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The Department of Employee Trust Funds is pleased to announce the Wisconsin Deferred Compensation Program has received a 2021 Leadership Recognition Award for plan design and administration. The award, presented by the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators, recognized a 2020 WDC pilot project that increased participants’ engagement with their retirement savings strategies and plans.

For the pilot, a small group of non-retired participants evaluated the benefits of seeing their Wisconsin Retirement System benefit projection, an estimate of their Social Security benefit, and their personal sources of retirement income in a personalized Lifetime Income Score. The LIS indicated the percentage of working income they were on track to replace in retirement. Having a LIS will ultimately help participants better prepare for retirement by knowing where to adjust their savings rate and amounts, asset allocation, and retirement timeframe. 

Highlights

During the six-week pilot in spring 2020:

  • ​47% of participants reviewed their LIS with their WRS defined benefit estimate included. Average web session duration for these participants was longer than the WDC average session duration. 
     
  • 12% of participants decided to add in other outside assets and income to fill out their retirement income picture. 
     
  • 4.5% of the participants who went online increased their contribution after reviewing their LIS with their defined benefit estimate.
     
  • 6% updated their beneficiaries during their web session.

“This ‘defined benefit estimate pilot’ gave us valuable information about the desire of our WDC participants to have a complete view into their retirement income sources,” says Shelly Schueller, director of the WDC.

Schueller said the success of the pilot resulted in approval to, prospectively, include projected WRS pension estimates in the LIS for all vested, actively working participants. Now, all WDC participants benefit by viewing their expected primary retirement income sources in one place, thereby potentially maximizing their retirement savings.

About the WDC

The WDC is an optional, supplemental retirement savings plan for all state and university employees and is also available to employees of participating local government employers. ETF administers retirement, insurance and other fringe benefit programs, such as the WDC, on behalf of almost 600,000 working and retired public employees of the Wisconsin Retirement System.