The Wisconsin Public Employers Group Life Insurance Program is a benefit available to all state employees and local government employees whose employers participate in the program. Members may even be able to continue coverage in retirement. The Group Life Insurance Program is governed under Chapter 40 of the Wisconsin State Statutes, WI Admin Code, and a policy between the Group Insurance Board and a third-party administrator. ETF has overall responsibility for administration of the program with the third-party administrator (Securian Financial) conducting underwriting and managing the claims process.
There are several levels of coverage available:
- Basic Life Insurance (1 unit)
- Supplemental Life Insurance (1 unit)
- Additional Life Insurance (up to 3 units)
- Spouse and Dependent Life Insurance (up to 2 units)
An employer may choose to offer only the Basic life insurance coverage, all levels of coverage at once, or any combination of coverage levels.
Coverage is effective the first of the fourth month following receipt of the resolution form by ETF.
What are the Steps to Participate?
Employers interested in joining the Group Life Insurance Program should complete the following:
- Read the How to Become a Participating Employer Under the Wisconsin Public Employers Group Life Insurance Program (ET-1107) manual to learn more about what it means to be a participating employer.
- Complete and submit the Resolution for Inclusion Under Group Life Insurance (ET-1303).
- If the employer also resolves the pay the entire premium, the Employer Resolution to Pay Entire Premium (ET-1301) should be included with the Resolution of Inclusions Under Group Life Insurance (ET-1303).
If you have questions about joining the Group Life Insurance Program, contact the Employer Communication Center at 1-877-533-5020 or email us at ETFSMBESSNewEmployer@etf.wi.gov.
What Costs are Associated with Participation?
The employer cost for the Basic plan is computed for all covered local government employers as a group, not individually, thereby yielding a very high “premium-to-benefit” ratio. The minimum level of employer contribution toward the premium is set by the Group Insurance Board and is subject to change.
Employer cost is based on which of the following two plans is elected:
- 25% Final Benefit Plan - Post-age 65
The current employer cost for this plan is 20% of the total employee premium and is in addition to the employee rates shown above. For example, if the total monthly cost for all employees is $1,000, the employer's cost for that month would be $200.
- 50% Final Benefit Plan - Post-age 65
The current employer cost for this plan is 40% of the total employee premium for Basic Coverage and is in addition to the employee rates shown above. For example, a total monthly employee cost of $1,000 requires a $400 employer cost for that month.
Employer Payment of Total Premium
Employers may elect to pay all or any part of the employee cost for Basic and/or other coverage(s), in addition to its own required cost.
Spouse and Dependent Life Insurance
Unless the employer agrees to pay part or all the premium, the employee pays the entire premium for Spouse & Dependent Life Insurance.
What are the Employer's Responsibilities?
Each participating employer is required to name an agent or agents to administer insurance benefits. The agent is responsible tasks such as:
- Determining initial coverage eligibility for each employee
- Auditing and submitting premium payments
- Collecting, auditing, and maintaining applications
- Maintaining payroll deductions
- Timely reporting of employee enrollments, terminations, and leave of absences
- Distributing information to employees
- Responding to inquiries from ETF and third-party administrator staff
For More Information:
Chapter 1 of the WPE Group Life Insurance Program Administration Manual (ET- 1117) provides a full list of responsibilities. ETF encourages employers to review this information prior to submitting a resolution.
What Employees are Eligible?
When a resolution is adopted for any group life insurance plan, all employees who have been enrolled in the WRS or another private pension plan of the employer must be offered coverage.
Any employee who is eligible for participation in the WRS or the employer’s private pension plan must be offered coverage, including:
- Special interest groups
- Union contract groups
- Part-time employees
For More Information:
The Group Life Insurance recorded webinar found on the Employer Training page guides employer through the basic rules and processes of eligibility, enrollment, coverage, cost, canceling, continuing, and accessing resources related to this program. You may also refer to Chapter 2 of the Wisconsin Public Employers Group Life Insurance Administration Manual.