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Employers

Employer Bulletin

Local Employers
Vol. 16, Local C
June 18, 1999

1999 Financial Disclosure Footnote Is Provided To Help Employers Complete Annual Statements and Reports

Each year, the Department of Employe Trust Funds (ETF) provides Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) employers with model language to use for required WRS footnotes in annual financial statements and reports.

Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statement #27, "Accounting for Pensions by State and Local Governmental Employers" replaced Statement #5 effective for periods beginning after June 15, 1997.

  • GASB Statement #27 adds a requirement to disclose contribution amounts for two prior years.

  • GASB Statement #27 eliminates the requirement to disclose the Pension Benefit Obligation (PBO).

  • For employers in a cost-sharing multiple-employer pension plan, GASB Statement #27 eliminates the requirement to disclose actuarial information concerning the WRS.

  • GASB Statement #27 requires employers to report a liability for pension-related debt. WRS employers' unfunded actuarial accrued liability (prior service cost) meets the definition of pension-related debt. For employers making pension contributions from a governmental fund, this liability should be reported in the general long-term debt account group. If your pension contributions are made from a non-governmental fund, the liability should be reported in that fund.

The footnote shows where to insert information specific to each employer. We also enclose a data sheet for each employer, containing the specific information you should insert into the footnote. The only information you will need to develop using your own records is total employer payroll, including non-participating employes.

The unfunded actuarial accrued liability is disclosed as of December 31, 1998. We have included 1999 prior service contribution rates if you wish to calculate prior service contributions made during 1999 in order to update this liability.

The footnotes are intended as a model for use by all WRS employers. You or your auditors may wish to modify the language for your own purposes.

If you have questions, please contact Nancy Kittleson of the ETF Office of the Controller at (608) 267-9034.

Included in this Bulletin are:

  • Model footnote language for Defined Benefit Pension Plans
  • WRS employer earnings and contribution data sheet

Model Footnote - Defined Benefit Pension Plan

All eligible (insert employer name) employes participate in the Wisconsin Retirement System (System), a cost-sharing multiple-employer defined benefit public employe retirement system (PERS). All permanent employes expected to work over 600 hours a year (440 hours for teachers) are eligible to participate in the System. Covered employes in the General/Teacher category are required by statute to contribute 6.2% of their salary (4.7% for Executives and Elected Officials, 5.4% for Protective Occupations with Social Security, and 5.8% for Protective Occupations without Social Security) to the plan. Employers may make these contributions to the plan on behalf of employes. Employers are required to contribute an actuarially determined amount necessary to fund the remaining projected cost of future benefits.

The payroll for (insert employer name) employes covered by the System for the year ended December 31, 1998 was (insert employer covered earnings); the employer's total payroll was (insert total employer payroll). The total required contribution for the year ended December 31, 1998 was (insert total contribution), which consisted of (insert employer required contribution), or (insert employer percent of covered payroll) of payroll from the employer and (insert employe required contribution), or (insert employe percent of payroll) of payroll from employes. Total contributions for the years ending December 31, 1997 and 1996 were (insert 1997 total contributions) and (insert 1996 total contributions), respectively, equal to the required contributions for each year.

Employes who retire at or after age 65 (62 for elected officials and 55 for protective occupation employes) are entitled to receive a retirement benefit. Employes may retire at age 55 (50 for protective occupation employes) and receive actuarially reduced benefits. Retirement benefits are calculated as 1.6% (2.0% for Executives, Elected Officials, and Protective Occupations with Social Security and 2.5% for Protective Occupations without Social Security) of final average earnings for each year of creditable service. Final average earnings is the average of the employe's three highest years earnings. Employes terminating covered employment before becoming eligible for a retirement benefit may withdraw their contributions and, by doing so, forfeit all rights to any subsequent benefit. For employes beginning participation on or after January 1, 1990 and no longer actively employed on or after April 24, 1998, creditable service in each of five years is required for eligibility for a retirement annuity. Participants employed prior to 1990 and on or after April 24, 1998 are immediately vested.

The System also provides death and disability benefits for employes. Eligibility for and the amount of all benefits is determined under Chapter 40 of Wisconsin Statutes. The System issues an annual financial report which may be obtained by writing to the Department of Employe Trust Funds, P.O. Box 7931, Madison, WI 53707-7931.

 

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