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WRS Contribution Rates to Decrease

Wisconsin Retirement System contributions will decrease slightly for most members in 2018. How will this affect your paycheck? The table below shows the rates, expressed as a percentage of your salary. Contribution rate changes, whether increases or decreases, are considered normal for retirement systems that pre-fund retirement benefits.

WRS Required Contribution Rates 2018

Employee Category

Total Rate 2017

Total Rate 2018

Employee Share of Total Rate

Employer Share of Total Rate

%
Change

General/Elected Official/Executive/Judge

13.6%

13.4%

6.7%

6.7%

-0.2%

Protective with Social Security

17.4%

17.4%

6.7%

10.7%

No change

Protective without Social Security

21.7%

21.6%

6.7%

14.9%

-0.1%

While the overall rate for Protective Occupation with Social Security category employees (i.e., law enforcement) in 2018 will be the same as 2017, the employee share will decrease slightly (.1%) and the employer share will increase slightly (.1%). For Protective without Social Security category employees, the employee share will decrease .1% in 2018 and remain the same for employers.

The WRS receives funding from three separate sources: employee contributions, employer contributions and investment earnings. Together, these must be sufficient to meet the present and future pension benefit commitments of the system. This "shared risk" feature is a major contributor to the stability and sound funding of the WRS, which is considered one of the best-designed, well-governed public pension plans in the U.S.

Keep in mind these important points:

  • Your WRS retirement benefit is pre-funded. Contributions and investment earnings are deposited into your account during your working years.
  • The ETF Board's consulting actuary annually examines WRS funding requirements to ensure the system can meet its obligations.
  • Core Trust Fund investment returns are smoothed over a five-year period. Smoothing helps mitigate the effects of stock market volatility and, therefore, works to keep annual contribution rate changes stable.

For More Information

  • Review our brochure, Your Benefit Handbook.
  • Review the webpage, WRS Contribution Rate History, which shows WRS employer and employee contribution rates since 1989, broken out by employee categories.
  • Review this National Association of State Retirement Administrators Issue Brief examining what's happening on the national stage in terms of employee contribution plan designs, policies and trends.