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HRExpress - December 2021


December 2021    

In this Edition ...

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

Iowa WorkSmart Project

Phase 1: Workday Human Capital Management (HCM) Resource Recap

  • Tips & Tricks - Wanda’s latest edition highlights the Workday search feature for finding people, tasks, reports, and business data. For other Tips & Tricks topics, visit the Wanda WorkSmart webpage.
  • HCM FAQs - Visit the HCM FAQs for answers to frequently asked questions about Workday’s Employee Self-Service (ESS) and Manager Self-Service (MSS) functionality.
  • Training Materials - The WorkSmart Training Catalog offers one-stop-shopping for Workday resources, including video snippets. Resources are updated and added often, so bookmark this page for future reference.

Phase 2: WorkSmart Financial (FIN) Update
The WorkSmart Resources webpage has recently been updated with the following Phase 2 materials:

  • Workday FIN Glossary - provides definitions for Workday FIN and legacy terminology
  • FIN Workday 101 - information about the WorkSmart Project and FIN highlights
  • FIN FAQs - answers FIN questions received to date and will be expanded as the project progresses

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

It’s Okay Not to be Okay - And Your State of Iowa Benefits Can Help
This holiday season, if you feel stressed, overwhelmed, or just not like yourself, resources are available to help you feel better. Start with a call to your personal doctor for a referral  for talk therapy and/or medication management. If you prefer to do your own search, visit to locate in-network providers near you. For treatment at home, schedule a virtual appointment with Doctor On Demand® using the free app or at Read Wellmark’s 5 Things You Need to Know if You are Judging Yourself for Your Holiday Mental Health to learn more.

Managing Your Health Benefits Is Easy With myWellmark®
myWellmark® is a personalized website featuring the tools, resources, and insights you need to help manage your health care spending and live a healthier life. Wellmark offers a personalized easy-to-use, self-serve digital experience on any of your devices. With myWellmark®, you can:

  • View claims, statements, and receive an explanation of benefits online
  • Get estimates for cost of care
  • Find an in-network provider and get patient reviews
  • Access tips and resources to live a healthier life with exclusive information from WebMD

When you know more, you’ll be more confident in the care you’re getting and how to improve your overall well-being. Log in today and see for yourself. Not registered yet? Just use your Wellmark ID card to register for myWellmark today

Important Information About Your Flexible Spending Account
To help make the most of your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) benefit, key information and deadlines for health and dependent care FSAs are highlighted below:

  • If you enrolled in the 2022 FSA program - You will receive an enrollment confirmation from ASIFlex in mid-December. Please review it carefully to ensure your annual election(s) and banking information are correct. Contact your Human Resources Associate before December 31, 2021, if you find any errors needing correction.
  • If you are currently enrolled in the 2021 health FSA plan - Any remaining funds from your 2021 contributions will carry over to 2022 for use with 2022 claims.  
  • If you have any remaining health FSA carryover funds from 2020 - You have until December 31, 2021, to incur claims and be reimbursed with funds from 2020. You may submit these claims to ASIFlex through April 15, 2022.
  • If you are currently enrolled in the 2021 dependent care FSA plan - The grace period allows you to use 2021 contributions for daycare expenses incurred through December 31, 2022.  

View information about claim submissions or contact ASIFlex at 800-659-3035 if you have questions or need assistance.

December 28 Deadline to File Evidence of Insurability for Supplemental Life 
Did you elect to increase your supplemental life insurance during the Open Enrollment period in October? If so, don’t forget to complete the Evidence of Insurability (EOI) online before December 28, 2021. If approved, the increase in supplemental life coverage will be effective January 1, 2022, or the first of the month following written notification of approval by The Standard.

** If the EOI is not on file by December 28, 2021, your request
for additional supplemental life will be denied.** 

Please email Rachel Wilson or call her at 515-281-8866 if you need access to the EOI or have additional questions.

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Health and Well-Being

Voluntary Vision Insurance: Open Enrollment Starts in January
State of Iowa employees have an opportunity to elect vision insurance through the Voluntary Insurance Program.The State offers post-tax payroll deductions to pay your vision insurance premiums directly to the insurance carrier. 

Open enrollment for vision insurance begins January 1, 2022, and runs through February 28, 2022. Elections made during this open enrollment period are effective April 1, 2022. If you are currently enrolled in the voluntary vision insurance, you do not need to re-enroll unless you want to make a change.

You have two different insurance program options: Avesis and EyeMed/Delta Vision (Insight Network). Information about these voluntary vision plans are available at Questions regarding the vision plans should be directed to Two Rivers/World Insurance Company at
Please note: The State of Iowa does not endorse or sponsor any voluntary vision insurance provider, or the products and services they provide, and assumes no responsibility for any purchases or disputes between individual employees and the vendors. All arrangements are strictly between the employee, as a consumer, and the insurance company.

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 December 21: Paying it Forward - Understand the small but powerful ways everyone can 'pay it forward' and make a difference in the lives of others.
  • Available January 18: Reframing Your Way Through 2022 - Learn practical steps to use positive reframing strategies and guide your way through 2022.

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.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information, Testing at Home, and DAS Resource Page
Looking for COVID-related information? Visit Vaccinate Iowa - Sleeves Up for vaccination information and learn more about a free option for at-home COVID testing. Additional resources and guidance are also available on the Return to State Buildings, Vaccines, and Associated Resources webpage. 

