Department of Employee Trust Funds
June 23, 2009 (updated)
Wisconsin Retirement System Members are asking:
How do I know if I’m in the Variable Fund?
The decision to participate in the Variable Trust Fund is a personal
one – and strictly voluntary. In order to participate, you
would have completed an Election
to Participate in the Variable Fund (ET-2356) form. Nevertheless,
members – retired as well as non-retired -- are contacting
the Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) because they do not
know the answer to this question.
How to determine if you participate in the Variable Fund:
Non-retired members: Look at your most recent
annual Statement of Benefits. Sections 3 and 4 of your
Statement will show the Core and Variable deposits in your
account. If you see dollars listed under the Variable, then you
participate in the Variable Fund. If there are no dollars listed
under the Variable, then you do not participate in this fund.
Retired members: When you retired, ETF sent you
information that contained specific benefit payment information,
including how much of your benefit was in the Core Fund and how
much was in the Variable Fund (if applicable). In addition, all
retirees receive annuity payment statements prior to changes in
their monthly annuity amounts. Your Variable Fund participation
is always noted on these statements. Each April, all WRS retirees
will receive an annuity statement that will list this year’s
Core and Variable annuity adjustments. Your Variable Fund participation
is always noted on this statement.
Should You Stay in the Variable?
Whether retired or not, there is time to evaluate the "pros
and cons "of your Variable cancellation options, because cancellations
are effective on December 31 of the year received.
Deciding to cancel Variable Fund participation – or stay
in it -- is a personal decision and should be based on such factors
as how much of your account is in the Variable Fund, how long it
will be before you retire, and your overall risk tolerance. ETF
cannot advise on the best course of action because we do not know
your personal situation and, like you, we cannot predict future
stock market performance. However, we have a number of excellent
resources to help you make an informed decision.
More information about Variable Fund investments is available on
the State of Wisconsin Investment Board’s Internet site at