ETF monitors state and federal legislation that may affect Wisconsin Retirement System pension, insurance and other benefit programs. We also assist legislators, government officials and other stakeholders by providing information on ETF-administered WRS benefit programs, developing legislation and policy proposals and helping with constituent inquiries. In this Government Relations section you will find:
- Proposed Wisconsin legislation and laws affecting the WRS and ETF
- Federal issues and legislation
- WRS fact sheets, studies and reports
- National trends and research
To view current and past Wisconsin legislative sessions, current and past budgets, and legislative information, use the links below to expand content.
2017 Session - Proposals
Proposed Bills (for reference only)
- 2017 SB 266 – Group Health Insurance Requirements (Lifetime or Annual Limit)
- 2017 SB 265 – Group Health Insurance Requirements (Preexisting Condition Exclusion)
2017 SB 190 and 2017 AB 324 – Increases the minimum retirement age and changes the formula for calculating a retirement benefit.
- 2017 AB 128 and 2017 SB 81 – Prohibits the Group Insurance Board from contracting for or providing abortion services
- 2017 AB 62 and 2017 SB 136 – Military Service Credits
- 2017 AB 10 – Align effective date for life insurance cancellations with other insurance
- 2017 AB 9 – Eliminates time requirement in statutes for acceptance of retirement applications
- 2017 AB 8 – Clarifies WRS part-time elected official waiver for protective occupation employees
- 2017 AB 7 – Clarifies eligibility provisions to participating employees
- 2017 AB 6 – Clarifies Income Continuation Insurance waiting period
2015 Session - Enacted into Law
2015 Session - Proposals - Not Enacted into Law
Public Employee Pension Transparency Act (PEPTA): PEPTA legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives as HR 4822 by Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA) on March 21, 2016. The bill has six original cosponsors:
- Congressman Chris Stewart (R-UT)
- Congressman Jeff Duncan (R-SC)
- Congressman Dennis Ross (R-FL)
- Congressman Todd Rokita (R-IN)
- Congressman Kenny Marchant (R-TX)
- Congressman Larry Bucshon (R-IN)
PEPTA would require state and local governmental plan sponsors to provide specific plan funding information to the U.S. Treasury Department, including a “Supplementary Report” that would restate the funding status of a plan by valuing assets at fair market value and by using certain Treasury obligation yield curves in place of the plan’s expected rate of return to determine liabilities. Failure to do so would cause the offending state or political subdivision to lose federal tax benefits with respect to any state or local bond issue.
Congress.gov (previously Thomas)
To obtain federal legislative information from the Library of Congress, including links to the United States Code and the United States Code of Federal Regulations.
Partners & Other Organizations
WI Retiree Organizations
- Wisconsin Coalition of Annuitants (WCOA)
The WCOA consists of statewide and regional organizations representing retirees in the Wisconsin Retirement System, and may include active as well as retired participants in the system. Member organizations in the Coalition represent over 30,000 annuitants participating in the WRS.
- AARP Wisconsin
AARP is the nation's leading organization for people age 50 and older. It serves their needs and interests through information and education, advocacy, and community services which are provided by a network of local chapters and experienced volunteers throughout the country.
- National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL)
NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the nation's 50 states, its commonwealths, and territories and provides research and technical assistance for policymakers to exchange ideas on pressing state issues.
- Center for State and Local Government Excellence (SLGE)
SLGE is a non-partisan, non-profit research institute whose mission is to help state and local governments compete in the race for talent. SLGE research focuses on public sector retirement and health care benefits, competitive employment practices, demographic and occupational trends, and best practices in workforce recruitment and retention.
- The Council of State Governments
A national organization that forecasts policy trends for the community of states, commonwealths, and territories on a national and regional basis.
Facts & Research
- 10 Things You Should Know About Public Pension Disclosure Changes
- Pensionomics 2014: Measuring the Economic Impact of DB Pension Expenditures, a new national economic impact study finds that DB pension benefits have a significant economic impact: 6.2 million American jobs and $943 billion in economic output.
- Pensions & Retirement Security 2013: A Roadmap for Policy Makers (February 2013) outlines public opinion research that finds Americans remain highly anxious about their retirement prospects (85 percent) and would participate in a new pension system to help rebuild the road to retirement (81 percent).
- Pension Funding: A Guide for Elected Officials, national organizations representing the nation's governors, state legislatures, local officials and public finance professionals formed a Pension Funding Task Force, releasing this study in March 2013, which recommends state and local governments adopt pension funding policies.
- The 3 Rs of Teacher Pension Plans: Recruitment, Retention, & Retirement, a new study analyzing the effectiveness of defined benefit pensions on teacher retention and productivity finds that pensions play a critical role in recruiting and retaining productive teachers
- Spending on Public Employee Retirement Systems, pension benefits are paid from trust funds to which public retirees and their employers contributed while they were working. On a nationwide basis, contributions made by state and local governments to pension trust funds account for 4.1 percent of direct general spending.
- State and Local Pension Costs, examines the long-term effects of pension reforms on employer costs and on state budgets for a sample of 32 plans in 15 states.
- Comparing Public Pension Accounting and Funding Measures, a study of how GASB’s changes to pension accounting standards for state and local governments disconnect the accounting measures from the measures used to fund public pension plans and make the accounting measures more volatile.
- Shared risk in Public Pension Plans, identifies general types of risk present in public sector retirement plans and analyzes longstanding and emergent uses of risk-sharing features enacted by states and designed to meet their specific financing and human resource goals.
- PublicPlansData.org, a free interactive resource we have developed in partnership with the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College and NASRA, containing financial, actuarial, and governance data on 150 public pension plans (90 percent of public pension membership and assets in the U.S.).
Please contact Tarna Hunter, ETF’s Government Relations Director, if you have any questions.