS)

While receiving the four-year supplemental pay benefit, you continue to earn WRS service.

 

You will receive WRS service credit while on military leave of absence if:

  • You notify your employer that you are going on military leave; and
  • Upon your return you provide a copy of your military leave and earnings statement showing the dates of entry and discharge; and
  • You leave the military under honorable conditions; and
  • You return to work for the UW System.

You may make voluntary additional after-tax or pre-tax contributions to your WRS account after you return to work.

 

University Pay

Under the 30 work-day military leave benefit, you are eligible to receive your base university pay minus your base military pay. Under the two-year benefit, you are eligible for the difference between your base University pay (including pay supplements) and your base military pay and housing allowance.

 

State Group Health Insurance

Premiums are paid two calendar months in advance. For example, the premium deduction from September’s earnings is for November coverage.

  • You can continue coverage indefinitely with the University contribution toward the premium (§40.25 (6) (b) 2, Wis. Stats) while on active duty by filing an election form (ET-2350). Your portion of the monthly premium payment may be paid in advance or deducted from any differential state pay.
  • You can continue coverage for the remainder of the leave if you are NOT on active duty by personal payment of the full monthly premium through the UW System.
  • Generally health insurance is provided to members on active duty and their eligible dependents through a military-sponsored plan.
  • State Group Health plans exclude treatment, services and supplies for any injury or illness as the result of war, declared or undeclared, enemy action or action of the Armed Forces of the United States, or any State of the United States or its Allies, or while serving in the Armed Forces of any country.
  • If you let coverage lapse, you may re-enroll within 30 days of return to work. If a dual-Choice enrollment occurred while on LOA, you may change plans within 30 days of RTW.

Important: If you allow your family coverage to lapse while on leave of absence and you die, your surviving dependents will not have access to your sick leave credits to pay health insurance premiums.