Pay & Benefits,Benefits,Personal Financial Well-Being

Personal Financial Checkup

Personal Financial Checkup - Pay & Benefits, Benefits, Personal Financial Well-Being


Please use the and the information below to help guide you through a few of your paychecks, accounts and loans. This will help you assess and understand how your money is being spent and saved.


It’s important to review your earnings and paycheck deductions to see where your hard-earned money is going. Complete the Make Sense of your Pay Worksheet to understand your earnings and deductions.

Employees can also access their paystubs through Employee Self Service (UWHC | UWMF).

Gather Your Paycheck(s)

Gather a copy of your most recent paycheck. If you have more than one job, be sure to collect paystubs for each place of employment. If your household has another adult that contributes to the household income, ask them to collect their paystubs too.

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Your paystubs through UW Health are available by accessing Employee Self Service (HC | MF). Add a reminder to your calendar to take a look at your paystub on a biweekly basis.

Make Sense of Your Deductions

The wages you are earning and the amount that you bring home differ from one another and may cause you to ask yourself, ‘why?’ To answer these questions and have a better understanding of your paycheck, take a closer look at it.

  • Employee’s Share of the Medicare Tax: This is a tax that funds the Medicare health insurance program. For more information, go to www.medicare.gov. This tax is not part of the federal taxes paid for income tax purposes. This is considered a payroll tax to be paid by everyone who is working. Your employer also pays a share of this Medicare Tax, although it may not be listed on the paystub.
  • Federal Tax Withholding: This is the money withheld as a prepayment of your annual income tax liability. This money goes directly from your employer, on your behalf, to local, state, and federal tax authorities. After filing your taxes each April 15th, you’ll know if you owe additional money to the government, or if you prepaid too much and will receive a refund.
  • Employee’s Share of the Federal Old Age Survivors and Disability Insurance: Commonly abbreviated as OASDI, this tax is better known as Social Security. While most wage earners must pay this tax, there is an exception for those who are participating in certain governmental or public employer retirement plans. For more information on Social Security, visit www.ssa.gov. If your wages are subject to this tax, then your employer also pays a share of the OASDI tax.
  • Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA): The FICA tax is comprised of both the Medicare tax and the OASDI tax.
  • Employer-Paid Benefits are contributions or payments that your employer has made on your behalf. These dollar amounts are not deducted from your pay. Common examples include the portion of your health insurance premium that your employer pays and any contributions your employer makes to your retirement plan.
  • Employee-Paid Benefits like your health insurance premiums, retirement contributions, and disability insurance are each listed separately on your paystub.
  • Wage Garnishments: If you owe child support, have defaulted on your student loans, have unpaid back taxes, unpaid court fines or restitution, you might find that they are automatically deducted from your wages.

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Review your paycheck biweekly and contact Payroll with any questions you have regarding your pay, taxes and vacation balances or Human Resources to better understand the deductions taken out.

  • UWHC Payroll: (608) 262-4559
  • UWMF Payroll: (608) 821-4170
  • UW Health Human Resources: (608) 263-6500


Financial Accounts

Keeping your money safe and ensuring that you have access to it are essential to your financial well-being. Complete the  to keep track of all your accounts and to check-up on your financial accounts to be sure that you know where your money is at and that you can readily review account details

Gather Your Account Information

Gather institution names, types of accounts, web addresses and contact information for each financial account that you have. These include savings, checking, retirement accounts, college savings account, other investments or flexible spending accounts.

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All UW Health contact information for your benefits, including retirement accounts and flexible spending accounts, can be found on the Benefits or by contacting Human Resources at (608) 263-6500.


Credit Cards and Loans

It is important to have a good understanding of what you owe so you can manage your debt wisely. Complete the  to make a list of any outstanding balances you have, monthly payment amounts, interest rates and payoff dates for each type of debt/liability that you have individually, or in partnership with another person.

Request Your Credit Report

Obtain a copy of your credit report. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FRCA) entitles you to a free credit report annually from each reporting agency. In order to request your free report(s), visit www.annualcreditreport.com. This website is established by the federal government. The three credit bureaus you can request reports are: Equifax (1-800-525-6285), Experian (1-800-397-3742) and TransUnion (1-800-680-7829). 

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Put it on your calendar as a reminder to get a copy of your annual credit report and use this information to help you plan and prepare for the upcoming year.

Review Your Credit Report for Accuracy

You obtained a copy of your credit report but you’re not sure what you’re supposed to be looking for. Here’s what to look for as you review this report:

  • Late payments on accounts. If your report contains late payments, check that information against your payment records to verify
  • Debt-to-credit limit ratios. This information compares your debt balances to your available credit on your revolving accounts (ex: credit cards)
  • Collection activity. This information shows when a delinquent payment has gone to collections
  • Bankruptcies, liens, or judgments. Notice if major financial challenges are listed on your credit report
  • Active accounts. Are there active accounts that you never closed? Or opened? Verify that accounts that you closed are, indeed, closed. If there are accounts open that you never opened, contact the credit reporting agency.
  • Inquiries. Review who has requested your credit file.

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Keep a detailed copy of your payments to be able to verify against your credit report. Sign up or enroll in online banking so you can have a quick glance at all your payments and purchases over time.

