The Employee Trust Funds Board has approved 2022 required contribution rates for the Wisconsin Retirement System, following the recommendations of its consulting actuary. Depending on the employee category, rates will either decrease or remain the same next year, due to favorable investment returns.

The contribution rates, expressed as a percentage of salary, are listed for each WRS employee category in the following table. Contributions from employees and employers and investment earnings fund WRS benefits. The new rates take effect January 1, 2022.

WRS Required Contribution Rates

Employee Category General, Executive and Elected Officials Protective with Social Security Protective without Social Security
Year 2022 2021 2022 2021 2022 2021
Employer Cost 6.50% 6.75% 12.00% 11.75% 16.40% 16.35%
Employee Cost 6.50% 6.75% 6.50% 6.75% 6.50% 6.75%
Total Cost 13.0% 13.5% 18.5% 18.5% 22.9% 23.1%

Note: Rates for other mandatory employer-paid contributions (e.g., duty disability, the state's Accumulated Sick Leave Conversion Credit Program) or unfunded liabilities are not included in the above figures because these rates vary by employer.

The total required contribution rates (“Total Cost”) are generally split evenly between employees and employers for general category employees and may depend on collective bargaining agreements for some protective occupation employees.

WRS contribution rates change annually, based on investment performance of the WRS Trust Funds and actuarial factors to pre-fund retirement benefits. In general, when investment earnings are greater than expected, contribution rates may decrease the following year. When returns are lower than expected, this puts pressure on raising rates in order to up for the shortfall.

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