WRS News Online

Make Time for End-of-Year Considerations

If you're considering making any of the following decisions related to your Wisconsin Retirement System benefits, please be aware of important deadlines associated with each of these processes:

  • Making additional contributions to your WRS account
  • Withdrawing a health insurance application/change submitted during the It's Your Choice open enrollment period
  • Purchasing service
  • Electing or canceling Variable Trust Fund participation

Making Additional Contributions
Deadline: December 29, 2017

Did you know that you can make after-tax additional contributions to your WRS account to supplement your benefit? Contributions receive annual Core and Variable (if applicable) effective rates of interest and you can pay either through payroll deduction or direct pay. See our web page showing Core Trust Fund and Variable Trust Fund returns, rates and adjustments since 1984.

Additional contributions can be made at any time while you are actively employed by a WRS employer, but December 29, 2017, is the deadline if you want your contribution to have interest credited for calendar year 2018.

Withdrawing a Health Insurance Application/Change
Deadline: December 29, 2017

If you want to withdraw the health insurance application/change you submitted during the It's Your Choice open enrollment period, you must notify your employer's benefits/payroll office in writing by December 29, 2017.

Purchasing Service
Payment Deadline: January 2, 2018

If you are eligible to purchase creditable service, it may be to your advantage to do so. Benefits of buying service:

  • a higher benefit if your annuity is calculated as a formula benefit; and
  • a higher special death benefit for your beneficiaries (if you die as an active employee)

The best time to purchase creditable service varies, based on individual circumstances. In order to make the service purchase at all, application and money must be received prior to WRS employment termination. If you want to buy service based on 2017 calendar year earnings at the current cost, your application and payment must be received by January 2, 2018. If your earnings are based on fiscal year earnings, changes in contribution rates will affect how much you pay.

Contribution rates change each year; review the 2017 and 2018 rates for your WRS employment category here.

Variable Trust Fund Elections and Cancelations
Deadline: January 2, 2018 (elections and cancelations) or December 29, 2017 (rescind a cancelation)

If you wish to either elect to participate in the Variable Fund or cancel your Variable Fund participation with an effective date of January 1, 2018, ETF must receive your election/cancelation prior to the close of business on January 2, 2018. Exception: A cancelation form received by ETF via fax or as an e-mail attachment after 4:30 pm on January 2 but before 12 a.m. on January 3 is still considered received on January 2. These dates are not postmark dates.

Q. Why January 2 for Variable Fund cancelations?

A. The deadline is the last day of the year. However, when a deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, it's extended to the first working day after the deadline, per Wis. Stat. §990.001(4).

For More Information

Review our brochures:
Buying Creditable Service (ET-4121)
Additional Contributions (ET-2123)
How Participation in the Variable Trust Fund Affects Your WRS Benefits (ET-4930)

Sign up for our live, interactive webinars and ask questions:

You can also watch recorded webinars on these topics.