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Press Release

For Immediate Release
March 15, 2004

Contact: Pam Henning, (608) 267-2929

Department Confirms 1.4% Fixed Annuity Dividend for WRS Annuitants

MADISON -- Governor Doyle signed legislation today paving the way for the Department of Employee Trust Funds to pay a 1.4% fixed annuity dividend to Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) retirees for 2003.

Under Act 153, the Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) will pay a positive (or negative) fixed annuity dividend from the fixed annuity reserve if the annual dividend calculation process results in at least a .5% increase (or decrease). The Department may also establish a different percentage threshold through the administrative rule process.

Previously, the Department by law could not grant any fixed annuity increase unless there were sufficient funds in the annuity reserve to provide all retirees with a 2% (or more) increase. The Department’s calculations this year determined the fixed annuity increase would be 1.4% -- not payable under the old law, but now payable under Act 153.

“We are pleased that the legislature and Governor were able to assist in maintaining the purchasing power of our retirees, 95% of whom reside in Wisconsin,” said Stanchfield. “This is especially important to our members, particularly in light of rising health care costs.”

The legislation affects approximately 120,000 WRS annuitants. ETF will include the dividend in retirees’ May 1 payments.


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