HR Update - FY 20 Issue 02
Issue Date: October 15, 2019
In This Issue
- Biweekly Pay is Coming December 2019
- Submitting Beneficiary Designation Forms to Empower Retirement
- How to Access DOPLR Online Training on Office 365 SharePoint
- Creating Accessible Documents
- Updated Process for State of Alaska Employee Identification Cards
Biweekly Pay is Coming December 2019
On December 16, 2019 the State of Alaska will be updating its payroll system to a biweekly pay schedule. Many private companies, municipalities, and the University of Alaska are already working on a biweekly pay schedule; it is time for the State of Alaska to make the move.
A biweekly pay schedule means that there will be 26 pay periods, instead of 24, for all state employees. For overtime exempt employees this will spread the payments out over 26 payments instead of 24. For overtime employees it means that with no overtime worked, your base wages will remain consistent. This will create a more efficient and consistent system, which will mean improvement for employees and financial savings for the State of Alaska.
The consistency for employees means that they will get paid every other Friday instead of whatever business day is on or closest to the 15th or last day of a month. Timesheets will be easier to fill out because they will be due the same time every other week. Since the timesheets will be every other week, the issue of partial week hours calculations for flex time and overtime will no longer be needed making it easier to report time.
This change will simplify the process, save money, and be more efficient for the Payroll staff, which benefits employees, the State, and the public. Watch your email for more information over the next couple of months; knowing ahead of time allows you to plan.
Submitting Beneficiary Designation Forms to Empower Retirement
Defined Contribution Retirement Plan (DCR) Beneficiary Designation forms need to be submitted directly to Empower Retirement, not to the Division of Retirement and Benefits. The employee must wait until their first payroll has processed with Retirement and Benefits or until they have received their welcome flyer/postcard from Empower Retirement before setting up their beneficiary designations online or submitting a hard copy form. Empower is rejecting all forms until the employee has an account established with them.
Submitting beneficiary forms online is Empower Retirement’s preferred method. The employee should create an account with Empower Retirement at www.participant.empower-retirement.com. This is the most efficient process and helps reduce the chance of errors. If assistance is needed, Empower can be reached at (800) 232-0859.
If submitting the beneficiary designation online is not an option, please mail or fax the completed form to Empower. Hard copy Beneficiary Designation forms should not be submitted to Empower until 15 days after the employee’s first payroll has been submitted to Retirement and Benefits.
PO Box 173764
Denver, CO 80217-3764
Should the employee require a paper form, please contact Empower Retirement or your designated Retirement and Benefits Active Payroll contact for the most up-to-date form. A separate Beneficiary Designation form must be submitted for each plan (PERS, TRS, SBS and DCP) in which the employee is a member. Each plan has its own form with the plan number located in the upper right-hand corner.
Please note that all Defined Benefit (DB) Beneficiary forms are still submitted to the Division of Retirement and Benefits.
If you have any questions, please contact our office toll free at (800) 821-2251 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to Access DOPLR Online Training on Office 365 SharePoint
By Training and Development
DOPLR Training and Development has moved the Online Training and Rapid Learning Courses to an Office 365 SharePoint site. Logging in to access the SharePoint site requires the same steps as accessing the Office 365 Webmail or other applications. The following provides step by step instructions for how to access Microsoft Office 365, which includes access to the SharePoint site.
- Go to https://login.microsoftonline.com
- Uner "Sign in" enter your Employee Email Address (email@example.com) and select "Next"
- If your Employee Email Address does not end with “@alaska.gov” than you will need to use an alternate email address [SOA USER ID]firstname.lastname@example.org. (Example: email@example.com).
- A pop-up window will open up asking for your username and password to access https://federation.alaska.gov
- Username = Employee Email Address (firstname.lastname@example.org) or LDAP User ID (must be utilized if do not have a standard @alaska.gov email address)
- Password = SOA Password
- Select "OK" and you should now be logged in to the Office 365 online and can access the various applications
- To go to the DOPLR SharePoint with Online Training or Rapid Learning Courses make sure to keep the browser open where you just logged in and select one of the following links below to go to the Training and Development SharePoint site:
If you can login to the Office365, but it will not allow you onto the SharePoint site than please contact email@example.com for further assistance. If you cannot login to the Office365 site than please contact your IT staff to help understand what might be happening.
Creating Accessible Documents
By ADA Coordinator Office
When creating documents that need to be shared it is important to make sure that the document is ADA Compliant in order to be accessible to everyone who needs it. One important thing to point out is just using Word or Excel does not automatically mean the file will be accessible. There are features within those programs that need to be used to help make them accessible.
For example, when creating a word document it is important to use the "Styles" pane to identify the header structure instead of just changing the look of individual lines. This makes sure that someone with a screenreader can identify the header of the individual sections. It also makes it easy to update all headers at the same level if a change to the look needs to be made later.
Creating accessible documents often benefits both the document creator and the potential end user.
If the document will be turned into a PDF it is even more important to make the original file accessible because that will help make the PDF accessible. Adobe Acrobat Pro is required to ensure the accessibility of the PDF and requires a little extra effort to make the document accessible if starting from an accessible working file. For documents that are not already accessible or scanned documents it can take more effort to make them accessible for the potential end user.
Updated Process for State of Alaska Employee Identification Cards
The DMV has updated the process for obtaining a State of Alaska Employee Identification Card. The goal is to not have employees visit a DMV office unless they don't have a license with the State of Alaska and need to have an original license issued.
To obtain a State of Alaska Employee Identification card requires supervisor (if required) and department approver signatures. The DMV invoices the departments once a month and the cost is $10 per card issued.
Employees will need to fill out DMV Form 479 (PDF) with their current Driver's License or ID number. They will also need to obtain a copy of their current employee information as it appears in the State of Alaska Employee Directory. In the case of a recent job change employees will need to ensure the employee directory information reflect their current job, otherwise they will need to wait until that gets updated.
Once the form is completed it can be scanned and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. The DMV will process the form within one week and send a copy of the card receipt by email.
For any questions about this process please email email@example.com.