Tarna Hunter

The Wisconsin Legislature is expected to conclude the 2019-2020 session this spring.  As of WRS News Online dead­lines, the following are the latest bills affecting the benefit programs administered by the Department of Employee Trust Funds:

  • On January 21, 2020, Gov. Evers signed 2019 Act 71, which authorizes ETF to withhold money from a member’s Wisconsin Retirement System annuity or lump-sum payment if a court has issued a restitution order for a crime that is both felony theft and misconduct in public office, the crime resulted in a loss to the defendant’s employer and the defendant’s employer participates in the Wisconsin Retirement System. Federal law limits the amount that can be withheld to 25% of the annuity or lump-sum payment. 

In addition, the following bills related to WRS benefits were introduced last month:

  • 2019 Senate Bill 612 and 2019 Assembly Bill 670, which increase the minimum retirement age for General and Executive/Elected Category employees from 55 to 59½ for members who are under the age 40 on the bill’s effective date. The bills also change the return-to-work requirements that were passed by the Legislature in 2013 by providing a 36-month grace period from the annuity suspension requirement for those who work more than two-thirds of full time; and reduce the break-in-service requirement from 75 days to 45 days. 
  • 2019 Senate Bill 627 and 2019 Assembly Bill 698, which allow an annuitant who was a teacher to return to work as a teacher for a school district and elect to not participate in the WRS and, instead, continue to receive his or her annuity. The bills also reduce the break-in-service requirement for teachers of school districts from 75 days to 30 days.

ETF’s Government Relations Web Page

The Department of Employee Trust Funds monitors legislation that may affect the Wisconsin Retirement System and its retirement, insurance and other benefit programs. Follow along—visit our Government Relations web page for news, information and resources. In addition, sign up for ETF E-mail Updates to receive email notices from ETF about legislation affecting the WRS. To register, click on the red envelope icon on our website.


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