For Immediate Release
June 26, 2008
Matt Stohr, Director
ETF Communications Office
2009 Wisconsin Retirement System Contribution
MADISON, (Wis.) – Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF)
Secretary David Stella announced today that required Wisconsin Retirement
System (WRS) employer and employee contribution rates that fund
WRS benefits will slightly decrease next year for most employee
The 2009 rate changes, recommended by the WRS consulting actuary
and approved by the ETF Board, will:
- decrease 0.4% for protective category employees not covered
by Social Security;
- decrease 0.2% for general workers (including teachers) and protective
category employees covered by Social Security; and
- remain unchanged for executive/elected official/judge category
The rates will go into effect for salaries and wages paid from
January 1 to December 31, 2009.
Contribution rate changes, whether higher or lower, are considered
normal for retirement systems like the WRS that pre-fund retirement
benefits for its members.
Overall, WRS contribution rates have been very stable for many
years. Stella said that is due to the compounding effect of consecutive
years of trust fund investment gains and the fundamentally sound
funding structure of the WRS, as established by the legislature.
“The WRS is consistently one of the most financially-sound
public employee retirement systems in the country,” said Stella.
“The trust funds are responsibly-managed and the benefit design
is appropriate and reasonable. As a result, the system is well positioned
to meet its obligations to provide a modest, stable retirement for
future retired public employees.”
Normal cost contribution rates as a percentage of salary* by Wisconsin
Retirement System (WRS) employment category for 2009 are summarized
of Payroll Change
|Protective covered by Social Security
|Protective not covered by Social Security
*The rates shown above do not include other mandatory
employer contributions for duty disability, the state's Accumulated
Sick Leave Conversion Credit Program, or unfunded liabilities, all
of which vary by employer.
In other action, the ETF Board approved the actuary’s recommendation
to reduce the contribution rates for the state’s Accumulated
Sick Leave Conversion Credit Program. The cost of this program has
declined steadily over the past three years and will now be 0.8%
- The WRS has approximately 263,000 active employees, including
state workers, teachers, University of Wisconsin System employees,
and most local government workers, with a total annual payroll
of approximately $11.7 billion.
- General category employees comprise approximately 91% of the
total WRS employee population. The group includes state and local
government employees, except employees of Milwaukee County and
the City of Milwaukee, which have separate retirement systems.
- By law, the WRS receives funding from three separate sources:
employee contributions, employer contributions, and investment
earnings. Together, these must be sufficient to meet the present
and future pension and benefit commitments of the system.
- The market value of the WRS trust funds as of December 31,
2007 was $87.8 billion.