Department of Employee Trust Funds
July 15, 2015
Summary of 2015 Wisconsin Act 55
On July 12, 2015, Governor Walker signed the 2015-17 biennial budget bill into law (2015 Wisconsin Act 55). The Department of Employee Trust Funds has completed an initial review of the law and prepared a summary of the provisions that relate to ETF and its administration of the Wisconsin Retirement System.
We will continue to keep you posted on legislative developments as they occur. If you are interested in monitoring legislative developments more closely, you may want to check out the Wisconsin State Legislature website.
Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS)
- Changes to the Executive/Elected WRS Employee Category – Allows the ETF Board to opt to move all current executive/elected category members into the general category for contribution rate setting purposes only. Current elected officials and executives retain the age 62 normal retirement age. Future elected officials and executives (after December 31, 2016) will have the new normal retirement age of 65. [Sections 1385b and 1389h]
- Health Insurance Savings – Directs the Group Insurance Board to work with the benefits consultant to make appropriate changes in order to realize $81 million in efficiencies and savings over the biennium.
- Employee Incentive to Opt Out of State Health Insurance Program – Provides a $2,000 annual incentive for employees who opt out of the state group health insurance program. Provides that the following state employees would not be able to receive a $2,000 stipend: (a) any employee who opted out in CY 2015; and (b) a state employee whose spouse or domestic partner is also a state employee and is covered by state group health insurance. [Section 1406]
- Provides continued full funding of the ETF's current operations, including funding for the Transformation, Integration and Modernization initiative. In addition, provides 1.0 FTE Benefits Specialist position for the Contact Management Section (call center). The position will be used to assist in meeting the escalating service requirements for members.