WRS News Online

Reminder: Information for Domestic Partners

If you have a domestic partner, the law that provided you and your domestic partner certain benefits when you registered has been changed by 2017 Wisconsin Act 59 (2017-19 biennial budget), which was signed on September 21.

Even though you will no longer be able to cover your domestic partner on your health insurance, you should remember that your domestic partner still has important rights concerning your other Wisconsin Retirement System benefits.

This new law will not change your current WRS benefits – specifically your death benefits and joint and survivor annuity annuities.

  • WRS death benefits are always paid per the most recent, valid beneficiary designation on file with ETF prior to your death. If you don't have a beneficiary designation on file, death benefits will be paid to your registered, surviving domestic partner according to standard sequence. Note: Your beneficiary information does not automatically change when a life event occurs, such as a marriage or a domestic partnership termination. Be sure to keep your beneficiary information filed with ETF up to date so that your benefits are paid according to your wishes.
  • A WRS joint and survivor annuity will be paid to your domestic partner if your domestic partnership has been registered with ETF for at least one year at the time you begin your annuity. Your domestic partner may waive this right.

If you want to end your partnership, or if you have married, please submit to ETF an Affidavit of Termination of Domestic Partnership (ET-2372). This will terminate your domestic partnership for all purposes with ETF; there is no partial termination of a domestic partnership.