Wisconsin Retirement System – Website: etf.wi.gov
The Wisconsin Retirement System
The Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) is a pension plan that is intended to provide you with a lifetime retirement payment once you are vested and have reached minimum retirement age. It is administered by Employee Trust Fund (ETF). This is a state administered program consisting of two required components: an employee and employer contribution. In 2021, employees automatically contribute 6.75% which is deducted directly from their paycheck and Ozaukee County matches the contribution at 6.75%You should see this on your earnings statement under both deductions and benefit section.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible to participate?
All employees working 24 hours per week are enrolled immediately or employees my become eligible after one year if paid hours exceed 1200. WRS eligibility criteria is (1) 12 months of employment AND (2) 1200 hours [if someone has WRS service prior to 7/1/2011 and hasn’t taken a benefit their hour criteria is 600).
When am I vested?
You are vested 100% once you have worked five years with a municipality. This time includes any municipalities that you worked for in addition to Ozaukee County. Vesting Requirement = 5 years of credible service. Credible service is based on how many hours you work in each annual reporting period/year. 1 year of credible service for any category other than category 40 is 1904 hours. You cannot receive more than one year of credible service per year.
Vested members are eligible to receive a retirement benefit at age 55 (age 50 for protective category members) once they terminate all WRS employment.
When do I receive my annual WRS Statement?
WRS Statements are sent directly to employees homes usually in April.
When should I contact WRS about finalizing a retirement date?
Retiring employees are encouraged to contact WRS at least (6) months in advance of their anticipated retirement date.
How often can I request a retirement packets?
You can request a retirement packet one time per year.
What happens if I terminate employment before I am vested?
You would want to review the Separation Benefits Agreement. You are eligible for the portion of the money that you contributed and if you request the money before you reach retirement age you would be responsible for taxes. You can opt to keep your money in the WRS to gain interest or add to your account if you work for another WRS employer in the future.
Can I contribute additional funds to my WRS account?
Yes, you can contribute additional funds to your account, however, Ozaukee County will only match 6.75%.
How do I contribute additional funds to my WRS account?
Additional contributions can be made. Unlike the required contributions, additional contributions are post-tax. They can be made either by payroll deduction or by sending a check directly to ETF or by e-payment .
If I am a retired employee, can I be rehired by a municipality?
Yes, however, you must wait a minimum of 75 days before being rehired. Also, upon hire you will need to complete the WRS Rehired Annuitant form. In order to keep receiving your annuity, you must not meet WRS eligibility during employment. Please refer to ET-4105, Information for Rehired Annuitants which can be located at etf.wi.gov
I am not looking at retiring in the next couple of years but would like to be able to find out additional information regarding my options.
You will want to refer to the WRS Employer Handbook or contact a WRS Representative at 1-877-533-5020, Option #1 to discuss your retirement plans.
As you prepare for your future the links listed below will be very beneficial. You can always talk to a WRS Representative directly by calling 1-877-533-5020 and selecting Option #1.
Additional information can be found in the items listed below:
WRS Benefit Handbook
WRS Fact Sheet
WRS Guide to Retirement
WRS Separation Benefits