March 2022    

In this Edition ...

Iowa WorkSmart Project • Benefits • Health & Well-Being • Retirement Savings  • Education Opportunities  

Iowa WorkSmart Project

Workday 2022-R1 Feature Release
The State of Iowa's first Feature Release since the Workday tenant Go Live last September was deployed Saturday, March 12. Workday’s Feature Releases consist of a bundle of new or updated features and functionality rolled out every six months (R1 in the spring, R2 in the fall) to ensure its system is continually updated. 

Changes in the 2022-R1 Feature Release were primarily technical, with few noticeable changes. Going forward, changes directly impacting HR business processes, Employee Self-Service (ESS), or Manager Self-Service (MSS) will be identified and communicated. Look for announcements to come every spring and fall!
Workday Financial (FIN) 
In Phase 2 news, End to End (E2E) Test Scenario creation continues. The WorkSmart Integration Network (WIN) team will meet with integrating agencies again on March 22 to discuss key upcoming tasks for E2E Testing, integration approach and layouts, and address any questions.

For Workday assistance, refer to the Workday Support Chart. For WorkSmart Project information and Workday resources, visit or contact the WorkSmart Team at

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State of Iowa Benefits

Important Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Deadline April 15
Time is running out to file claims for reimbursement for 2021 eligible FSA expenses. April 15, 2022, is the deadline to file dependent care and health FSA claims incurred from January 1, 2021, through December 31, 2021.

You may submit claim requests and supporting documents to ASI, the State’s third-party FSA administrator, in one of the following ways:

  • Mobile app. Please note, your login is case sensitive.
  • Online. Log into your ASI account and attach a pdf version of your supporting documentation to your claim request.
  • Fax a claim form and supporting documentation to 877-879-9038.
  • Mail your claim to ASIFlex, P.O. Box 6044, Columbia, MO 65205-6044.

 Access claim forms online and read more about submitting claim forms on the DAS website today.

Paid Time Off for Blood Donation
Per Iowa Code 70A.39, State of Iowa employees may now use paid time off for blood donation, which will not be deducted from employees’ vacation or sick time balances. Written verification from the employee’s physician or the facility involved with the donation will be required. 

To request paid time off in Workday for blood donation, employees will need to:

  • Go to the Absence worklet in Workday. 
  • Choose Regular Time Offs and the “Other” option.
  • Then enter “blood donation.” 

If you have additional questions, please contact your Human Resources Associate (HRA).

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Health and Well-Being

Are You Eligible for the Livongo Diabetes Prevention Program?
As a State of Iowa employee, you have a great health benefit available to you: Livongo! The Livongo diabetes prevention program provides smart devices, personalized guidance, and expert coaching to help you live healthier and happier. This voluntary program is available to you, your covered spouse, or covered dependents through your Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield® health plan.

Learn More and Get Started!
Watch the member experience video to learn more about Livongo, or visit to get started. Once logged into your account:
Scroll to Livongo in the Diabetes Support box, and click GET STARTED. 
Continue to the Livongo site, accept Livongo’s Terms of Service, and select NEXT to begin registration.
As part of the registration process, you will answer questions to determine your eligibility. If eligible, you will receive new participant information right away and next steps from Livongo! 

If you have any questions about this program, please visit the Livongo website, email Livongo Member Support at, or call 800-945-4355 and mention registration code STATEOFIOWA. 

Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa, Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc. and Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Blue Cross®, Blue Shield® and the Cross® and Shield® symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an Association of Independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans. Wellmark® is a registered mark of Wellmark, Inc. Livongo Health, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Teladoc Health, Inc., (“Livongo”) is an independent company providing diabetes prevention and diabetes management services to Wellmark customers. Livongo does not provide Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield products or services.

Do You Make Healthy Food Choices?
There are many ways to improve your diet – adding more fruits and vegetables, watching portion sizes, avoiding overly-processed foods, and more home cooking to name a few. National Nutrition Month® this March is a great time to start making better informed food choices and developing healthful eating habits. 
To help you get started, read 7 "healthy" foods to watch out for - Eat these, not those recently printed in Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s Blue online.

Keeping Your Eyes Safe and Healthy On the Job and Beyond
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 2,000 U.S. workers each day sustain a job-related eye injury requiring medical treatment. 

Common causes of workplace eye injury include flying debris, chemical exposure, eye strain, and more!  Interestingly enough, many injuries occur when eye protection is worn incorrectly, is ill-fitting, or is the wrong equipment for the job. Thankfully, almost all workplace eye injuries are preventable with the use of proper safety eyewear and good workplace habits. 

