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HRExpress - November 2021


November 2021    

In this Edition ...

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

Iowa WorkSmart Project

Resource Update
Check out the latest Workday resource materials:

  • In anticipation of the upcoming holidays, Wanda’s Workday Tips & Tricks features holiday reporting for payroll. For other Tips and Tricks topics, check out the Wanda WorkSmart webpage.
  • Employee FAQs for Workday HCM have been updated for November, including additional information regarding FMLA and new Garnishment worklet. 
  • As a reminder, the WorkSmart Training Catalog is your one-stop-shop for Workday resources, including video snippets. Resources are updated and added often, so bookmark this page for future reference.

Iowa WorkSmart Project - Phase 2 Update
Phase 2 of the Iowa WorkSmart Project - Workday Financial (FIN) - is currently in the Architect Stage, where the Workday system is designed. FIN covers a wide scope of functional areas, including Financial Accounting, Budgeting (Control), Accounts Payable (Supplier Accounts), Accounts Receivable (Customer Accounts), Banking and Settlement, Business Assets, Procurement, Projects, Grant Management, and Expenses. Read more in the most recent issue of Smart Talk bulletin.

For Workday Support and WorkSmart Project Information
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

Smokers and Vapers: Maybe It’s Time for a Breath of Fresh Air
About 70% of smokers say they want to quit. Kicking a nicotine habit is hard, but it’s also achievable if you take it one day at a time. Taking advantage of free tobacco cessation resources available with your State of Iowa health benefits can help. Read more from Wellmark

Your Supplemental Life Insurance and Evidence of Insurability
Did you elect to increase your supplemental life insurance during the recent Open Enrollment period? If so, don’t forget to complete the Evidence of Insurability (EOI) online before December 28, 2021.

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

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.

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

November is Diabetes Awareness Month
More than 30 million Americans have diabetes, and one in four doesn’t even know it, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Sadly, in the last 20 years, the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than doubled as the American population has aged and become more overweight or obese.
This high incidence of diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States, contributing to stroke, heart disease, chronic kidney disease, nerve damage, and more. Depending on your age, weight, family history, and other factors, you may be at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Fortunately, making healthy lifestyle changes can greatly lower your risk of complications from the disease or of developing diabetes in the first place. In short, there are three important ways to do this:

  • Watch your weight
  • Eat healthy
  • Get more physical activity

For more specific information on diabetes care and prevention, visit the CDC website.

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: Caring for Our Elders - Find out more about the aging process and how to practically and emotionally care for elderly relatives.
  • 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.

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

IRS 457 Contributions Going Up for 2022!
The Iowa Retirement Investors' Club (RIC) is our voluntary retirement savings program allowing you to set aside a portion of your salary for use as income in retirement along with your IPERS and Social Security. Through automatic payroll deduction, you choose how much to save per paycheck up to the IRS maximum annual limits.

Year Regular Limit Age 50+ Limit 3-Year Catch-Up Limit
2022 $20,500 $27,000 $41,000
2021 $19,500 $26,000 $39,000

**Existing participants:
If you want to change your contributions for January 2022, you must elect the change in Workday no later than December 31, 2021.

Will IPERS Be Enough?
Watch this short video Is IPERS Enough? to learn how much money you might need to save in order to prepare for a secure retirement.
IPERS and Social Security are only part of your retirement savings plan. Make sure you also have a personal savings plan such as the State of Iowa Retirement Investors’ Club (RIC)

Changing RIC Payroll Deductions in Workday
Retirement Investors’ Club (RIC) payroll deduction changes are allowed at any time in Workday. You may:

  • Decide how your deductions will be taxed (pre tax or Roth, or both) 
  • Change your deduction amount (either a percentage of your pay or a specific dollar amount) 
  • Choose the frequency of your deductions

Use this handy Smart Guide to direct you through the process in Workday.
Some RIC processes cannot take place in Workday. You will need to:  

Please go to the RIC website for more information or 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.

No better time!
Whether you’re just starting your career journey, closing in on retirement, or somewhere in between, make sure you’re saving enough to be FutureFIT for life.
NOW is a great time to review your savings efforts and future income needs to see if you’re on track to meet your financial goals. Simply click on your career stage below to learn more about the tools and resources available to help guide your savings journey.

