Benefits Available to State of Wisconsin Employees
The fringe benefits offered to State of Wisconsin employees are
significant, and are a valuable part of an individual's compensation
package. The fringe benefits may vary somewhat between employee
groups based on: occupational status (i.e., protective, executive,
general); whether or not the employees are covered by a collective
bargaining agreement; and, percentage of full-time employment.
A number of provisions in 2011 Wisconsin Acts 10 and 32 affect
the retirement and health insurance programs administered by
the Department of Employee Trust Funds. The link below focuses
on the provisions that relate to the programs administered by
to Your WRS/Group Health Insurance Benefits
benefits available are:
- RETIREMENT: Most state employees are offered
a retirement benefit through the WRS. All full-time and most part-time
employees initially employed on or after July 1, 2011, must be
expected to work at least 1,200 hours to be considered a participating
Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) employee. Employee-required
contributions are approximately one-half of the total required
WRS contribution. The state pays the other half. Employees initially
employed on or after July 1, 2011, having no prior employment
with any WRS employer, are required to have at least five full
years of WRS creditable service to have vested rights to the WRS
- VACATION: Vacation is earned from the
first day of employment, but cannot be used until the employee
has worked for six months. Vacation is earned by full-time employees
at the following rate:
Years of Service
During first 5
5+ to 10
10+ to 15
15+ to 20
20+ to 25
25 and Over
- PERSONAL HOLIDAYS:
Employees are granted 4-1/2 days of personal holiday time.
- LEGAL HOLIDAYS: The state provides nine
legal holidays with pay:
- New Year's Day (January 1)
- Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday (Third Monday in January)
- Memorial Day (Last Monday in May)
- Independence Day (July 4)
- Labor Day (First Monday in September)
- Thanksgiving Day (Fourth Thursday in November)
- Christmas Eve Day (December 24)
- Christmas Day (December 25)
- New Year's Eve Day (December 31)
- SICK LEAVE: Sick leave is earned
at the rate of five hours per bi-weekly pay period for full-time
employees. Unused sick leave accumulates from year to year. Upon
retirement, the state matches a certain amount of the unused sick
leave, and the entire balance can be converted at the employee's
current hourly rate to pay health insurance premiums.
- HEALTH INSURANCE: A variety of
Health Maintenance Organizations, Preferred Provider Plans, and
fee-for-service health providers offer coverage. Employees may
obtain coverage within one month of starting work, but the state
contribution toward the premium is not effective until after two
months of state employment under the Wisconsin Retirement System.
- LIFE INSURANCE: After six months of
coverage under the Wisconsin Retirement System, an employee may
have group term life insurance coverage in an amount up to five
times his/her annual salary. The state contributes approximately
49% of the premium toward two of the five units of coverage; however,
the premiums for the remaining three units of coverage are paid
totally by the employee. Employees may also secure coverage for
their spouse (up to $20,000) and dependents (up to $10,000) each.
- INCOME CONTINUATION INSURANCE: After
six months of coverage in the Wisconsin Retirement System, employees
are eligible for income continuation insurance. This benefit ensures
that individuals will receive up to 75% of their gross salary
for physical or mental disabilities. The state contribution, which
can range from 0% to 100%, is contingent upon an employee's accrual
and use of sick leave.
- CATASTROPHIC INSURANCE: Excess medical,
accidental death and dismemberment, and dental coverage are features
of this insurance. Employees are responsible for the entire premium.
- DENTAL INSURANCE: Some dental coverage
is included in many of the group health insurance plans and the
catastrophic insurance plan. Many unions offer separate dental
coverage to their membership.
- LONG-TERM CARE INSURANCE: This insurance
covers short-term and long-term home health care, assisted living,
community-based care, and nursing home care. The plan is available
only to state employees and annuitants, including their spouse,
parents, and spouse's parents. Employees pay the full premium.
- EMPLOYEE REIMBURSEMENT ACCOUNTS PROGRAM:
The Employee Reimbursement Accounts Program allows employees to
pay eligible medical and dependent care expenses from pre-tax
rather than post-tax income. In addition, premiums for State of
Wisconsin Group Health Insurance Program, catastrophic, and life
insurance (excluding spouse and dependent life insurance coverage)
may be treated as pre-tax deductions.
- COMMUTER BENEFITS PROGRAM: The Commuter
Benefits Program allows employees to save money on their commuting
costs by using pre-tax dollars to pay for bus passes, parking
expenses, and other mass transit costs.
- DEFERRED COMPENSATION: The Deferred
Compensation Program allows eligible employees an opportunity
to save pre-tax earnings to supplement retirement income. Under
Sec. 457, participants are allowed to defer up to the lesser of
100% of gross income or $16,500 in 2009.
- WORKER'S COMPENSATION: All employees
are covered by the State of Wisconsin Worker's Compensation Law
the day they start employment. The law covers both mental and
physical harm from either accidents or occupational diseases.