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Employers

Employer Bulletin

All WRS Employers
Vol. 21, No. 4
April 9, 2004

WRS Annual Statements of Benefits Enclosed

A personalized Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) annual Statement of Benefits (dated January 1, 2004) is enclosed for your active employees who had WRS contribution balances as of December 31, 2003. Please distribute these according to the instructions and guidelines provided below.

The Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) must verify that all participants receive a WRS Statement of Benefits. Once you distribute the statements to your employees, complete the Distribution Report included with this Bulletin and return it to ETF by May 31, 2004.

Changes to the January 1, 2004 Statement of Benefits

  1. Annual statements now display only the last four digits of the employee’s Social Security number for security and privacy reasons.
  2. The employee’s date of birth is displayed under the last four digits of the Social Security number.
  3. The Final Average Monthly Earnings amount is displayed in Section 8 of the Statement.

Instructions and Guidelines for Statement Distribution

Employers are responsible for distributing the Statement of Benefits to their active WRS covered employees. The following are guidelines for distributing statements:

  1. Forwarding statements to employees via U.S. mail in the provided envelopes is only acceptable when you change the return address to that of the employer and attach postage. Without the employer’s return address, undeliverable statements mailed in ETF’s envelopes are sent to ETF instead of being returned to the employer for address correction and forwarding.
  2. Be sure to distribute statements to employees on leave of absence.
  3. If a statement is included for an employee who recently terminated or for whom a termination report has not yet been sent to ETF:
    • Return the statement to ETF along with the Distribution Report (see last page).
    • If a termination report has not been sent to ETF, immediately submit an Employee Transaction Report (ET-2533) including the employee’s employment termination date, applicable WRS earnings and hours of service, and last known address. ETF will update the employee’s WRS account and forward the statement to the employee.
  4. Statements for employees working for more than one WRS employer are sent to the employer with the employee’s most recent WRS begin date. This is a programmed procedure that is not subject to change.
  5. Statements are not generated for:
    • Employees who terminated employment and for whom you have reported the employment termination to ETF on an Employee Transaction Report (ET-2533) prior to the statements’ printing date.
    • Employees for whom no WRS contributions were reported as of December 31, 2003. For example, an employee enrolled in WRS late in December 2003 and first paid wages in January 2004, will not receive a January 1, 2004 statement because no WRS contributions were paid in 2003.
    • Employees with a zero contribution balance remaining in their WRS account on December 31, 2003.
  6. The statement Distribution Report form is due at ETF by May 31, 2004.

Employees Should Carefully Review Statements

The annual Statement of Benefits provides WRS participants with the opportunity to review important WRS account information that will eventually be used in benefit calculations. It is essential that the statement accurately reflects the participant account. Therefore, we ask that you encourage employees to carefully review their statements and the enclosed supporting material. Most questions can be answered by reading this information.

Your employees should contact you for clarification of the WRS creditable service, earnings, and/or employment category that you have reported to ETF. It is critical that you immediately correct any reporting errors. Please refer to Chapter 10 of the WRS Administration Manual (ET 1127) for instructions and guidance on making prior year account adjustments.

Employer Feedback on Statement of Benefits Format

ETF continually seeks to improve the annual Statement of Benefits format and we welcome your feedback. Please address all comments to Dale Ferron, Division of Trust Finance & Employer Services, P.O. Box 7931, Madison WI 53707-7931. You may also contact him via e-mail: dale.ferron@etf.state.wi.us.

Questions

Employees

Should your employees have questions after reviewing the information supplied with the Statements of Benefits and/or after discussing their account balances with you, they may contact ETF’s Member Call Center toll free at 877-533-5020 or by calling (608) 266-3285 in the Madison area.

Employers

Employer questions may be directed to ETF’s Employer Communication Center at (608) 264-7900.

 

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