Tarna Hunter

The 2021 Regular Session of the Wisconsin Legislature ended when the State Senate adjourned March 9. Two bills were signed into law that affect the Department of Employee Trust Funds and the benefit programs it administers.

2021 WI Act 245

This law makes some remedial changes recommended by ETF. These changes clarify current law or codify current practice and may require minor modifications to procedures and forms for Wisconsin Retirement System members and employers, but do not make substantive changes. Examples include:

  1. Clarifies annuity option – Joint Survivorship
  2. Cleans up an outdated Qualified Domestic Relations Order section
  3. Other Governmental Service Purchase – Changes “participant” to “participating employee”
  4. Clarifies that a member cannot be receiving a disability annuity and be considered a participating employee
  5. Employee Reimbursement Accounts – Aligns state statutes with federal law
  6. Corrects outdated references to Director of the Office of State Employment Relations
  7. Federal SECURE Act - Changes to Required Minimum Distributions and Required Beginning Date provisions.

2021 Act 104

This law makes a number of changes to Wisconsin’s regional structural collapse team contracted with the Division of Emergency Management in the Department of Military Affairs. The bill changes the team's designation from being a structural collapse team to an urban search and rescue task force and expands the disaster incidents that the team responds to. Currently, the team is comprised of local government firefighters and other technical specialists. The bill allows DMA to reimburse a local employer for any increase in contributions for duty disability premiums because an employee incurred an injury while performing duties as a member of an urban search and rescue task force.


Stay informed about state and federal legislation that may affect the WRS by visiting our Government Relations page.