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HRExpress - October 2021


October 2021    

In this Edition ...

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

Iowa WorkSmart Project

Welcome to Workday!
In September the State of Iowa launched Workday for human resources and employee self-service functions. As the WorkSmart Project moves forward, we’ll continue to provide information for Workday users and regular updates on Phase 2 of the Iowa WorkSmart Project - Workday Financial (FIN). More to come!
NEW - Wanda's Weekly Workday Tips and Tricks
Now that Workday is LIVE, Wanda WorkSmart will be sharing weekly tips and tricks for navigating the system. They are posted on the Wanda WorkSmart web page along with her videos. If you have a topic you would like featured, email    

Resource Update
Check out these new or recently updated resources designed to help you make the most of Workday:

  • NEW Training Resource Catalog - Now you can see all training resources in one convenient location - Job Aids, Smart Guides, Video Snippets, and links to recorded Webinars in the LMS.
  • Workday FAQs - Answers to frequently asked employee questions have been updated and categorized by subject area. 
  • Reporting Crosswalk - For Managers, HR, and Finance staff, the Reporting Crosswalk identifies reports available by functional area and Data Warehouse report for reference.

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

State of Iowa Benefits

Online Open Enrollment - Now through October 29 in Workday!
The Open Enrollment period is your opportunity to review your current State of Iowa benefit coverage and make changes. If you wish to make payroll contributions to the flexible spending account program for 2022, you must enroll. This year, the process has changed and will be done through the newly-implemented Workday system for most State of Iowa employees. 

Several resources are available to you help you through the process in Workday: 

Please note: If you do not make any changes to your health/dental elections during Open Enrollment this year, the previous election effective date of 1/1/2021 will display in Workday. The Flexible Spending Account (FSA) effective date will reflect 1/1/2022 because you must re-enroll each year.

DOT employees will complete Open Enrollment in their own Workday tenant. For additional guidance, DOT employees should refer to their DOT Job Aid for instructions.

If you have questions about the Open Enrollment process, please contact your Human Resource Associate. For support with Workday, refer to the Go Live Support Chart.

DAS Leave Administration Team Answers Leave Process Questions
Since  Workday Go Live, the DAS Leave Administration Team has  answered many questions regarding new leave processes. A few of the most common are below: 

  • My FMLA leave is intermittent. Why does my Workday Absence Calendar look like I am out of the office every day?
    When you already have an approved Leave of Absence, it will show on your Workday Absence Calendar as a green line spanning the entire length of time of the approved leave. It serves as a placeholder to help you more efficiently request your related time off in the future. The line is only visible on your own calendar and for your HR Partner and Supervisor, not your coworkers or other team members.
  • Can I open a brand new FMLA leave of absence on my phone in Workday? 
    Yes! Start on your Profile view with the cloud or picture in the blue bar. You should see three dots that will bring you to a list of Action items. Find “Time and Leave” and you will see the option to “Request Leave of Absence.”  Remember: This process is for starting a whole new leave - not entering dates and hours related to a leave already on your absence calendar.
  • I have been on FMLA for the last six weeks recovering from an illness. Must I have a doctor’s note to return to work? 
    Yes, you must provide your Manager or Human Resources Associate (HRA) with a Return to Work note on or before the date you return.

If you have a specific Leave of Absence question, please feel free to email us at If your question is Workday related, check out the Go Live Support Chart first.

Dental Benefits: Out-of-Pocket Costs Explained
Dental benefits are designed to save you money. Understanding your benefits can help make sure you are getting the most from your plan. Delta Dental explains how your dental coverage works and what out-of-pocket expenses you may encounter. 

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Health and Well-Being

One Gift Campaign Underway Through October 29 - Iowans Helping Iowans
The One Gift Program gives State of Iowa employees the opportunity to contribute to participating charitable agencies through payroll deduction. More than 350 charitable agencies offer much-needed assistance to Iowans throughout the state. When you contribute to the One Gift Program, your donation stays in Iowa, where it helps your neighbors, friends, and family.
To make a pledge during our annual campaign, simply submit it online in Workday by October 29! Follow the step-by-step instructions in the One Gift Smart Guide. A paper pledge form is available for those without computer or Workday access. (See How to Pledge.) If you have further questions regarding the annual One Gift Program, please contact your One Gift Liaison. Together, we can make a difference!

Six Tips to Help You Be Your Mental Best
If you’ve felt unusually anxious or depressed in recent months, you’re not alone. October 10 was World Mental Health Day, making this month a great time to reflect on your own mental wellness and make sure you’re practicing good self care. Read this Wellmark article to discover common symptoms of mental health concerns, as well as things you can do to improve your outlook and stay your mental best.

