BSC Solution Source Newsletter

June 2013

In this issue:

  • Benefits Annual Enrollment
  • TRS Retirement Credit Purchase Deadline
  • Departments Encouraged to Use CTP
  • ePAR Ready for Implementation
  • Unrelated Business Income Reminder
  • Hourly Payroll Deadlines
  • Co-op Spotlight – National Joint Powers Alliance
  • June-July Training Opportunities
  • BSC Offices Closed July 4


Human Resources

ERS Annual Enrollment Dates

Annual Enrollment for the Employee Retirement System of Texas will be July 22 through August 4, 2013.

In July, UNT System employees will receive the Annual Enrollment packet, which includes information on benefits, Annual Enrollment choices, and the Annual Enrollment dates. Employees should receive the Annual Enrollment packet at least one week before the enrollment period starts.

Employees will have several ways to make benefit changes, including:

  • signing in to their online account on the ERS website,
  • contacting the UNT System HR Contact Center at 855-878-7650, or
  • calling ERS directly at 877-275-4377.

ERS Board of Trustees Adopts Plan Year 2014 Member Contribution Rates

The ERS Board of Trustees has adopted Plan Year 2014 rates for the health, dental, life, Voluntary Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D), and disability plans.

Contribution rates for health insurance are set based on funding provided by the Texas Legislature. With the 83rd Texas Legislature still in session, and no final approved appropriation, the ERS board of Trustees adopted Plan Year 2014 health insurance rates at a level not to exceed the anticipated funding increase of seven percent. This increase is expected to adequately support health plan costs through the next plan year under the current benefit structure. The Board of Trustees granted authority to the ERS Executive Director to lower the adopted contribution rates should the final appropriation be lower than anticipated, or it is determined that lower rates can support the health plan and current benefits. The health insurance contribution rates are expected to be finalized sometime in June.

Individuals enrolled in the State of Texas Dental Choice Plan will experience no increase in their monthly member contribution rates, while those enrolled in the HumanaDental DHMO will pay approximately seven percent more during Plan Year 2014. The increases for HumanaDental DHMO participants will range from 60 cents for member-only coverage to $1.83 for spouse and children coverage.

There will be no change in the monthly cost for Life Insurance and Voluntary AD&D coverage, and no change in the cost for Long-term Disability coverage. However it was necessary to increase rates for Short-term Disability coverage. Persons enrolled in the Short-term Disability plan will experience an increase in monthly cost of four cents per $100 of monthly covered salary.

Please note that the medical insurance premiums listed on the below rate sheet are ERS best estimates based on the latest information available. Premiums could change between now and September 1, 2013, however, the final rates for plan year 2014 will not exceed those listed. ERS will notify you as soon as possible if there are changes.

Click here to download the ERS Rate Sheet

Deadline Set for Purchasing TRS Credit at Lower Cost

Employees contributing to TRS will have until August 31, 2013, to purchase service credit at the old, lower cost, provided certain requirements are met.

Purchasing service credit is a beneficial way for employees to gain service years toward retirement. If any employees are interested in purchasing service credit, they will need to contact TRS at 1-800-223-8778 in order to discuss the eligibility requirements, the type of service that will be available to purchase, and the payment options.


Payments

Departments Encouraged to Use CTP for Travel Booking

As a reminder, the UNT System Business Service Center (BSC) has contracted with Corporate Travel Planners (CTP) to serve as the preferred vendor for advance travel planning. In addition to the convenience CTP provides, using the preferred vendor alleviates paperwork submission required to pay for advance travel, and increases the level of customer service offered to travelers with a dedicated customer service manager.

“CTP provides a “one-stop-shop” for any travel needs UNT System staff and faculty would have,” Susan Sims, BSC Director of Payments, said. “Also, travel rates are lower, and it features online approval and booking.”

By using the CTP booking tool, UNT System employees can take advantage of rental car agreements with Avis, Budget, Enterprise, and National; and can take advantage of booking air travel with American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines.

