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Member Education

Welcome to ETF's educational opportunities about Wisconsin Retirement System benefits. Choose from the tabs below to view educational videos, face-to-face event schedules and register for webinars.

Trending:  To learn more about your annual Statement of Benefits, take in a webinar or view an e-learning  presentation on this topic.



In order to help you find videos* of interest to you, we have organized them in stages of membership: New Employee, Mid Career, Nearing Retirement and Retired.

* The video format has changed and some extended functionality mentioned in certain videos is no longer available.

New Employee
Mid Career
Nearing Retirement

Board Member Videos



Face-to-Face Events

ETF provides benefit presentations for New and Mid-Career employees and those Nearing Retirement. We also offer Group Retirement Appointments and benefit fairs at various locations throughout the state.

State of Wisconsin-Click on the black arrowhead in your region to see the opportunities in your area. Southwest Northwest South Central East Central Southeast South Central North Central Western Northeast West Central East Central


Live Webinar Schedule
Last Updated August 19, 2015

Couple watching webinar

ETF offers live, interactive webinars (online presentations) designed to increase your understanding of WRS benefits.

Presenters will answer topic-related questions at the end of the sessions.


Webinar Topics

Registration Dates

Retirement Benefit Calculation Methods

Wednesday Aug 19, 2015 6:00 - 6:30 p.m.
Thursday Aug 27, 2015 11:00 - 11:30 a.m.

How a Divorce Affects Your WRS Benefits

(non-retired members and alternate payees)

Thursday Aug 20, 2015 12:00 - 12:30 p.m.
Wednesday Aug 26, 2015 6:00 - 6:30 p.m.

5 Basic Steps to Your Retirement

Wednesday Sep 2, 2015 12:30 - 1:00 p.m.
Tuesday Sep 15, 2015 12:00 - 12:30 p.m.
Thursday Sep 17, 2015 11:00 - 11:30 a.m.
Monday Sep 21, 2015 11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Wednesday Sep 30, 2015 6:00 - 6:30 p.m.

How to Use ETF's Online Calculator to Estimate a Retirement Benefit

Wednesday Sep 2, 2015 11:00 - 11:30 a.m.
Wednesday Sep 23, 2015 11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Tuesday Sep 29, 2015 6:00 - 6:30 p.m.

Retirement Annuity Options

Thursday Sep 3, 2015 11:00 - 11:30 a.m.
Monday Sep 14, 2015 11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Wednesday Sep 16, 2015 12:30 - 1:00 p.m.

Choosing When to Retire

Wednesday Sep 16, 2015 11:00 - 11:30 a.m.
Thursday Sep 17, 2015 12:30 - 1:00 p.m.
Tuesday Sep 22, 2015 11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Wednesday Sep 23, 2015 6:00 - 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday Sep 30, 2015 12:00 -12:30 p.m.

Full Webinar Catalog

The following webinars are offered periodically throughout the year.


5 Basic Steps to Your Retirement

Consider this webinar your quick reference guide to starting the retirement process within the next 12 months. We’ll review: choosing a termination date, how to request a retirement estimate – and how to read and understand it. We’ll also cover how to schedule a retirement appointment and – drum roll here -- how to submit the retirement application.

10 Key Things to Know About Your Statement of Benefits

Join us as we review 10 key things you can find out about your WRS benefits, simply just by reading and understanding your WRS annual Statement of Benefits. Some topics we will review include:

    • How much you and your employer have contributed to your WRS pension
    • Your vesting status and years of service
    • Your beneficiary designation – what happens to your account if you die before taking a benefit


Tip: Have your statement in hand while attending this webinar.

Additional Contributions

Find out how making additional contributions to your WRS account can potentially increase your retirement. This webinar also provides examples of how contributions grow over time with interest, how to pay additional contributions (payroll deduction or direct pay), etc.

Related information

Video: Your Journey to Retirement - Wisconsin Deferred Compensation (WDC) (40 min.)

Beneficiary Designations

Do you have a beneficiary designation on file with ETF and does it reflect how you would want your WRS death benefits paid? This webinar reviews the importance of having a beneficiary designation on file and keeping it updated as life events occur. We will also review how to correctly complete a designation form, what it means if you do not have one on file with ETF, and how to request a copy of your current form.

Buying Service

If you are eligible to purchase service, doing so would increase your retirement or disability benefit. Find out how by viewing this webinar. We’ll cover the types of service you may be able to buy, how and when you can buy service, and much more. Eligible types of service include service earned during prior WRS covered employment and forfeited through a separation benefit and some types of service earned with other government employers.

