News and Announcements
Washington Long Term Care Tax Information
In 2019 Washington State lawmakers approved a long-term care (LTC) benefit for eligible Washingtonians, which will be funded by the Long-Term Services and Support Trust Fund.
Beginning January 2022, a .58% payroll tax will be collected from all Washington state employees to fund the Long-Term Services and Support Trust Fund (LTSS) and administered through the Employment Security Department (ESD).
Please Note: This benefit will not be administered by EWU; this information is provided as a courtesy. Please visit WA Cares Fund for additional information. The state is currently writing the rules associated with this benefit; additional information will be posted as it becomes available.
Funding the Benefit: Starting January 2022, a .58% payroll tax will be collected from all Washington state employees and placed into the LTSS Trust to fund future benefits. There is no identified salary cap on which the deduction will be taken.
LTC Benefit: Starting as early as January 2025, a lifetime $36,500 benefit will be available to address a wide range of long-term services and support.
Exemption from Paying the Tax: If you have a private LTC policy, you can request an exemption from the LTC tax deduction from ESD. Exercising an exemption will also prevent you from being eligible for the state’s LTC benefit. An application for exemption to ESD (currently pending) can be submitted starting October 1, 2021 through December 31, 2022; the alternative coverage must be in place by November 1, 2021. Those who apply and are approved for the exemption will not be able to opt back into the program at a future time. The exemption process is through the WA Cares Fund, administered by Employment Security Department (ESD).
Individuals who do not reside in Washington, or do not plan to work long enough to be vested for the benefit, or are looking for coverage with a higher benefit limit and/or lower premium cost, may wish to investigate purchasing a private LTC policy.
*If you are approved for an exemption by ESD, it is your responsibility to provide Payroll with a copy of your exemption letter. Exemptions will take effect the quarter after your application is approved and payroll has received a copy of your exemption letter.
TIAA Consulting Appointments are Available Virtually or by Phone!
Appointments are available to meet with EWU’s TIAA financial consultant who can help you create a plan or get you started planning for retirement savings. This is a free service to you! Get answers to questions such as:
- Are my investments a right mix to meet retirement goals?
- Am I saving enough for retirement?
- How will I take income from my account when I stop working?
You can schedule an online appointment with a TIAA Financial Consultant. Just click this link www.tiaa.org/schedulenow choose “Your Employer” then “Washington” then "Eastern Washington University" and you will be able to see all of the available dates and times. Braden Danielson is the consultant that is intimately familiar with EWU’s plan. Or you can always call 1.800.732.8353 to make an appointment.
These sessions are available to all employees who participate in TIAA as a retirement plan or through the Voluntary Investment Plan.
Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) Live Webinars!
New! Live retirement webinars for DRS members and DCP participants. See available webinars.
Find out more about your retirement plan and benefits at a time and place that is convenient for you. Webinar topics include:
- Plan 2 or Plan 3 resources and questions about which plan is right for you.
- The fundamentals of your retirement plan: Contributions, benefits, investment selections (Plan 3), retirement requirements and options.
- How DCP can help you save more for retirement
- AND MUCH MORE!
- Washington State Deferred Compensation Program (DCP)
- DCP Distributions
- Plan Choice (Plan 2 or Plan 3)
- Plan 2: PERS, TRS, SERS
- Plan 2: LEOFF, WSPRS, PSERS
- Plan 3: PERS, TRS, SERS
- Plan 3 Distributions
- Purchasing an Additional Benefit
- Early Retirement (PERS, SERS, TRS)
- Getting Ready for Retirement
- Applying for Retirement
- Benefit Payment Options at Retirement
- Returning to Work After Retirement
- Nearing Retirement Seminar (webinar version)
- Medicare (guest speaker from SHIBA)
Please see the webinar schedule for the link to join the webinar, and to review the full webinar schedule for additional webinars, dates and times. It is recommended that you log into the webinar 10-15 minutes in advance to test connection and sound. Please review how to join a DRS Webinar for tips on accessing the webinar, audio, and sending questions. For login or audio assistance, please call 360.664.7930. Please be aware the audio comes through your computer so you’ll need speakers or a headset. The webinars are not recorded.
Unable to attend a webinar? While the webinars are not recorded, many of the topics are available in the video library by scrolling the video page of the DRS website. If you are a member of one of the following plan 1 systems, you can watch an online video about your plan: Retiring from PERS Plan 1 or Retiring from TRS Plan 1
Important health care information regarding Premium Assistance under Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Washington Apple Health for Adults and Children
SmartHealth is Washington State's voluntary wellness program that supports you on your journey toward living well. As you progress on your wellness journey, you can also qualify for rewards. Learn more by watching the SmartHealth stories video.
New to SmartHealth? Watch the new SmartHealth How-to Video
Have fun. Earn rewards. Complete the SmartHealth Well-being Assessment to earn a $25 Amazon gift card.
The assessment only takes about 15 minutes, personalizes your SmartHealth experience, and is the first step toward qualifying for the $125 wellness incentive. Learn more about SmartHealth for details.
Medical Flexible Spending Arrangement
Questions and Answers
Are you an employee represented by Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) who will be making $50,004 a year or less on November 1, 2020?
- If you meet these criteria, you will receive a $250 Medical FSA contribution from your employer in January 2021. This contribution will not come out of your paycheck. You will receive it even if you don't enroll in the Medical FSA for 2021.
- However, if you enroll in a CDHP with an HSA or waive PEBB medical coverage (except to enroll as a dependent on another PEBB account), you cannot receive the $250 contribution. This benefit was negotiated by the State of Washington in the September 2018 Health Care collective bargaining agreement.
- If you are found to be eligible for this benefit and enroll in a Medical FSA for 2020, the $250 will be added to your account in January. If you are eligible but do not enroll in a Medical FSA, Navia Benefit Solutions will open an account for you and send you a welcome letter with a debit card loaded with $250.
- If you have questions about this employer-paid benefit, please contact your benefits office.