Wisconsin Retirement System members often ask if they can borrow money from their ac­counts or take out a loan. No, it is not possible to borrow from your account; the only way to receive your funds before reaching minimum retirement age is to take a separation benefit.

A separation benefit is a one-time, lump-sum payment of employee-required contributions, voluntary additional contributions (if applicable), and accumulated earned interest. Separation benefits do not include your employer contributions – by taking a separation benefit, you are closing your account and forfeiting employer contributions and interest. In addition:

  • you lose any creditable service earned and all fu­ture rights related to that service; and;
  • you may also be responsible for significant state tax liabilities if you do not roll your payment into another qualified retirement plan or Individual Retire­ment Account.

If you leave your funds in the WRS un­til applying for a retirement benefit (if vested), then your benefit will be based on the employ­ee and employer contributions (plus future years of accumulated interest).

For More Information

Webpage: Leaving WRS Employment

Brochure: Separation Benefits (ET-3101)

Brochure: Tax Liability on WRS Benefits (ET-4125)