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HRExpress - June 2022


June 2022    

In this Edition ...

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

Iowa WorkSmart Project

Iowa WorkSmart Project Updates
Check out the latest issue of Smart Talk for new and updated Job Aids and Smart Guides covering Deferred Compensation, Requesting FMLA Leave, Leave Retention, Return from Leave of Absence, Running the IPPE Report, and Completing the I-9 Form

You’ll also learn more about Phase 2 of the WorkSmart Project, including updates on End to End Test Scenario Development and Data Validation, End to End testers, Integrations, and the next scheduled meeting of the WorkSmart Integration Network (WIN) Team. 

For WorkSmart Project information and Workday resources, visit or contact the WorkSmart Team at

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State of Iowa Benefits

Surprising Summer Items May be Eligible FSA Expenses
Now that summer is nearly here, you may be asking whether certain items such as sunscreen, sunglasses, or summer camps are eligible Flexible Spending Account (FSA) expenses. Find answers to these and many other coverage questions on ASI’s website. Still not sure? Call ASI at 800-659-3035.

Questions About Your Health Care? BeWell 24/7
Imagine it’s the middle of the night and your child is complaining of an earache. Or, you’re experiencing a new symptom and want to know if you should be concerned. What do you do? Who can you talk to? 
Call BeWell 24/7 at 844-84BEWELL (844-842-3935) any time to be connected to a real person to answer your questions and put your mind at ease. Wellmark’s BeWell 24/7 program provides support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, as part of your State of Iowa health insurance coverage.
BeWell 24/7 provides services for members who need:

  • Nurse support - trusted, immediate insight about a variety of health-related concerns.
  • Decision support - support from a registered nurse about medical treatments, tests and procedures to help members make the best health care decisions.
  • Health advocacy - personalized help coordinating care, locating specialists, scheduling home-care services, and more.

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Health and Well-Being

Today is SEHARC Get Active Day!
Festivities begin at 11:00 a.m. today, Tuesday, June 14, (Parking Lot 15, north of the Lucas Building) for the State of Iowa Employee Health and Recreation Committee (SEHARC) Get Active Day! Activities include:

  • Health, Wellness, and Entertainment Opportunities - Back for the first time since 2019! Visit participating event partners from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. for health, wellness, and entertainment opportunities: Delta Dental, Des Moines Buccaneers, Des Moines Community Playhouse, Fitness World, Fleet Feet, Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy, Life Serve Blood Center, QuitLine, Trail Point in Ankeny, Vero Chiropractic, and Wellmark. 
  • Capitol Complex Farmers Market Opening Day! - Get it while it's FRESH! Support approved Iowa farmers, growers and vendors selling eggs, garden fresh produce, tree seedlings, plants, pieces of artwork, as well as CBD oil and balm. The Market will be open 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. every Tuesday through September 27, 2022. 
  • Mobile Food Vendors - Hungry? Check out the Complex Food Truck Zone for daily lunch or snack options at one of your favorite trucks - 6:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m., now through December 30, 2022.

Additional SEHARC discounts and events include:

  • SEHARC Night at the Iowa Cubs Friday, July 1, at 7:05 p.m. The deadline to sign up is Friday, June 17, at 3:30 p.m.
  • Adventureland ticket discounts 

Are you interested in receiving information from SEHARC right in your inbox? Complete this form to be added to SEHARC's mailing list. To learn more or connect with the committee, please send an email to or follow them on Facebook!

Five Tips to Help Prevent Computer Eye Strain
In today’s work world, it’s difficult to pinpoint jobs that don’t involve extended periods of time in front of a digital screen, at least on occasion. If you’re not careful, this screen time can damage your vision and cause unnecessary discomfort like headaches and neck pain. Get great information about protecting your eye health from DeltaVision with Break Time: 5 Tips to Prevent Digital Eye Strain.

How to Safely Dispose of Unused Medications
Are unused prescription medications cluttering your bathroom medicine cabinet? If you’ve been hanging on to old prescriptions, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield has some great advice about how to safely get rid of them. Read Unused Drugs Cluttering Your Cabinet? for more information.

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:  Getting a Good Night's Sleep - Explore strategies to start a healthy bedtime routine to help you reduce stress and improve your well-being.
  • Available June 21: Finding Yourself Through Nature - Discover the importance of being outside and find your own way to enjoy nature and increase your well-being.

