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So, your official retirement estimate/application (ET-4301) from the Department of Employee Trust Funds has arrived in the mail. What should you do next? This will depend on your personal preferences. Some members are just getting started while others will review, complete, and return their forms. Some do this without needing assistance from ETF. Others want more time to ask questions, or to utilize our educational resources to reinforce their decision-making processes.

Review your retirement benefit estimate and the enclosed material. Take time to understand the benefit payment options listed on your personalized estimate. We automatically list every option for which you are eligible. There is no one-size-fits-all benefit option.

If you made additional contributions, note the payment options presented and how they enhance your overall benefit. Spend time researching which option would work best for you. In addition, consider the tax implications associated with your benefit payment options and complete the tax withholding election section.

Do you participate in the State Group Life Insurance Program, Health Insurance Program, or any of the optional insurance programs? It is important to understand what insurances are available when you retire. You may want or need to take different steps depending on your individual circumstances. Start by finding out what insurance benefits are in place, whether you can or want to be enrolled when you retire, the cost of premiums and how they will be paid. Health Benefits in Retirement has more information, including brochures, forms, and videos. In addition, visit Changes to Life Insurance Coverage.

Do you participate in the Wisconsin Deferred Compensation Program? After you separate from service, you have many options for receiving money from your account. Read why staying in the plan makes sense and to learn more about WDC distribution options.

Finally, be proactive and avoid mistakes that would cause your application to be returned to you or even voided by ETF! Review our new video, How to Fill Out Your Retirement Benefit Estimates and Application, a step-by-step review of each section of the application.

You are not required to meet with an ETF benefits specialist to retire; however, if you do want an appointment, plan ahead. The wait time for appointments is up to six weeks. Group online appointments can often be scheduled sooner. Demand for appointments is highest from February through May, but lowest from June through August. Visit Schedule an Appointment for more information and links to our online scheduler. 

For More Information

Applying for Retirement