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Employer Bulletin

All WRS Employers
Vol. 19, No. 5
February 28, 2002

40.63 Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) Disability Retirement Benefit Process Has Been Revised

The Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) has completed its review of the § 40.63 Wisconsin Retirement System disability retirement plan and the problems and barriers in the current disability plan design that delay receipt of disability benefits to those who are eligible.

Effective immediately, ETF no longer requires employers to make a medical determination that the employee has ceased employment due to an apparent disability. The Employer Statement, ET-5607 (revised 02/2002) formerly known as the Employer Disability Certification, has been modified. The new version allows the employer to report the termination date, and the hours and earnings not previously reported directly on the form instead of by completing a separate Employee Transaction Report (ET-2533). Employers reporting through electronic media should also use this form to expedite their employee's receipt of disability benefits. ETF will internally review the earnings reported on any subsequent tape and make the necessary adjustments to the tape.

A sample of the revised Employer Statement is attached to this Bulletin and instructions for completing the earnings information on the form are found in Chapter 8 (Employee Transaction Reporting) of the WRS Administration Manual, ET-1127 (revised 5/99). Chapter 14 of the manual provides information on determining the termination date.

Upon receipt of a Disability Retirement Estimate/Application (ET-5302), from a participant, ETF will send the Employer Statement to the WRS Agent. To expedite the process, ETF will send the Employer Statement to the WRS Agent via e-mail. For employers without an e-mail address or who have not provided one to ETF, this form will be sent via US mail.

The WRS Agent must respond to all applicable questions on the Employer Statement including the following information:

  • Last day worked
  • Last day paid
  • Termination date
  • Hours and earnings

In addition, the employer will indicate whether the employee is expected to resume active service. An employer may also contest the employee's application for disability benefits. However, the reason(s) for this action must be indicated on the form.

When an employer contests an employee's disability, the employee's disability will be denied. The employee has a right to appeal the denied application and the employer is responsible for presenting its case contesting the employee's application at an evidentiary hearing.

Upon receipt of the Employer Statement from the employer, ETF updates the employee's WRS account with the last day paid, termination date, and hours and earnings as indicated by the employer. If the final earnings and hours have been reported to the WRS but the last day paid and/or termination date has not, ETF will update the employee's retirement account based on the dates entered on the Employer Statement.

Please direct your questions to the Employer Communication Center at (608) 264-7900.


Correction to Spring Benefit Presentation held in Rice Lake

ETF is asking your help to let employees know about a correction concerning the spring benefit presentations. The presentation held in Rice Lake will be on March 26. March 20 is the date indicated in the January 2002 issue of the Trust Fund News. The list of benefit presentations attached to Employer Bulletin, Vol. 18, No. 20 dated December 5, 2001 contains the correct information.


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