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

From the Retirement Investors' Club (RIC) Team

  • Getting a pay increase?
    Consider what that increase will buy you today. Now consider what it will buy in 10 or 20 years if you invest it in your RIC 457 account. The value of the additional contribution amount, invested in the market over 10-20 years, can help to provide additional income in retirement when you need it most.
  • Want to increase your contribution?
    Log into Workday and use this handy Smart Guide to direct you through the process. If you have questions about how a 1% increase will affect your take-home pay, contact us.
  • 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 deductions. The State pays match contributions up to $75 per month. The total annual match allows you to invest an extra $900 per year toward future income needs. 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, June 21, 1:00 p.m. - RIC Ready to Retire and Take Income
  • Tuesday, July 12, 1:00 p.m. - RIC Introduction and Enrollment

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 click "Register." 

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

What do volatile markets mean for your retirement?
When the markets begin to slide, one of the first things people are often tempted to do is check their retirement account balance. After all, for many Americans that’s where most of our wealth sits. But how we react to what we see can greatly affect that account balance in the future. Learn more



Putting pay increases to work
Each time your income is tuned up, you should consider tuning up your retirement savings too. If you contribute half of any salary increase to your RIC 457 Deferred Compensation Plan, you can increase your savings rate and still have money left over.

  • Why it’s important - When combined with other savings and any pension you may receive, the RIC 457 Plan may provide income you need for retirement and help you to enjoy a more financially secure future.
  • Tune up your retirement savings - As an incentive, the State of Iowa offers a generous matching contribution. Here is how it works: If you contribute to the RIC 457 Plan, your employer will match $1 for every $1 you save, up to $75 each month. Max the match and do not leave money behind!
  • Make the most of it - Look at these four scenarios to get the most money through RIC for your retirement savings*:
If you contribute to the 457(b) monthly $0 $25 $50 $75

The State will add . . .

$0 $25 $50 $75

Total saved for retirement each MONTH . . .

$0 $50 $100 $150

Total saved for retirement each YEAR . . . 

$0 $600 $1,200 $1,800

*For illustrative purposes only.

  • Take action now - Call Empower at 1-833-999-IOWA (4692) to get started. You can also request help from an Empower advisor in your area. Visit Empower’s Iowa RIC website for more information about the Iowa Retirement Investors’ Club program.

Is it time to mix it up?
When you shop at the grocery store, you typically don’t leave with just one item. You fill your cart with different things like produce, dairy, meat, etc. When you mix it up, you’re essentially diversifying. Click here to learn why diversification is important - especially when it comes to investing in your retirement plan. To discuss the benefits of diversification, contact your local Horace Mann representative today.

Think your online Iowa Retirement Investors' Club (RIC) Retirement Plan account is just for checking your balance? Think again.

  • Whatcha got? Check your balance and make changes to your contribution rate and investments.
  • On track? Use myOrangeMoney® to see how much money you'll need in retirement and whether you're on track.
  • Get an assessment Get a holistic health check, take a financial wellness assessment, and improve your money habits.
  • Paperless is more Sign up for simple and safe e-delivery so you can help save the environment while you save more securely.
  • Text with us Sign up to receive text messages so we can keep you updated on opportunities to help you stay on track to reach your financial goals.

When you log in to your retirement plan account frequently, you can do so much more than just see your balance. Log in to your account now at

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Education Opportunities

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

July 11, 2022, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Virtual
Certificate Series: Leadership Capacity Building Development Certificate (LCBDC)

Budgeting is an integral part of most management decisions and is the cornerstone of management and government performance.This course provides Managers with a basic understanding of the budgeting process as well as the fundamentals of the statutory framework agencies must work within as they strive to sustain core services.
Generational Diversity
July 12, 2022, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., In person
Certificate Series: Talent Development Certificate (TDC)

This course is designed for all State employees, walking participants through what was happening in history during each generation’s formative years. Participants will discuss how historical events shaped each generation’s view of the world to gain insight into what each generation values and how best to identify with diverse generations.
Leading Through Change
July 27, 2022, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., In person
Certificate Series: Management Development Certificate (MDC)

This course is designed for seasoned leaders and Managers to assist employees going through organizational change. The four-step change process will be broken down step by step so leaders will be able to guide employees through change, understand that people view change through differing viewpoints, learn action steps for change, and recognize what employees need to be successful through workplace changes.

Sign up for these and other courses online today! Log in to the Learnsoft LMS application. 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, On-Demand, and Software Crash Courses
Computer training courses are offered by New Horizons, including exciting laser-focused 90-minute Crash Courses. 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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