Choosing When to Retire

This webinar will focus primarily on choosing your optimal termination and WRS benefit effective dates. The focus will include not only the “December versus January” decision, but also how retirement timing at any point during the year can affect your retirement annuity amount and other employee retirement benefits.

Related information

Video: When Should I Retire? (20 min.)

How Divorce Can Affect Your WRS Benefits
(non-retired members and alternate payees)

This webinar explains how a divorce affects a non-retired member’s WRS benefits, including what happens when the earnings and service are divided by a qualified domestic relations order, benefit rights of alternate payees, the importance of keeping beneficiary designations update and more.

How Divorce Can Affect Your WRS Benefits
(retired members and alternate payees)

This webinar explains how a divorce affects a retired member’s WRS benefits, including what happens when the WRS annuity is split by a qualified domestic relations order, benefit rights of alternate payees, and more.

How to Read the Statement of Sick Leave Account (State and University Retirees)

This webinar will cover the annual Statements of Sick Leave Accounts for State and University retirees. Areas we will cover include:

  • Information for those who are using their sick leave;
  • Information for those who are currently covered under another non-state/university plan; and
  • Information for those who are currently covered under another state/university plan

How to Use ETF's Online Retirement Calculator

ETF’s online retirement calculator, one of the most-used tools on our website, allows you to calculate an unofficial projection of your WRS retirement benefit at any point in the future. This webinar will cover where to find and how to use the calculator, specific information required for data entry (e.g., desired retirement date, spouse or partner’s birthdate, etc.) and how to interpret the results.

Life Insurance After Retirement

What changes are in store for your WRS post-retirement life insurance? In this webinar we will discuss eligibility requirements for continuing your life insurance coverage under the State of Wisconsin Group Life Insurance Program after retirement. Also included are premium payments, how your coverage changes after retirement and options for converting your WRS life insurance to pay for WRS health insurance or long-term care insurance.

**Please note: This webinar only applies to those who have life insurance coverage under the State of Wisconsin Group Life Insurance Program (Minnesota Life). Check with your employer if you are unsure about your coverage under this plan.

Related information

Video: New Employee Orientation - Life Insurance

Overview of the Wisconsin Retirement System

This webinar will cover participation in the Wisconsin Retirement System, how the WRS is funded and what benefits are available under the WRS. A brief overview of the Core and Variable Trust Funds and how the WRS is structured are included.

Related information

Video: New and Mid-Career Employee Orientation on Retirement Benefits (29 min.)

Annuity Options

This webinar will help to increase your understanding of the WRS annuity options available to you at retirement. We will also explain the difference between a beneficiary and a named survivor.

Related information

Video: WRS Payment Options (46 min.)

Returning to Work After Retirement

Whether retired or planning to retire, do you need information about what happens if you decide to work again? This webinar is for you. 2013 Act 20, which was effective July 2, 2013, made some important changes to laws that affect retired WRS members planning to return to work. This webinar covers the old law as well as the changes provided by Act 20.

Variable Fund

In this webinar we will discuss the Variable Fund – what it is, how it differs from the Core Fund, and the affect participation in this fund may have on your retirement benefit calculations. We will also discuss how to elect to participate in the Variable Fund, how to cancel participation, and how the timing of these decisions may affect your Wisconsin Retirement System benefits.

WRS Benefits: For New and Mid-Career Employees

This one-hour webinar is for employees who are five years - or more - from retirement. The information presented will help you make sound, strategic decisions over the course of your career. Topics include vesting, ways to enhance a WRS retirement benefit, purchasing service, military service credit, the Core and Variable Trust Funds, contribution rates, the importance of a beneficiary form and how to complete one, and how “life event” changes affect retirement benefits.

WRS Effective Rates and Annuity Adjustments

This webinar will provide employees and retirees a greater understanding of how WRS trust fund investment returns affect WRS retirement accounts and monthly pensions. For example, do investment returns affect how much retirees initially receive when they begin their pensions? Do retirees receive adjustments to their monthly pension amounts over the years? This webinar will cover the process of how the rates and adjustments are calculated, beginning with the investment returns reported by the State of Wisconsin Investment Board for the Core and Variable Trust Funds.

WRS Employee and Employer Contribution Rates

This webinar will review how employer and employee contributions help keep the WRS fully funded. We will discuss how the contribution rates are calculated, why they change annually, where those dollars go and the contribution rate changes for 2016.

WRS Retirement Benefit Calculation Methods

This webinar will explain the methods used for benefit calculations and the components of each method. Anyone who has requested or is planning to request an estimate will have a better understanding of how that amount was calculated.

Related information:

Online Video: Your WRS Benefits (See Chapter 6 on Retirement Calculations.)

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