To learn more, check out these resources on eye health at work and beyond:

Free Health and Well-Being Seminars Offered Online
On-demand online seminars covering various health and well-being topics are available from the State’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at Use Company Code: IOWA and click on e-learning for a list of available online seminars.

Seminars may be viewed from your computer or any other internet-enabled device during work time if scheduling permits and your supervisor approves. They are free of charge, with the most recent offerings accessible on the dates listed below.

  • Available now: Navigating Through Grief and Loss - Discover ways to say goodbye and go through the five stages of grief in a healthy way.
  • Available March 17: From Tired to Inspired: Keeping Engaged and Preventing Burnout - Learn how to prevent burnout, work through it, and stay engaged in work and personal life.

EAP also offers confidential resources at no cost to help employees and eligible family members address challenges which may impact job performance, well-being, and overall health. For more information on EAP resources, visit the DAS Employee Assistance Program web page.

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Retirement Benefits and Savings

You May Qualify for a Tax Credit
Participation in the State of Iowa Retirement Investors’ Club (RIC) may give some State employees a chance to reduce their individual income tax by up to $1,000 (or $2,000 if married filing jointly) with the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Saver’s Credit. The Saver’s Credit is available to RIC participants who:

  • Make contributions to their RIC account through payroll deductions (pre-tax or Roth).
  • Are aged 18 or older and are not full-time students.
  • Are not claimed as a dependent on another person’s tax return.
  • Meet the income limits set by the IRS.

This Saver’s Credit is on your tax forms and tax advisors can answer questions about whether or not you qualify. See the RIC Saver’s Credit webpage or the IRS website for additional information.

An Example of Possible Tax Savings:
Kim contributes the maximum of $2,000 to her RIC account during the calendar year 2021. Her adjusted gross income for the year is $28,000 and she files as Head of Household. According to the IRS income limits, she qualifies for a tax credit (a credit against taxes owed) of 50 percent of the amount she contributed to RIC. In Kim’s case, the tax credit is worth $1,000. 

Not Yet Participating In RIC?
The Retirement Investors’ Club (RIC) provides State of Iowa employees the opportunity to save a little or a lot toward retirement. Participation is through payroll deduction. The State pays match contributions up to $75 per month - a total annual match of $900 per year toward future income needs. Learn more and enroll today!

Retirement Investors’ Club (RIC) Webcasts
Make the best use of your retirement savings by taking advantage of education opportunities offered by RIC. These webcasts may be viewed online from your computer or other internet-enabled device during work time if scheduling permits and your supervisor approves. Click on the links below to register.

  • Tuesday, April 5, 9:00 a.m. - RIC Deferred Compensation Introduction & Enrollment
  • Tuesday, April  19, 1:00 p.m. - RIC Deferred Compensation Ready to Retire and Take Income

Retirement Benefit Presentations Offered On Demand
DAS-HRE has on-demand resources available for employees seeking information about State of Iowa retirement benefits. Retirement Benefits Before Medicare Eligibility and Retirement Benefits After Medicare may be found on the DAS Benefit Series Highlight page. 

IPERS Ready, Set, Retire Workshop Offered Via Zoom
Retiring in the next three to five years? If so, IPERS’ Ready, Set, Retire is designed to provide you with a broad range of retirement-related information. Ready, Set, Retire is a free all-day (9:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m.) Zoom webinar, and you may view/attend sessions during work time if scheduling permits and your supervisor approves. Spouses are welcome to attend. Reserve your spot by clicking on the workshop you wish to attend and then clicking Register. 

News from State Retirement Investors’ Club (RIC) Providers 
Please see the latest information, tools, and educational opportunities from various RIC providers below.

Financial planning - why do I need it?
Having a professional assist you with your financial plan has many advantages. First of all, it can help put your mind at ease about your financial future. Developing a financial plan can help you balance your everyday needs against your long-term goals and enhance the probability of a secure retirement. 



New! Introducing enhanced Empower tools and resources to help you prepare for your retirement

  • Empower Iowa RIC is your new Empower website developed just for Iowa RIC participants and eligible employees. This easy-to-use website offers plan information, account access, and tools and resources to help you manage your retirement account with ease. Save this website to your favorites for easy access.
  • Empower mobile app  - The Empower retirement mobile experience puts your retirement plan at your fingertips. Use it to access and manage your Iowa RIC Retirement plan account when you’re on the go - right from your mobile device. Download it from the App Store® from Apple® or on Google Play™.
  • Empower Custom Care Center - Speak with an Empower representative who can answer your questions about saving and investing through the Iowa RIC and guide you through transactions. Call the Empower Custom Care Center at 1-833-999-IOWA (4692).

