The Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds is a state agency. ETF administers the Wisconsin Retirement System and other benefits for state and local government employees. Benefits include retirement, health, and sick leave benefits; disability benefits; life insurance; income continuation insurance; and pre-tax savings accounts.

To provide you with these services, ETF maintains certain personal information. The purpose of this document is to help you understand what types of information we have, why we have it, and how we use and protect it.

What Personal Information Does ETF Receive?

Personal information that ETF receives for administering benefits includes:

  • Name, Social Security number, address, phone number, and birth date.
  • Earnings from employment with a WRS employer, and banking information you choose to provide for direct deposit of benefits.
  • Health information as necessary for a disability application, or that you authorize a heath plan to disclose to ETF, such as to ETF Ombudsperson staff to assist resolving a benefits complaint.

How Does ETF Obtain Personal Information?

When you begin WRS employment, your employer completes a WRS enrollment form with your personal information and securely provides it to ETF. Additionally, ETF receives personal information from you and your employer on your applications for benefits, such as for health insurance, life insurance, or income continuation insurance. ETF may also receive personal information from you, your employer, or a contracted third-party administrator or other benefit plan in the course of resolving benefit-related issues.

Does ETF Receive Individual Benefit Claims Information?

Contracted entities, such as health plans, do not routinely share claims information at the individual level with ETF. Such information is aggregated for reporting reasons, such as reporting the health plan’s performance to ETF. However, ETF may receive individual-level medical claims information directly from you or as authorized by you, when you contact ETF to resolve a coverage or eligibility situation, such as when you have asked an ETF Ombudsperson to communicate with a plan on your behalf to resolve a complaint. ETF also receives individual-level information in resolving legal appeals.

How Does ETF Use Personal Information?

ETF uses your information for proper administration of retirement and insurance benefits, including:

  • To enroll you in benefit programs and to ensure accurate and timely payment of benefits.
  • To verify your identity when you contact us.
  • To locate beneficiaries when necessary.
  • To provide state and federal tax information related to benefits.
  • To provide information as permitted and required by law, such as in responding to legal inquiries and appeals, to investigate fraud, or to cooperate with law enforcement.

Does ETF Sell Any Personal Information?

No. ETF does not sell personal information.

Does ETF Provide Personal Information in Response to a Public Record Request?

No. Without your authorization, ETF may not disclose personal information in response to a public record request.

Does ETF Provide Personal Information to Contracted Entities?

Yes. ETF contracts with vendors for administration of benefits, and for other business services. Contracted entities must, by the terms of their contracts, safeguard personal information and may not use or disclose the information for any other purpose.

Can I Prevent ETF From Sharing My Information?

ETF only shares your information for necessary benefits administration purposes. At your request, ETF may exclude information from being shared where feasible. However, it may prevent you from receiving your benefit, or from receiving important information about benefits and services.

Can I Authorize Another Individual to Access and Receive My Personal Information?

Yes. There are two forms you can fill out and send to ETF; one for medical-related information and the other for non-medical information:

How Does ETF Safeguard Personal Information?

  • ETF staff are trained professionals who take security seriously. ETF uses personal information only for business purposes and to the extent necessary to provide quality services.
  • ETF continually reviews its system security and makes changes as needed to ensure that security is maintained.
  • ETF adheres to laws and regulations and maintains strong security programs based on industry standards.

If you have questions or concerns about how ETF uses and discloses your personal information, contact the ETF Privacy Officer.