Gather All Your Credit Card and Loan Statements and Understand the Fine Print

Credit card and loan terminology can be hard to understand sometimes, so a resource has been developed to assist you. Visit the Consumer Financials Protection Bureau’s “Know Before You Owe” for helpful tips and resources.

Did you know there’s a Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program that is available to qualifying employees with federal student loan debt?

Student loan debt is one of the biggest financial burdens of today, impacting over 44 million Americans. Did you know there’s a Public Service Loan Forgiveness program is available to qualifying employees with federal student loan debt? Learn more

Fidelity offers resources to all UW Health employees to help understand the best way to pay off your student loans with their Student Loan Debt Tool. Learn more with the Student Debt Tool video.

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Understand the fine print for any loans or credit cards that you have, especially when it comes to the interest rate. By understanding the differences in interest rates, you will be able to make smart financial decisions about which ones it makes sense to work on paying off first, ahead of schedule.


Student Loans

Need help with student loan debt? Find better ways to manage it. 

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

Did you know there’s a Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program that is available to qualifying employees with federal student loan debt?

Student loan debt is one of the biggest financial burdens of today, impacting over 44 million Americans. Did you know there’s a Public Service Loan Forgiveness program is available to qualifying employees with federal student loan debt? Learn more

Fidelity Student Loan Debt Tool

Fidelity offers resources to all UW Health employees to help understand the best way to pay off your student loans with their Student Loan Debt Tool. Learn more with the Student Debt Tool video.



It is important to understand your insurance coverage before you need to use it.  Complete the  to help you keep track of all your insurance policies at-a-glance. Be sure to ask questions along the way – such as who or what is covered by the policy, out-of-pocket costs and how much insurance is actually enough?

Gather Your Policy Information and Understand the Lingo

Gather all policy information, including homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, car insurance, medical, dental and life insurance. Review the common terminology associated with the different policies so you  have a good understanding of what that means for you.

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Review your benefits and insurance summary in Employee Self Service (HC | MF) to ensure accuracy based on elections you have made. A great time to do this is the beginning of the new year, after any changes made from Open Enrollment have gone into effect. If you notice any discrepancies or can’t locate the information you’re looking for, call Human Resources at 608-263-6500 for assistance.



Making sense of your cash flow and spending behavior is a big step in enhancing your financial well-being, and one of the most important ones. Everyone needs to know where their money is going or which expenses are constraining their budget. Evaluate your spending behavior to assess your current standing and explore the possibility of cutting expenses.

Make Sense of Your Bills and Spending

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Step One: Complete the to know what monthly payments you need to pay towards your bills, loans, credit cards, etc.

Step Two: Complete the to have a better understanding of where the rest of your money is going and where and how you can reduce spending.



Saving for financial goals, emergencies and retirement is an important part of ensuring financial wellness. Check on your saving behavior to determine if you are setting aside enough money to reach your financial goals.

Complete the Set Goals for Saving Worksheets to help you determine and set your goals and start saving!

Get Your Savings Information

Make note of the balances on all savings account, gather information on savings instruments such as certificates of deposit (CDs), and review your saving behavior.

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While doing this, ask yourself questions:

  • Am I depositing money into a savings account via direct deposit?
  • Do I change the amount that I save each month based on monthly expenses or spending sprees?
  • Am I having difficulty establishing a set saving pattern?

This will help you identify where a change may need to occur.

Review Your Savings Options

Savings Accounts are great for meeting short and medium-term goals. The guidelines for use of the account vary by account type and institution, and savings accounts generally pay a low interest rate. 

Certificate of Deposit (CD) should be considered for medium-term financial goals. They are sold at most banks and credit unions but unlike savings accounts, they have a specific, fixed term of deposit, meaning you can’t access the money for a certain period of time. Typically CDs have a minimum deposit and carry a penalty for early withdrawal. You get back what you put in, plus interest earned. They are low risk investments. The gains from CDs are taxable as income unless they are tax-deferred (IRA) or tax-free (ROTH IRA) accounts. Please note: this information is for general purposes only, for more detailed information and expert advice, please talk with a professional tax advisor.

For retirement goals you should consider long-term investment options. It is important to understand what is provided to you by your employer and how you can grow and monitor those savings.

UW Medical Foundations provides a 401(k) and Profit Sharing Contributions to all employees who meet the eligibility and vesting requirements. Employees have the option of increasing their deferral percentage to their 401(k) account at any time, and this includes a Roth 401(k) option as well. This retirement account is administered through Fidelity and their representatives are available to answer any questions regarding deferral amounts and investment options. More information is available on the Retirement Benefits for UWMF page.

UW Hospitals and Clinics’ retirement account is administered through the Wisconsin Retirement System. UWHC employees contribute 6.7% of eligible earnings to the WRS, and UWHC matches that at 6.7% as well. UWHC provides supplemental retirement plans for employees, Wisconsin Deferred Compensation 457 and Tax Sheltered Annuity 403b plans to employees, allowing them to make pre-tax supplemental retirement savings contributions. Enrolling in a supplemental retirement plan can be done at any time, and more information is available on the Retirement Benefits for UWHC page.

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Take advantage of the resources through LifeMatters, our employee assistance and work/life program, to get the resources and referral needed to connect with you a professional advisor to assist you with these questions. Access their services through the LifeMatters mobile app, www.mylifematters.com or 1-800-634-6433 24/7.