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Effective Rates Applied to Your WRS Account

The effective rates of interest have been applied to your retirement account. Review your latest annual latest annual Statement of Benefits, which was distributed in April, to learn how the rates affect your account balances.

Both the effective rates (for active employees) and annuity adjustments (for retirees), are based on investment performance of the Wisconsin Retirement System trust funds and shown in the table below:

 

Core Trust Fund

Variable Trust Fund

Calendar Year 2017
Investment Return
(gross of fees)

16.2%

23.2%

Effective Rate
(applied to employees' account balances)

8.5%

24.0%

Annuity Adjustment (applied to retirees' monthly payments)

2.4%

17.0%


Shared Risk and Reward

Investment risks and costs of the WRS are shared between all members. For employees and employers, contribution rates are generally split evenly and adjusted annually, based on trust fund investment performance. Investment gains in one year tend to put downward pressure on rate changes for the next. The Employee Trust Funds Board will set 2019 contribution rates at its June meeting.

For retirees, post-retirement adjustments (dividends) also depend on investment performance. There is no guaranteed WRS cost of living adjustment for retirees. Rather, annual annuity adjustments (dividends) are based on trust fund investment experience and the current and future funding needs of the WRS. Increases are granted when there is an excess in the annuity reserve. Past increases can also be repealed (in the form of negative annuity adjustments) when there is a shortfall.

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