Whether your retirement is in the near or distant future, achieving your goals for a dream retirement depends largely on the plans and decisions you make now. While having the financial security to achieve your dream retirement is up to you, Horace Mann will be with you every step of the way. Now is a good time to review your Iowa RIC account to be sure it still matches your needs, goals, and risk tolerance.
Take the next step toward retirement
Take the next step by increasing your contribution each year. In fact, increasing your contribution by just 1% or 2% can really add up over time. Consider increasing your contribution today in Workday.
Have questions? Call or make an appointment with your Horace Mann representative today.

Confidence is her superpower - she believed she could, so she did.
In honor of Women’s History Month this March, Voya wants to celebrate the women in our lives that give more, never give up, and radiate an amazing energy. You may think of her as your “Shero,” lifting others up with kindness, compassion, and a quiet strength inspiring confidence, hope, and healing.
Be someone’s “Shero.” Whatever goals you may have, be sure to prioritize yourself. Lift yourself up so others can follow. Start with thinking about confidently saving for your future. Log in to see where you stand financially, and take the steps you need to get on with being the “Shero” you can be.
Log into your Iowa Retirement Investors' Club (RIC) Retirement Plan account today. 

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Education Opportunities

PDS Training Tip: Developing Specific Skills
Do you have a specific skill you are interested in developing? Is there a certain aspect of your job that might run more smoothly if you had some extra training in a particular area?  PDS has a variety of classes covering several topics - and we have a tool to help you search for a class in your specific area of interest. The Course by Topic document will help you narrow down classes in five different areas: Communication & Teamwork, Leading People, Managing & Developing, Public Service & Organizational Integrity, and System Integration. 

Enhance Your Skills with Featured PDS Courses
Be sure to check out these featured courses offered by PDS:

  • Strategies for Work/Life Balance - Day 1 - March 22, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., In Person, Day 2 – May 5, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., In person
    Do you feel as if you're too busy to enjoy your own life? Are you ready to discover what is important and how to make time for things that matter most at home and at work? This course provides employees with a variety of strategies to support them in determining their priorities and how to spend their time, resulting in a newfound peace of mind. This is a workshop much different from other training activities, offering group coaching as part of this very interactive workshop.
  • The Servant Leader - April 6, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., In person
    Certificate Series: Leadership Capacity Building Development Certificate
    This leader-focused course discusses the core tenets of servant leadership, applying them to individual leadership, team functionality, and organizational performance. Participants learn the value of applying these tenets to their lives, and the impacts they can have on building a collaborative, high-trust, and high-functioning organization.
  • Managing Stress and Workplace Accountability - April 7-8, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Virtual
    Certificate Series: Advanced Talent Development Certificate
    Stress can be found anywhere. Participants in this course will gain an understanding of the science behind stress and why some stress is healthy for us to lead productive lives. Coping strategies, identifying stress overload, and self-management techniques will be presented.
  • Emotional Intelligence - April 14, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., In person
    Certificate Series: Management Development Certificate
    Working with others is one of the hardest things we do, and it requires the daily application of emotional intelligence. Learn what EQ is, how to apply it, common pitfalls, and specific tools and techniques to boost your EQ at work (and in life). Using a mix of instructor-led presentations and engaging, hands-on skill practice, this session will launch you on your way to being more effective in your current role, raising your EQ, and leveraging emotional intelligence effectively. 

Sign up for these and other courses online today! Log in to Okta at to access the Learnsoft LMS application. For assistance, refer to these simple step-by-step instructions. If you have additional questions, reach out to your Training Liaison or the PDS inbox.

Performance & Development Solutions (PDS) Training

  • Virtual PDS Instructor-Led Courses
    Our virtual course offerings continue to be an excellent way to meet your professional development goals. PDS limits class size to 18-20 participants allowing opportunities for interaction between the facilitator and participants. If classes exceed the limit, new dates will be added and participants will be rescheduled as needed. Keep in mind there is a 14-day cancellation policy. Check out current course listings.
  • PDS On-Demand Courses
    Does your daily schedule make attending classes difficult? On-demand courses can be completed at any time. Many are policy related and may be required training. See these class listings at On-Demand Course Options.
  • New Horizons Virtual and On-Demand Computer Courses
    Computer training courses are offered by New Horizons. Please contact for information on availability and State pricing for New Horizons classes.

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HRExpress is a publication for State of Iowa employees. Please print a copy to post or share with co-workers who may not have access to a computer. For prior editions, visit the HRExpress webpage. If you have questions or suggestions for future content, please contact us at

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