The State of Wisconsin Investment Board has announced preliminary 2021 investment returns for the Core Trust Fund and the Variable Trust Fund. How will this affect your Wisconsin Retirement System account? The effective rate of interest is applied to your account balances once a year. The rate of interest applied is based on investment performance and other actuarial factors.

The figures below are Department of Employee Trust Funds projections for this year’s effective rates and annuity adjustments, based on preliminary returns for 2021. These are projections. Actual effective rates will be announced in February, after 2021 investment returns have been finalized. Watch for this information in February and the annuity adjustments (for retirees) in March.

ETF Projections -- Core Fund  

Preliminary 2021 Investment Return

(performance is net of all fees)

Projected Core Effective Rate


12.8% to 13.2%
Projected Core Annuity Adjustment 7.0% to 7.4%

By law, Core annuities can be adjusted if the increase (or decrease) would be at least 0.5% (or -0.5%) for all retirees. If the final computed rate falls between 0.5% and -0.5%, then no Core annuity adjustment will be provided.”

ETF Projections -- Variable Fund  

Preliminary 2021 Investment Return

(performance is net of all fees)
Projected Variable Effective Rate 18% to 22%
Projected Variable Annuity Adjustment 13% to 17%

By law, a Variable annuity adjustment will be paid if the adjustment rate is at least 2%; if  less than 2%, no adjustment is paid.


Plan Ahead
No matter your timetable for retirement , it's important to understand your WRS benefits and how they work for you. Learn everything you can about the following topics in particular, so that you make the right decisions at the right time. Your future self will thank you for it!

  • How to enhance your WRS benefits benefit by making additional contributions , which earn the effective rate of interest each year
  • How effective rates and annuity adjustments (for retirees) are determined
  • How annual Core and Variable Fund investment performance affects the amount you and your employer pay into your retirement account via required contributions
  • How WRS retirement benefits are calculated and the role that investment returns play in your benefit amount
  • How participation in the Variable Fund affects your WRS benefits, both as an active employee and as a retiree.

For More Information
Participate in these ETF webinars. Sessions are offered at convenient times over the lunch hour and early evening. Find them on our Events webpage.

Check out the helpful resources on this WRS Performance web page, including a look at investment performance of the WRS trust funds and the corresponding rates and adjustments since 1986.

To receive immediate notification about WRS effective rates, annuity adjustments and other benefit-related news, sign up for ETF E-Mail Updates or follow ETF on Twitter.