The benefits offered to State of Wisconsin employees are a valuable part of an individual's total compensation package. The benefits may vary between employee groups based on occupational status (i.e., protective, executive, general), the percentage of full-time employment and other factors.
All of the benefits listed below are included in a state employee’s compensation package. Click on the name of a benefit to be taken to its description and program details link. Click on Back to Top to return to this list.
Most state employees are offered a retirement benefit through the Wisconsin Retirement System. All full-time, and most part-time employees, initially employed on or after July 1, 2011, must be expected to work at least 1,200 hours to be considered a WRS employee. Employee-required contributions are approximately one-half of the total required WRS contribution. The state pays the other half. Employees initially employed on or after July 1, 2011, having no prior employment with any WRS employer, are required to have at least five full years of WRS-creditable service to have vested rights to the WRS-employer contribution.
Vacation is earned from the first day of employment, but cannot be used until the employee has worked for six months. Vacation is earned by full-time employees at the following rate (part-time employees would be pro-rated):
Years of Service
Annual Vacation Hours
Annual Vacation Hours
During first 5
Full-time employees receive 4.5 days of personal holiday time each calendar year. Personal holidays are pro-rated for part-time employees.
The state provides nine legal holidays with pay:
- New Year's Day
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Christmas Eve Day
- Christmas Day
- New Year's Eve Day
Legal holidays are pro-rated for part-time employees.
Sick leave is earned at the rate of five hours per bi-weekly pay period for full-time employees; accrual is pro-rated for part-time employees. Unused sick leave accumulates from year to year. Upon retirement, the state matches a certain amount of the unused sick leave, and the entire balance can be converted at the employee's highest hourly rate attained while in state service to pay health insurance premiums.
Employees can choose from a variety of health insurance plan designs offered by various health insurance companies. Employees may obtain coverage within one month of starting work, but the state contribution toward the premium is not effective until the first of the month after two months of state employment under the WRS.
All WRS covered employees may have group term life insurance coverage in an amount up to five times his/her annual salary. The state contributes approximately 49% of the premium toward two of the five units of coverage; however, the premiums for the remaining three units of coverage are paid by the employee. Employees may also elect coverage for their spouses (up to $20,000) and dependents (up to $10,000) each.
Income Continuation Insurance
All WRS covered employees are eligible to apply for income continuation insurance coverage. This benefit ensures that individuals will receive up to 75% of their gross salary for physical or mental disabilities, certified by a physician, that require the employee to be away from work for more than 30 calendar days. The state contribution, which can range from 0% to 100%, is based on an employee's accrual and use of sick leave.
Supplemental benefits are additional benefits that employees may receive if they choose to enroll.
Some dental coverage (Uniform Dental) can be included in most of the group health insurance plans. In addition, there are purely supplemental dental plans (Delta Dental PPOSM- Select Plan or Delta Dental PPO Plus Premier™ - Select Plus Plan) available to choose from. The entire premium for the supplemental plans is paid by the employee.
Evaluations for visual acuity are generally covered by health insurance. For eyeglass frames, lenses, or for vision exams outside of your health network, optional vision care insurance (VSP Vision Care) is available to state employees, retirees and dependents. Subscribers pay the full premium. The vision services plan covers eye exams, frames, lenses, and contact lenses, with plans for singles, couples and extra visits for families.
Accidental Death & Dismemberment
Provides payments for specific amputation injuries, such as loss of a limb or for accidental death.
Long-Term Care Insurance
This insurance covers long-term home health care, assisted living, community-based care and nursing home care. The plan is available to state employees and annuitants, including their spouse, parents and spouse's parents. Employees pay the full premium.
Pre-Tax Savings Accounts
Pre-Tax Savings Accounts allow employees to pay eligible medical and dependent daycare expenses from pre-tax rather than post-tax income. In addition, premiums for the State of Wisconsin Group Health Insurance Program, supplemental benefits and life insurance (excluding spouse and dependent life insurance coverage) may be treated as pre-tax deductions.
Commuter Benefits Program
The Commuter Benefits Program allows employees to save money on eligible parking and transit costs by using pre-tax dollars to pay for bus passes, parking expenses and other mass transit costs.
The Deferred Compensation Program allows eligible employees an opportunity to save pre-tax earnings to supplement retirement income. Under Sec. 457, participants are allowed to defer up to the lesser of 100% of gross income, or $19,000 in 2019.
All employees are covered by the State of Wisconsin Worker's Compensation the day they start employment. The law covers both mental and physical harm from either accidents or occupational diseases.
Edvest College Savings Plan
The Edvest College Savings Plan is a tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan that’s helping families and individuals plan for the cost of higher education. Employees may participate in the program by making voluntary contributions through automatic payroll deduction.