WRS News Online

Review Your Statement of Benefits

The Wisconsin Retirement System annual Statement of Benefits was recently distributed to members. Your statement provides a summary of year-end retirement account information, including balances.

Most state employees receive statements at their home addresses, but many members still receive their statements directly from their employers. University of Wisconsin employees can access their statements through their UW online accounts.

This is a good time to think about your retirement dreams and to talk with your financial advisor about strategies for building a secure retirement. As an active WRS employee, you can grow your WRS retirement benefit by making additional contributions. You also may be eligible to participate in the Wisconsin Deferred Compensation Program or a similar program offered by your employer, or you may be eligible to buy creditable service.

Here are some tips for reviewing your statement:

  1. Review your 2014 earnings and years of creditable service in the first two sections. Are these numbers correct? Contact your employer with concerns about information that may have been reported incorrectly. Contact ETF for other questions.
  2. Section 3 shows your employee required contributions.
    • Note how much you contributed and how much your account balances change with the effective rate of interest. These rates vary from year to year, depending on investment returns.
    • Did you know your employee required contributions balance is matched by your employer? Contributions paid by you and your employer (plus applicable effective rate interest) constitute your Money Purchase Balance. (See Section 9)
    • When you retire, we will calculate your benefit estimate using both the formula calculation and the money purchase calculation. Your retirement benefit will be the higher of these two calculations, as explained in Section 10.
  3. Confirm your beneficiary designation is accurate. Remember, life events like divorce, marriage, and birth of a child do not automatically change your beneficiary on file with ETF. Find the WRS Beneficiary Designation form (ET-2320) on our website; we offer a fillable Word document and a pdf document. Print the form and submit it to ETF.

To learn more about how to read and understand your WRS annual Statement of Benefits, visit our Member Education webpage for webinars and an e-learning presentation on this topic.