Through the use of this booking tool, travel complexities are handled rapidly, efficiently and with greater control than manual methods. Also, by using CTP as the preferred vendor, UNT System travelers are ensured direct access to a dedicated customer service manager who understands UNT System travel needs, preferences, and travel policy.

Training regarding the CTP tool was conducted in May. To view a recording of the training, access http://bsc.untsystem.edu/training-ctp-online-booking-tool.

For questions regarding travel planning, call the BSC at 940-369-5500, toll free to 855-868-4357, or via email to bsc@untsystem.edu.

(Pictured Above) Training for using the Corporate Travel Planners online travel booking tool was hosted in May for UNT System administrative personnel.


Payroll

ePAR Ready for System-wide Use

What is ePAR?

ePAR stands for electronic Payroll Action Request and will replace the paper HRM forms.  Over 11,000 transactions have been processed through ePAR since September 2012 and we have received great feedback on its ease of use and effectiveness.  We are now ready to roll it out to all departments within the UNT System.  The goal is to eliminate the use of paper HRM forms for employee-related transactions after September 1, 2013.

What types of transactions can I process through ePAR?

The following transactions can be processed via ePAR:

  • all hires (single or multiple jobs)
  • terminations
  • funding changes
  • promotions, demotions, transfers
  • salary changes
  • additional pay (non-base pay) adjustments
  • FTE changes
  • Intra-department position transfers
  • Changes to the employment status (i.e. placing an employee on  leave with pay, leave without pay or short work break and returning an employee  from leave or short work break.

What types of transaction can I NOT process through ePAR?

The following transactions cannot be processed through ePAR at this time, but they are coming soon:

  • Inter-department position transfers
  • Creation of new positions
  • Changes to vacant position data (e.g. title, salary, FTE, funding, etc.) for vacant positions
  • Request to make lump sum leave payouts (i.e. comp time, vacation, or death sick leave benefits)
  • Request to post a vacant position

How do I get signed up to access ePAR?

Register for one of the following training classes.

UNT:

  • BSC Training Room, June 17, 2013  1-2:30 pm
    BSC Training Room, July 11, 2013 1-2:30 pm
  • UNT Health Science Center:
    CBH-230, June 27, 2013 10-11:30
    Beyer, RES-114, July 22, 2013 10-11:30
  • UNT Dallas:
    Bldg. 1, 201D, June 21, 2013 9:30-12:00

If I have questions, what do I do?

You may contact the BSC:

You may also access the BSC ePAR website to find helpful resources (e.g. training guides) at http://bsc.untsystem.edu/epar.

We are very excited to finally solve a decade old  problem for our UNT System customers with ePAR that will show many rewards in increased productivity, increased cost-savings in time and money and reduced mistakes due to data entry, lost forms, etc.

Unrelated Business Income Reminder

This reminder is directed to anyone who is responsible for an activity which generates revenue (other than tuition and fees) for the University of North Texas (UNT) or the UNT System Administration.

UNT and UNT System Administration are required to file an annual income tax return (IRS Form 990-T) for any "unrelated business income" generated during the year from September through August.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) defines any income that is: 1) from a trade or business, 2) regularly carried on, 3) and not substantially related to the organization's exempt purpose, to be "unrelated business income." The fact that the revenue is used for related purposes is not relevant to determine whether the revenue is related or not. Generally, this would involve any income that is not derived from education or research activities, although there are exceptions to this. The IRS also provides exclusions for some types of income that would otherwise be considered unrelated.

Specific examples of exclusions involve activities involving a volunteer workforce; goods and services provided for the convenience of the faculty, staff, and students of UNT; qualified sponsorships; and sales of donated merchandise. Other types of income such as dividends, interest, royalties, rents from real property, and income from research are also generally excluded with some exceptions.

If your department generates revenue in addition to ordinary tuition and fees and you have not yet taken any action to report this, please email Carol McFarland, UNT System Business Service Center Tax Accountant, at carol.mcfarland@untsystem.edu to receive a copy of the Unrelated Business Income Tax Questionnaire. Please complete the appropriate sections for any potential unrelated income generated by your department and email the completed form to her.

