WRS News Online

Last Call: End-of-Year Considerations

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

  1. Making additional contributions
  2. Withdrawing a health insurance application/change submitted during the It's Your Choice open enrollment period
  3. Purchasing service
  4. Electing or cancelling Variable Trust Fund participation

Making Additional Contributions
Deadline: December 30, 2016

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 webpage showing Core Fund and Variable 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 30, 2016 is the deadline if you want your contribution to begin accruing interest on January 1, 2017. Additional contributions received after December 30, 2016 will not begin to accrue interest until January 1, 2018.

Withdrawing a Health Insurance Application/Change
Deadline: December 30, 2016

If you want to withdraw your recently-submitted health insurance application/change submitted during the It's Your Choice open enrollment period, you must notify your employer's benefits/payroll office in writing by December 30, 2016. ETF is the benefits/payroll office for WRS annuitants who participate in the group health insurance program.

Purchasing Service
Deadline: January 3, 2017

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. However, in order to buy service based on 2016 calendar year earnings at the current cost, your application and payment must be received by January 3, 2017. 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 2016 and 2017 rates for your WRS employment category here.

Variable Trust Fund Elections and Cancellations
Deadline: January 3, 2017

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, 2017, ETF must receive your election/cancellation prior to the close of business on January 3, 2017. Note: A cancellation form received by ETF via fax or as an e-mail attachment received by ETF after 4:30 pm on January 3 but before 12:00 a.m. on January 4 is still considered received on January 3.

Q. Why January 3 for Variable Fund cancellations?

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).

To learn more:

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.