Department of Employee Trust Funds
September 21, 2012
WRS Contribution Rates for
Contribution rates for most Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) employees
and employers will increase from 11.8% to 13.3% of payroll in 2013.
In general, the total contribution rate is split equally between
the employee and employer. The Employee Trust Funds (ETF) Board
approved the rate changes yesterday, based on an annual actuarial
While many complex factors affect WRS contribution rates, the increase
is primarily due to two factors: the lingering effects of the global
economic meltdown in 2008 and recent law changes. Contribution rate
changes, whether increases or decreases, are considered normal for
retirement systems that have defined or pre-funded benefits.
Core Trust Fund investment results are distributed (“smoothed”)
over a course of five years in order to soften the impact of year-to-year
volatility of investments. The 26% Core Fund investment loss in
2008 started to affect contribution rates in 2010 and will continue
to affect the rates through 2014.
The new rates will go into effect January 1, 2013. The contribution
rates in the following table may be different for employees who
have collective bargaining agreements.
| Employee Category
| Elected Official/Executive/Judge
| Protective with Social Security
| Protective without Social Security
The rates shown do not include other mandatory
employer contributions for duty disabilities, the state's Accumulated
Sick Leave Conversion Credit program, or unfunded liabilities--all
of which vary by employer.
- The contribution rate decrease for Elected Official/Executive/
Judge category employees was largely due to the cut in benefits
for these employees under 2011 Act 10.
- With 232,518 employees, the “General/Teacher” category
is the largest in the WRS, followed by Protective with Social
Security, 19,610; Protective without Social Security, 2,711; and
Elected Official/Executive/Judge, 1,393.
WRS Study, released in June 2012, found that the WRS funding
level and contribution rates have been consistently more stable
than other state retirement systems.
WRS Contribution Rate History