If it is determined that the income in question is in fact unrelated business income based on the IRS criteria, you will be required to send a report of that income and all related expenses to BSC Payroll no later than November 15 of each year reporting the prior fiscal year's September 1 through August 31 income.

Hourly Payroll Deadlines 

Pay Period

Deadline

Pay Date

6/1/2013 to 6/15/2013

6/25/2013

Monday, July 1, 2013

6/16/13 to 6/30/13

7/9/2013

Monday, July 15, 2013

7/1/13 to 7/15/13

7/26/2013

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Hourly paid employees' time must be in "approved" status by noon on the deadline dates noted above.


Purchasing

Co-op Spotlight – National Joint Powers Alliance

A number of state and privately sponsored buying cooperatives offer special pricing. Purchasing from a cooperative or taking advantage of a state contract may exempt the purchase from bidding requirements. To find a complete list of the cooperative agreements available to the UNT System member institutions, access http://bsc.untsystem.edu/contract-pricing.

Highlighted in this issue is the National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA). NJPA is a public agency, member-driven service cooperative that serves more than 50,000 members. NJPA offers a multitude of contracted products, equipment and service opportunities to education, government and other non-profit entities. NJPA contract purchasing solutions are competitively bid nationally and awarded on members’ behalf. Contracts bring considerable value and efficiencies to members through nationally leveraged contracted suppliers and access to the highest quality products and brands that members prefer and deserve.

To view the NJPA vendor and contract categories, access http://bsc.untsystem.edu/contract-pricing.

FY 13 Year End Deadlines for Procurement Related Items

(ePro Requisitions and Contract Processing)

BSC Deadlines for Submission of ePRO Requisitions Fiscal Year 2013 End

Type of ePro Request

ePro Info

Deadline

Formal Solicitation Requests From FY 13 funds, $25,000 or more

ePRO requisitions in the amount of $25,000 and above that require formal bidding

Friday, June 28, 2013, 5:00pm

Regular and routine ePRO requests with no contracts or agreements from FY 13 funds, less than $25,000

ePRO requisitions for any and all items for the remainder of the fiscal year to be paid from FY 13 funds

Wednesday, August 21, 2013, 5:00pm

Note: Required approvals must be obtained to ensure requisitions arrive in BSC Purchasing on or before the stated deadlines. Requisitions arriving in BSC Purchasing after deadlines will be returned unprocessed and must be changed to Fiscal Year 14 funds and resubmitted.

Contract Processing For Fiscal Year 2013

Agreements or contracts greater than $100,000 from FY 13 funds

Purchasing contracts valued at $100,000 or more must have the contract/agreement attached to the requisition. BSC will obtain the necessary authorized signatures, and then process the requisition.

Friday, August 2, 2013, 5:00pm

Agreements or contracts of less than $100,000 from FY 13 funds

Purchasing contracts valued at less than $100,000 must have the contract/agreement attached to the requisition. BSC will obtain the necessary authorized signatures, and then process the requisition.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013, 5:00pm

Submitting Fiscal Year 2014 ePRO Requisitions

FY 14 funded ePRO requisitions including blanket orders

ePRO requisitions for delivery and invoicing after 9/1/2013 may be entered any time after the deadline.

  • Set Budget Date of the requisition to 9/1/13 from your Details tab on the Define Requisition page 1.
  • Add a statement to the requisition justification: “For delivery and invoicing after 9/01/13”
  • Unless otherwise specified, FY 14 orders will not be released to vendors until after 8/21/13.
  • Add additional comments to your requisition if there is a special need for early release of PO.

Beginning Monday, July 1, 2013

Budget errors will most likely occur when you complete budget checks on your requisition since new-year budgets may not be available in EIS. Please email the Budget Office (see below for your campus) and provide the budget date, DeptID/ProjID number, the requisition number and the total amount of the requisition in your email, indicating the budget checking status is in ERROR. The subject of the email should read “FY2014 Requisition Budget Error.” The Budget Office for your campus will work with you on clearing the error.

