New Employees

Welcome to the University of Wisconsin System! Employee benefits make up an important part of your total compensation package. To make the most of your benefits you need to know what’s available to you and when you can enroll. You must enroll in most benefits within the first 30 days of employment. If you do not enroll in benefits when first eligible, you have limited chances to enroll in the future.

What’s in My Benefits Package?

Benefits vary according to your appointment type. Refer to your appointment letter to confirm your appointment type. You can also read about appointment types on the Employee Categories page.

For detailed information about benefits available to you, see the benefit summary and orientation that applies to you.

Benefit Summaries

New Employee Orientations

There are two benefit packages available depending on whether or not you are covered by the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS).

Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) Benefit Package

Classified Employees

Classified employees must be covered by the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) in order to be eligible for benefits.

Classified employees are eligible for insurance benefits if:

  • You first became a WRS participating employee on or after July 1, 2011 and you are expected to work at least 2/3 of full-time for at least one year - 2/3 of full-time is equal to 1,200 hours worked per year (58% appointment); or
  • You first became a WRS participating employee prior to July 1, 2011 and you are expected to work at least 1/3 of full-time for at least one year - 1/3 of full-time is equal to 600 hours worked per year (29% appointment).

Unclassified Faculty, Academic Staff and Limited Appointees

Unclassified Faculty, Academic Staff and Limited appointees are eligible for insurance benefits if:

  • You first became a WRS participating employee on or after July 1, 2011 and you are expected to work at least 2/3 of full-time for at least one year - 2/3 of full time is equal to 880 hours worked per year (42% appointment for twelve-month employees and 56% appointment for nine-month employee); or
  • You first became a WRS participating employee prior to July 1, 2011 and you are expected to work at least 1/3 of full-time for at least one year - 1/3 of full time is equal to 440 hours worked per year (21% appointment for twelve-month employees and 28% appointment for nine-month employee).

If you do not qualify for the Wisconsin Retirement System, you may be eligible for benefits under the Graduate Assistant Benefit Package.

Graduate Assistant Benefit Package

Short-Term Academic Staff

If not covered under the WRS, you are eligible for insurance benefits if expected to work:

  • At least 21% for at least six months if you are a twelve-month employee; or
  • At least 28% for at least one semester if you are a nine-month employee.

Student Assistants

Must be in one of the following titles: Research Assistant, Fellow, Advanced Opportunity Fellow, Scholar, Trainee, Teaching Assistant, Project Assistant or Program Assistant, and be expected to work at least 33% time:

  • For at least six months if you are a twelve-month employee; or
  • For at least one semester if you are a nine-month employee.

Employees-in-Training

Must be in one of the following titles: Grad Intern/Trainee, Postdoc Fellow, Postdoc Trainee, Postgrad Trainee (1-7), Intern (non-physician), Research Intern or Research Associate, and be expected to work at least 33% time:

  • For at least six months if you are a twelve-month employee; or
  • For at least one semester if you are a nine-month employee.

Benefit enrollment deadlines are extremely important when you are a new employee. Many benefits only offer a 30-day enrollment opportunity. Please choose your employee type below to see your enrollment deadlines.