WRS News Online

Contribution Rates to Increase in 2017

Wisconsin Retirement System contribution rates will increase slightly next year. The rates, which go into effect January 1, were recommended by the WRS consulting actuary upon completion of its annual valuation of Wisconsin Retirement System funding requirements.

How does this affect you? Both you and your employer pay a percentage of your earnings to the WRS. These contributions, along with investment earnings, fund your WRS retirement benefits. The table below shows the total rate for 2016 and how much that will change for 2017.

WRS Required Contribution Rates

Employee Category

Total Rate
2016

Total
Rate
2017

 

Employee Share of Total Rate
2017

Employer Share of Total Rate
2017

 

% Change

General,
Elected Official/
Executive/Judge*

13.2%

13.6%

6.8%

6.8%

Increase 0.4%

Protective with Social Security

16.0%

17.4%

6.8%

10.6%

Increase 1.4%

Protective without Social Security

19.8%

21.7%

6.8%

14.9%

Increase 1.9%

* Effective January 1, 2016, contribution rates for Executive & Elected groups became the same as the General category.

Keep in mind these important points:

  • The underlying financial principal of the WRS provides that funds generated from these sources 1) employer contributions 2) employee contributions and 3) investment earnings together must be sufficient to meet the present and long-term retirement benefit commitments of the system. As part of our system's unique "shared risk" design feature, employees and employers pay into the system to fund benefits,. Total contributions change each year, based on investment performance and complex actuarial factors.
  • Your WRS retirement benefit is pre-funded. Contributions and investment earnings are deposited into your account during your working years.
  • The Board's consulting actuary annualy examines WRS funding requirements annually in order to ensure the system can meet its obligations.
  • Investment returns are smoothed over a five-year period. Smoothing helps mitigate the effects of volatility in the stock market and therefore works to keep annual contribution rate changes stable.

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