WRS News Online

Same-Sex Marriages Recognized

On October 6, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court denied review of the Wolf v. Walker case, in which the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled unconstitutional the provision in the Wisconsin Constitution (art. XIII, § 13) that recognizes only opposite-sex couples’ marriages. As a result, same-sex marriage is now legal and recognized in Wisconsin.

For Wisconsin Retirement System purposes, as of October 6, 2014, a same-sex spouse is treated the same as an opposite-sex spouse. This includes changes to health insurance eligibility, retirement options and death benefits.

The Department of Employee Trust Funds has developed a set of frequently asked questions about the effect on ETF-administered benefit programs to assist members.

Important note: Marriage and other life changes do not automatically affect or replace your beneficiary designation on file with ETF. After any life change, you should review and, if necessary, update your WRS Beneficiary Designation form (ET-2320). See your annual Statement of Benefits for the beneficiary on file with ETF.

If you need assistance with your beneficiary designation or have other questions, please contact us at 1-877-533-5020.