All WRS Employers
Vol. 20, No. 21
December 31, 2003
The Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS),
administered by the Department of Employee Trust Funds (DETF), provides
retirement, disability and death benefits, as well as a Deferred
Compensation program for the benefit of Wisconsin public employees
and their beneficiaries. DETF also administers various insurance
programs available to WRS participating employers that file the
appropriate resolutions of inclusion.
Wisconsin Statute § 40.21 (1) states,
"Any employer shall be included within and thereafter subject
to the provisions of the Wisconsin Retirement System by so electing,
through adoption of a resolution by the governing body of the employer."
Each WRS participating employer designates an agent who is authorized
and responsible for acting on behalf of the governing body. However,
it is ultimately the governing body that is liable for the actions
of the agent.
As the recipient of this Bulletin,
you are the designated WRS Agent of record for your employer. As
such, you are authorized under Wisconsin Statute § 40.03 (2) (j)
to act on behalf of your governing body in all matters pertaining
to the programs administered by DETF. As the designated agent, you
are responsible for transacting business between your employer and
DETF. Significant negative impact can occur for an employee when
the WRS Agent fails in the performance of his/her duties.
Subchapters 202 and 1701 of the WRS
Administration Manual (ET-1127) outline the duties for which
WRS participating employers are inherently responsible. These duties
include, but are not limited to:
- Certifying all information transmitted
to the WRS. Accuracy of reported information is critical, as this
information is used to calculate benefits.
- Familiarization with WRS participation
and coverage provisions.
- Determining employee eligibility
for participation in the WRS, and the employees correct
WRS employment category.
- Determining employee eligibility
for all DETF administered insurance programs in which the employer
- Complying with Wisconsin Statutes
and Administrative Code as they relate to WRS eligibility, enrollment
and transaction reporting.
- Transmitting required WRS contributions
with their corresponding forms and reports by established due
- Transmitting required premiums for
all DETF administered insurance programs in which the employer
- Maintaining a sufficient supply
of current forms necessary for proper WRS reporting.
- Distributing materials to employees
that are necessary for the effective administration of the WRS,
including, but not limited to:
- The Your Benefit Handbook
(ET-2119) when an employee is enrolled in the WRS.
- The WRS Annual Statement of
Benefits, ET-7365. These Statements are produced annually
by DETF and delivered to employers for distribution.
- The Request for Benefit Information
(ET-7301) when an employee is terminating participating
employment, planning to retire, or becomes disabled (see Chapter
17 of the WRS Administration Manual for more information).
- Reporting accurate employment termination
dates as defined by Wisconsin Statue § 40.02 (26) and Wisconsin
Administrative Code ETF 10.08.
- Referring employees to DETFs
Member Services Call Center when questions arise regarding their
individual WRS account or benefits to which they may be entitled
(see Member Call Center telephone number below).
- Signing and transmitting all forms
necessary for DETFs use in the determination of a participants
eligibility for, and amount of, a WRS or insurance benefit.
DETF is dedicated to providing members
and their beneficiaries with financial security and protection from
financial hardship, both now and in the future. Our members rely
on the benefit plans we administer. One of our goals is to assist
participating employers in understanding the laws, rules, and regulations
governing the WRS and other DETF administered benefit programs.
To do this, DETF makes many sources of information available to
both employers and employees who participate in the WRS including:
- The Employer Communication
Center at (608) 264-7900. Employers should feel free
to contact the Employer Communication Center as often as necessary
with WRS related and DETF administered insurance program questions.
- The DETF Call Center at
(1-877) 533-5020. Employees may utilize this toll free
number when they have questions regarding their individual accounts.
- DETFs Internet Site:
http://etf.wi.gov. You will find Employer Bulletins,
forms, employer administration manuals, and other information
regarding the WRS and DETF administered insurance programs.
- The WRS Administration Manual
(ET-1127). The WRS Administration Manual is provided
to all employers who participate in the WRS and contains information
on WRS eligibility, reporting, and benefits.
- Employer Bulletins.
Employer Bulletins are sent to all WRS participating
employers, advising them of relevant changes in reporting, eligibility
criteria, benefit levels, and availability of benefit programs
administered by DETF.
- Its Your Benefit.
This newsletter contains news and information about the group
health insurance program administered by DETF. It is distributed
to active employees through their employers three times a year.
- Trust Fund News.
This newsletter, containing news and information about WRS benefits
and programs, is distributed to all WRS employees three times
a year through their employers.
- Employer Training. Regional
employer training sessions are held at various locations around
the state offering training on the WRS and related insurance
programs. Specialized employer training may be provided upon
- Public Benefit Presentations.
Public presentations regarding WRS benefits are scheduled at
locations throughout the state in the spring and fall of each
year (dates and locations can be found on DETFs Internet
- Forms and Brochures. The
most current revisions of forms and brochures can be ordered
by contacting DETF at (608) 266-3302. Forms may also be ordered
or printed from DETFs Internet site.
In order to provide our participants
(your employees) with the benefits to which they have a right, while
maintaining the integrity of the fund, it is essential that participating
employers work in conjunction with DETF in fulfilling that goal.
Designated WRS Agents have the responsibility of keeping informed
of WRS eligibility, enrollment, and reporting criteria and requirements
for the purpose of providing DETF with the essential participant
information necessary to meet the needs of, and the obligations
to, our participants. Therefore, it is critical that employees are
made aware of sources of information pertaining to their benefits
and that they receive full cooperation from their employers in obtaining
Questions regarding WRS Agent responsibilities
can be directed to the Employer Communication Center at (608) 264-7900.