Here are some of the most frequent actions you can take regarding your benefits at this time of year, and their associated deadlines:

  1. Make Additional Contributions to Your WRS Account

Did you know you can add money to your Wisconsin Retirement System account? Additional contributions are made post-tax and deposited into the Core or Variable (if applicable) Trust Funds, invested by SWIB, and earn the annual effective rate of interest.

Timing/Deadline: If you want your additional contributions to begin accruing interest on January 1, 2021, here are the associated deadlines:

  • Electronic transfer of funds: Complete the transaction by 8:00 p.m. on December 31. Learn more about making additional contributions via the new e-payment site. 
  • Payment mailed to ETF: Must arrive by December 30, 2020. Details here.
  • Hill Farms State Office Building outside drop box: Deposit by 4:30 p.m. on December 30.
  1. Purchase Creditable Service

If you are eligible to purchase creditable service, it’s worth taking the time to look into whether doing so would enhance your benefits. For example, buying service would provide a higher benefit if your annuity is calculated as a formula benefit, and a higher special death benefit for your beneficiaries (if you were to die as an active employee).The most opportune time to purchase creditable service varies, depending on individual circumstances.

Timing/Deadline: In order to buy service based on 2020 calendar year earnings at the current cost, your application and payment must be received by January 4, 2021. If your earnings are based on fiscal year earnings, changes in contribution rates will affect how much you pay. The good news is that contribution rates will remain the same for most employees in 2021. Contact ETF if you have account-specific questions related to purchasing service.

  1. Withdraw a Health Insurance Application/Change

It’s possible to withdraw the health insurance application/change you submitted during this year's open enrollment period, which concluded October 23.

Timing/Deadline: Notify your benefits/payroll office in writing by December 31, 2020.

  1. Cancel Participation in the Variable Fund
    Those who elect to participate in this optional fund remain in it—even into retirement—unless they elect to cancel participation. If you currently participate in the Variable but want to cancel, complete and send to ETF a Canceling Variable Participation (ET-2313) form.

Timing/Deadline: If you want to cancel with an effective date of January 1, 2021, the cancellation form must be received at ETF by January 4, 2021. 

For More Information

Buying Creditable Service (ET-4121) brochure
Additional Contributions (ET-2123) brochure
Variable Trust Funds (ET-4930) brochure

Forfeited Service Cost Calculator

ETF’s forfeited service calculator estimates the cost of buying forfeited service. Enter your personal data and the amount of service you wish to purchase. The calculator will compute and display the estimated cost to purchase your forfeited service and an estimate of the monthly benefit increase, and much more.

Variable Excess or Deficiency Update Calculators

If you ever participated in the Variable Trust Fund, you can figure out your current Variable Excess or Variable Deficiency monthly adjustment amount by using the balance on your most recent WRS annual Statement of Benefits. This will estimate how much it increases or decreases your formula retirement benefit. Go to this page to see the disclaimer, directions and links to the calculators.