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Press Release

For Immediate Release
April 13, 2001

Contact: Pam Henning, (608) 267-2929

Department of Employee Trust Funds Confirms Annuity Adjustments for WRS Retirees

MADISON -- Eric Stanchfield, Secretary of the Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF), confirmed that Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) annuitants will get a 5.1% dividend (increase) in the Fixed Fund portion of their May 1, 2001 retirement checks. The Variable Fund adjustment is minus 11%. The Department stated in March that the Fixed Fund dividend could be 5.7% -- if the Wisconsin Supreme Court approves all provisions of 1999 Wisconsin Act 11. Because the Court has not ruled on Act 11, the ETF Board finalized the May 1 rate adjustment at 5.1%. The Variable Fund is not affected by Act 11.

The 5.1% annuity increase has an impact on the retirement income of approximately 107,000 WRS annuitants, 87% of whom reside in Wisconsin. Approximately 26,000 retirees also participate in the Variable Fund; they will have this portion of their annuities reduced by 11% this year.

Wisconsin Act 11 Background

1999 Wisconsin Act 11 is the benefit improvement law that makes significant changes to WRS benefits and funding mechanisms. It was signed into law nearly 18 months ago, but the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued an injunction delaying implementation while it reviews the constitutional merits of the law. If the Supreme Court ultimately approves all provisions of Wisconsin Act 11, the Department will pay retirees a supplemental dividend. The dividend will be based on the Act 11 provision that directs a transfer of funds from the Transaction Amortization Account to the Annuity Reserve.


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