Contact the following:

UNT Dallas

Ginnie Cary, Budget Director

Ginnie.Cary@unt.edu

UNT Health Science Center

Gail Hebert, Assoc. Budget Director

HSCBudgetOffice@unthsc.edu

University of North Texas

Brenda Cates, Budget Director

Budget.Office@unt.edu

Contact the Business Service Center at 940-565-5500 or Toll-Free to 855-868-4357 if you need assistance.

HEAF Purchasing Procedure

Higher Education Assistance Funds (HEAF) are state appropriated funds and all purchases must be requisitioned through BSC Purchasing.

The guideline amounts below are for single item costs and not total costs. For example, a printer costing $200 would not qualify for purchase using HEAF, but a $250 project that includes small-dollar parts would.

HEAF dollar limitations and purchasing documentation requirements follow:

$250 or Less

  • Not Permitted (Excluding purchases that are part of a larger project, e.g. construction project)

$250.01-$5,000

  • Department discretion to be exercised
  • No bidding requirement
  • HUB Vendors to be used when possible
  • Tangible Asset purchases must meet all of the following requirements:
    • If an upgrade, must add new or additional functionality
    • Cannot be a replacement part or repair
    • Must have a useful life that exceeds one year
    • Must cost more than $250 per unit (excluding materials classified as library books and materials)

$5,000.01-$24,999

  • A minimum of three informal bids required
  • Two of the bids must be from HUBs
  • Exceptions to be documented

$25,000 and over:

  • Formal solicitation process required
  • Exceptions to be documented
  • Purchase order required
  • Posting on Electronic State Business Daily may be required unless sole-source or proprietary purchase
  • All formal solicitation guidelines must be followed


BSC Notes

June-July Training Opportunities

Course Number

Course Name

Date & Time

UNT Location

Dallas
Location

HSC
Location

UO13AU

Asset Management User Training

June 20,
2013

 

8:30-10:30 a.m.

USB Training Room 138

N/A

N/A

N/A

New Hire Orientation

June 25,
2013

 

8:30 – 11 a.m.

Business Service Center, Room 4202-A

N/A

N/A

N/A

New Hire Orientation

July 9,
2013

 

8:30 – 11 a.m.

Business Service Center, Room 4202-A

N/A

N/A

  • UNT New Hire Orientation: The goal of New Hire Orientation (NHO) is to welcome new employees and help answer many of the questions employees have when starting a new job.  Employees will learn about important policies and procedures as well as gain important information regarding the benefits offered at UNT.   Orientation will also provide tools that employees can use to find answers as a new member of the UNT community. In an effort to make certain we are able to accommodate everyone at NHO registration is strongly encouraged. Reoccurs every two weeks on Tuesday. To sign up for training please click the following link: https://my.unt.edu/psp/papd01/GUEST/ENTP/h/?tab=DEFAULT

  • Asset Management User Training: Staff members that maintain asset information for their department. This course details the responsibilities of the asset user and reporting activities for asset management at UNT. Attendees will learn how to maintain asset information (condition and location) in EIS FS and how to conduct the annual asset inventory required by all departments. Course registration is required. 

More details regarding training opportunities are available online at https://untranet.unt.edu/untsystem/untsbsc/Lists/Calendar/calendar.aspx.

BSC Offices Closed July 4

The UNT System Business Service Center will be closed Thursday, July 4, 2013, in observance of a UNT System-designated holiday.

The BSC will reopen for regular operating hours on Friday, July 5. For a complete list of UNT System and campus holidays, access http://bsc.untsystem.edu/holiday-schedule.

May A-team Meeting Hosted at BSC

(at right) The University of North Texas A-team meeting for Administrative Assistants and Administrative Coordinators was hosted at the UNT System BSC May 23. A video replay of the meeting is available online at http://youtu.be/JODQ0XhPqLg.

Stay Informed

UNT System Business Service Center (BSC) sends updates to employees to announce new programs, changes to procedures, or reminders about deadlines. In order to stay up-to-date with news from the BSC, UNT System employees are encouraged subscribe to BSC Updates online at http://bsc.untsystem.edu/Updates.  



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