Department of Employee Trust Funds
April 4, 2008
Accelerated Payment Options Will Be Changing Soon
Note: The Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) offers members who
retire before the age of 62 “accelerated” benefit payment
options. The intent is to provide a higher WRS annuity until the
member reaches age 62 (at which time they can apply for Social Security
benefits) and a reduced WRS annuity after age 62. A recent law change
has made a small but positive change in the structure of WRS accelerated
Under the current law, accelerated payment annuities have two parts:
a lifetime annuity payable for the life of the annuitant, and a
temporary annuity payable until the retiree reaches age 62 or dies,
whichever comes first. This means if you chose an accelerated payment
option and you die before reaching age 62, any death benefit payable
from your WRS annuity is based only on your after-age-62 life annuity
A recent law change removes the requirement that the temporary
annuity payment stop if the death occurs before the retiree turns
62. The law change is effective July 1, 2008 and is not retroactive.
It does not apply to accelerated payment annuities already being
paid or to annuities that become effective before July 1, 2008.
If your annuity will begin on or after July 1, 2008, and you select
an accelerated payment option:
- Your temporary annuity is payable until you reach age 62.
- If you die before reaching age 62, the temporary annuity will
be paid to your named survivor or beneficiary(ies) through the
month in which you would have reached age 62, even if there are
no death benefits payable from the lifetime portion of the annuity
option that you selected when you retired.
If you have already received retirement estimates from the Department
of Employee Trust Funds (ETF), please note that this change will
result in a very small reduction in the amount of your life annuity
in order to fund the cost of the improved death benefit protection.
If your annuity effective date will be on or after July 1 and you
have already submitted your retirement application, and now wish
to change your annuity option to an accelerated payment option,
please contact ETF immediately for an option change application.
We must receive your application to change your annuity option no
later than 60 calendar days after the date that your first annuity
payment is issued. After the 60-day deadline expires you are no
longer eligible to change your annuity option.