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. 

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.

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

  • Available now: Embracing Diversity and Differences - Learn about how to live and work in a way that is respectful, kind, and embraces diversity in all walks of life.
  • Available November 16: Caring for Our Elders - Find out more about the aging process and how to practically and emotionally care for elderly relatives.

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

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Retirement Savings

Retirement Investors’ Club - New Option to Save a Percent of Pay!
With Workday comes a new option to have a percentage of your gross pay automatically deducted and invested in your RIC 457 plans, allowing you to better keep on track to reach your retirement goals.
Now is a great time to visit with your RIC advisor to discuss what percentage of pay is needed to meet your specific goals. They can do projections to show if you are on target to retire when you want.

To change your payroll deductions from a dollar amount to a percentage follow these steps in Workday. If you have questions, please contact RIC.

Changing RIC Payroll Deductions in Workday
Retirement Investors’ Club (RIC) payroll deduction changes are allowed at any time. If you would like to change the amount, taxation (pre tax or Roth), or frequency of your deductions, log into Workday. Use this handy Smart Guide to direct you through the process.

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.

National Retirement Security Month
Whether you’re just starting your career, closing in on retirement, or somewhere in between, make sure you’re saving enough to be FutureFIT for life.

National Retirement Security Month is a great time to review your plans to see if you’re on track to meet your financial goals. Follow the AIG link and simply click on your career stage to learn more about the tools and resources available to help guide your savings journey.   



Be Sure You Designate a Savings Plan Beneficiary
Not only do you want to enroll or save more in your Retirement Investors’ Club (RIC) 457 and 401a Plans, you also want to ensure you have named at least one beneficiary for each plan. Do not overlook this important step! 
Your retirement plan beneficiary is the person or entity who will receive your remaining retirement account balance when you pass away. You can name the same beneficiary for both plans or name a different person/entity for each plan.
Name or update your beneficiary now by:

  • Downloading a beneficiary form here or by visiting the Empower’s Iowa RIC website under “Changes” 
  • Completing the form
  • Mailing the form to Empower (formerly MassMutual), PO Box 219062, Kansas City MO 64121-9062) or faxing it to 816-701-8005

If you have questions, call Empower at 800-743-5274 or visit Empower’s Iowa RIC website for more information about the Iowa Retirement Investors’ Club program.

What Do Bread and Retirement Have in Common?
Most bread needs time to rise and so do most retirement accounts. The sooner you start saving for retirement, the more time your money will have to grow in value. One of the best places to save for retirement is through the State of Iowa Retirement Investors’ Club. It offers many benefits, such as: 

  • Convenience with automatic payroll reduction
  • An immediate tax break by saving with pre-tax dollars
  • A broader range of investments

Give your dough time to rise. Enroll the Retirement Investors’ Club today!

Already Enrolled?
Use this savings calculator to see how increasing your contribution, even by a little, could significantly raise your retirement income. Log into your account or contact your local Horace Mann representative to increase your contribution today.

How Much Income Will You Need in Retirement?
It is a good idea to consider what your life will be like in retirement. When do you want to retire? How much will you need to get there? myOrangeMoney®, an interactive, online experience can show you how your current retirement assets may translate into future potential monthly income in retirement so you can better determine when you can retire.

Start by logging in to your account at Under the orange money dollar bill, go to the About Me section and personalize the myOrangeMoney experience. Then gather information about all of your income sources and assets such as retirement plans through former employers, pensions, and other savings. Change the dropdown box above the orange money dollar bill to ‘Let’s talk about your other retirement savings and income’ and add those additional income sources.

The more information you provide for the myOrangeMoney experience, the better you will be able to estimate your future monthly income and how it compares to what you’ll need to retire well.

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!

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. 

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Education Opportunities

NEW: Access the Learning Management System (LMS) via Okta
The Learnsoft Learning Management System (LMS) moved to Okta on October 15, 2021. Okta makes accessing the LMS easy - simply log into the Okta dashboard ( to access Workday, the LMS, and any of your work applications with the click of a button. This means you’ll no longer need to remember different website URLs or the username and password for each individual account.

  • What is the LMS?
    This is the platform used to house employee training records and sign up for courses offered by DAS Performance and Development Solutions (PDS) and your agency.
  • How do I get started?
    Simply login to Okta and you’ll see all of your State of Iowa applications in one place. For assistance, refer to these simple step-by-step instructions
  • What if I need more help?
    Visit or contact the OCIO Service Desk at 800-532-1174 or 515-281-5703 for additional assistance.

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!