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Department of Employee Trust Funds
March 4, 2019

ETF Provides Initial Review of 2019-2021 State Budget

On February 28, 2019, Governor Evers presented his 2019-2021 State Budget to the Legislature. The Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) has completed an initial review of the budget bill. We have identified the following budget provisions that relate to the benefit programs that ETF administers:

  1. Return to Work for Retiring Teachers – Provides that school districts may rehire an annuitant teacher if: (a) at least 30 days have passed since the teacher left employment with a district; (b) at the time of retirement, the teacher does not have an agreement with any school district to return to employment; and (c) upon returning to work, the teacher elects to not become a participating employee and to continue receiving his or her annuity.

  2. Group Health Insurance Program Opt-Out Incentive – Makes changes to allow state employees that declined coverage under the group health insurance program during the 2015 plan year to receive the $2,000 annual incentive, if they elected coverage under the program in a subsequent plan year and meet all other eligibility criteria.

  3. On-Site Employee Health Clinics – Provides the GIB with the authority to enter into a contract to establish on-site health clinics for state employees.

  4. Mandated Reports:
    • Prescription Drug Pooling Report – Provides that ETF submit a report by January 1, 2020, to the Governor and Legislature studying prescription drug pooling options and savings opportunities across state government.
    • Private Sector Retirement Security Plan Committee – Provides that ETF establish a private sector retirement security plan committee, responsible for conducting a feasibility study on developing a private sector retirement security plan administered by the department to provide retirement benefits for state residents that elect to participate. Membership on the committee is comprised of a member of the ETF Board, a member of SWIB, other gubernatorial appointees, legislative appointees and the State Treasurer. The committee would be required to submit a report on its findings to the Governor and Joint Survey Committee on Retirement Systems by September 30, 2020.
    • Fixed-Dollar Employee Premium Subsidy Report – Requires the GIB, in consultation with the board's consulting actuary, to submit by June 30, 2020, to the Governor and Joint Committee on Finance studying the feasibility and potential cost savings associated with transitioning the state employee group health insurance plan to a fixed-dollar premium subsidy model.

ETF will further review and analyze the budget bill to identify implications for the WRS and the other ETF-administered benefit programs. In late June, the Legislature will deliver an amended budget bill to Governor Evers for review, approval and/or partial veto of the budget to be effective July 1, 2019.
Below are links to the entire budget bill and the summary of ETF’s budget prepared by DOA.

Please contact Tarna Hunter, ETF’s Government Relations Director, if you have any questions.

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