WRS News Online

Category Change for Some Employees

The 2015-2017 state budget (2015 Act 55) provides that effective January 1, 2016, the employer and employee contribution rates for the Elected Official/Executive/Judge employment category will be the same as the General Category. This change will reduce costs for both the employees in this category and their employers. Here are the 2016 contribution rates for all Wisconsin Retirement System employee categories:

WRS Required Contribution Rates

Employee Category

Total Rate
2015

Total
Rate
2016

Employee
Contribution
for 2016

Employer
Contribution
for 2016

General

13.6%

13.2%

6.6%

6.6%

Elected Official/
Executive/Judge

15.4%

13.2%

6.6%

6.6%

Protective with Social Security

16.3%

16.0%

6.6%

9.4%

Protective without Social Security

19.9%

19.8%

6.6%

13.2%

Act 55 authorized the Department of Employee Trust Funds Board to combine the General and the Elected Official/Executive/Judge Categories for purposes of establishing the annual employer and employee contribution rates to the WRS. The contribution rate for the Elected Official/Executive/Judge Category will be the same as the General Category, which is lower and more stable from year to year, primarily due to its large population.

In addition, Act 55 changed the normal retirement age for the Elected Official/Executive/Judge Category from age 62 to age 65 for new employees entering the category after December 31, 2016. The retirement age will not change for existing employees. Currently, the only difference between the benefits for the employees in the General Category and Elected Official/Executive/Judge is the normal retirement age, the age at which the employee can retire and receive his/her full benefit. Currently, it is 65 years of age for Generals and 62 for Elected Official/Executive/Judge.

The ETF Board’s actuary confirmed that bringing the Elected Official/Executive/Judge Category into the General Category will not have a material effect on General Category employees.

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