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Retirement Savings

Need to Step Up Your Savings In Light of New IRS Contribution Limits?
Annual IRS increases in 457 contribution limits are a good reminder we may want to review, or even step up our efforts to save for retirement. See IRS Contribution Limits.

When we plan for a dream vacation, we do research, make financial decisions, and sometimes make sacrifices. It is important to put even more effort into planning for retirement. State of Iowa employees have an opportunity to improve their retirement income options by taking full advantage of the State of Iowa deferred compensation benefit (Retirement Investors’ Club) that provides tax advantages and an employer match. 

Payroll Deduction Change Reminder
Retirement Investors’ Club (RIC) participants may log into Workday at any time to make these changes:

  • How your deductions will be taxed (pre-tax or Roth or both) 
  • Change deduction amount as a percentage of pay or dollar amount 
  • Choose the frequency of your deductions 

If you wish to increase your contributions for January, be sure to make this change in Workday in December. Use this handy Smart Guide to direct you through the process. Contact RIC if you need assistance.

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.

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. 

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

Account protection is a partnership 
You have a role to play in the protection of your accounts by taking appropriate actions and using safe practices to defend against cyber and fraud attempts. In the event assets are taken from an account, under no fault of your own and if you have followed the required security measures, - AIG will replace the full value to make your accounts whole. Not taking advantage of these safety features beforehand may affect the replacement of assets.

Learn more about our security features and our account protection responsibility. Or, contact an AIG advisor with questions about investments, retirement planning, or enrollment today!



Don’t let your spending splurge become habit
It’s no surprise after months of being homebound with limited options to spend, people are once again looking to travel, shop, dine out, and celebrate. It’s understandable you may want to indulge a little, but remember you also have other financial goals you want to pursue—including your retirement future. 

During the pandemic, researchers discovered a sizable increase in Americans’ savings as a percentage of disposable personal income - from 7.2% in December 2019 to a record high of 33.7% in April 2020.1 If you’re one of the pandemic savers, why not consider making the habit permanent and increase your contribution to your Iowa RIC account? You can increase your contributions by making a change to your retirement savings benefit in Workday. Through the power of tax-deferred compound growth, any earnings your contributions generate get reinvested and can generate additional earnings. That way, you may have even more money available to splurge with when you can enjoy it in retirement. 

If you have questions about how you can save more for retirement or the Iowa Retirement Investors’ Club (RIC) Plan, contact an Empower Retirement advisor to learn more about your financial choices, including help with saving in the Iowa RIC plan.

Do you know who your beneficiaries are?
Do you have a primary and secondary beneficiary named on your account? If so, are they current? Keeping your beneficiary information up to date ensures you are in control of where your assets go when you are gone. Log into your account today and confirm your beneficiary information is current.

Do you have questions about your retirement plan? Call or make an appointment with your Horace Mann representative today.

Getting on track with personal finance -  make a life, not just a living 
If the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that the future can be unpredictable. One way to prepare is to save for the future life you envision without letting the inevitable bumps along the way take you off track. 

Saving regularly and consistently can be one way to make a life – not just a living. Think about where your money goes. If you don’t have a budget, consider building one. Having a plan to reduce debt and save for an emergency is also a good idea. 

Here are some simple steps to consider to help get you started: 

  • Set short-term and long-term goals
  • Focus on monthly charges
  • Review and eliminate any unneeded subscriptions
  • Review current insurance policies and compare to get the best rates
  • Make savings automatic
  • Save for large purchases or recurring large expenses
  • Use technology to track your progress

Learn more about spending and saving, managing debt, and your journey to financial wellness with live and on-demand education at Then start focusing on your finances to achieve tomorrow’s goals.

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. View the description and upcoming workshop dates. Reserve your spot by clicking on the workshop you wish to attend and then clicking Register. 

IPERS Offers Creating a Secure Retirement: The 3-Part Solution
IPERS and Iowa State Extension Services team up to present a free workshop for all State employees planning to retire in the next three to five years. Creating a Secure Retirement: The 3-Part Solution is a full-day workshop to bring together everything you need in order to plan a financially secure retirement. Workshop content will be customized with your personal information, so you’ll be able to figure out exactly where you are in the pre-retirement process. View upcoming workshop dates and description. Register to attend by calling IPERS at 800-622-3849 today!

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Education Opportunities

Certified Public Manager (CPM) Cohort Begins January 18, 2022!
To maintain Iowa's high level of commitment to professional development and public service, the State of Iowa, in partnership with Drake University, offers a nationally accredited Certified Public Manager® (CPM) program. The next CPM Cohort begins on January 18, 2022.

CPM is an intensive learning experience designed for supervisors, managers, executives, management staff, and project managers from federal, state, county, and local governments. The program includes discussion, traditional classroom experiences, and online learning. Participants also complete a job-related team project, which gives them the opportunity to apply CPM program learning to a real-life situation. 

This cohort is a hybrid format of in-person and virtual sessions, combining the best of face-to-face engagement with the convenience of reduced travel time for participants.Visit the CPM web page to learn more about eligibility requirements and how to apply.

Performance & Development Solutions (PDS) Training

  • Virtual PDS Instructor-Led Courses
    Many classroom courses have been updated to  a virtual format. Courses will run as scheduled, and a 14-day cancellation policy applies. PDS limits class size to 18-20 participants on a first-come, first-served basis. If classes exceed the limit, new dates will be added and participants will be rescheduled as needed. 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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