Contact an AIG advisor for questions about investments, retirement planning or enrollment today.



It’s time for you to make the next move toward your financial future
When it comes to your investment strategy, you can choose from a variety of investment categories offered by the RIC program to fill the right boxes for your financial future. Whether you’re a novice investor, an expert, or somewhere in between, you can build a diversified portfolio based on your needs. 
Here are a few things to consider as you create your investment strategy: 

  • What is your retirement income goal?
  • How much risk are you willing to take?
  • When do you expect to retire?

Watch this fun Empower Retirement Investment Education video.
Need help with your next move?  Call Empower at 800-743-5274 or you can request help from an Empower advisor in your area. You may also visit Empower’s Iowa RIC website to make investment changes or to learn more about the Iowa Retirement Investors’ Club program.

Budgeting now for your future
You work hard for your money, and it should work hard for you. Have you created your household budget? Doing so can help you establish and reinforce good habits to help you reach your financial goals. Click here to get started.
Don't forget to factor in retirement savings – it’s an important part of your future.
Save early and often
If you begin saving early, the power of compounding earnings can help pad your nest egg even more. If you haven’t already, consider enrolling in Horace Mann Retirement Advantage®, available through the RIC program.
If you’ve already enrolled, consider increasing your monthly contribution? Even just a few dollars may make a difference in the long run.
Questions? Contact your local Horace Mann representative. We leave no question unanswered.

It’s your future, just fund it
Retirement will likely be expensive and saving for it can be challenging – but essential. Now is a great time to develop healthier savings habits so you can retire well. 

  • Imagine what your life will be like in retirement. When do you want to retire? How much income will be enough?
  • Work with Voya’s resources to get you where you want to go.
  • Plan to get started by mapping out future day-to-day expenses and with myOrangeMoney®, you can estimate online how much income you’ll need in retirement.
  • Protect yourself and your potential income with insurance, healthcare and estate planning.
  • Organize, save and invest. Consider building a budget, paying down debt, saving more for unexpected emergencies, and maxing out your retirement savings contributions.

Take concrete steps NOW to save more through your Iowa Retirement Investors' Club (RIC) Retirement plan. Remember, it’s your future – just fund it. 
Save for your future today at

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

New! Online Safety Training Courses Available 
Performance & Development Solutions (PDS) now offers more than 80 on-demand online safety courses available for State agencies and employees. Online topics range from Asbestos Awareness and Bloodborne Pathogens to Combustible Dust and more. Course offerings also include regulatory topics of interest for general industry, environmental work, construction worksites, and health care facilities.
To view or sign up for the training courses, log in to Okta at to access the Learnsoft LMS application. Once in the LMS, use the Search function to find the Course Catalog. Click on Catalog to expand all folders. Next, select the DAS Catalog by clicking the + button, and look for the subfolder named DAS Safety. Click the box next to DAS Safety and a checkmark will appear. Choose your course(s).  
The cost is $10 per course for participating agencies. Simply sign up online through the LMS today. Once your supervisor approves, you will be ready to begin your online safety training course. If you have any questions, reach out to your Training Liaison or the PDS inbox.

New 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.

Enhance Your Skills with Featured PDS Courses
Here are the featured courses for the upcoming month, offered by PDS:

  • Creative Thinking - December 1, 2021 - 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

As Albert Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.’’ Work settings are rapidly changing, associates are moving into new roles, and associates at all levels are facing an increasingly complex flow of information.This means that associates must make decisions quickly, and the decisions have to be good ones.This course will focus on learning how to generate creative ideas and solutions using practical thinking and problem-solving tools.

  • Generational Diversity - December 1, 2021 - 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

This course is designed for all State employees, exploring  what was happening in history during each generation’s formative years. Participants will discuss how historical events shaped each generation’s paradigm of the world to gain insight into what each generation values and how best to identify with people of all ages. 

  • Strategies for Work/Life Balance - December 8 (Day 1) 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

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? The Windshield and the Rearview Mirror process provides employees with a variety of strategies that will support them in determining their priorities and how to spend their time, resulting in a newfound peace of mind. Participants will learn how to transform ideas into action and enjoy a lifetime of satisfaction! Group coaching is offered as a part of this very interactive workshop. 

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
    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

Thank you!