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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


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