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ETF Moves to Hill Farms State Office Building Set

The Department of Employee Trust Funds is moving to the new Hill Farms State Office Building during the last week of March. After April 1, ETF's new street address for appointments and deliveries will be 4822 Madison Yards Way, Madison, WI 53705-9100.

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WRS Continues to be Strong for Wisconsin -- by Robert Conlin, ETF Secretary

As we kick off 2018, let me just say right out of the gate that your Wisconsin Retirement System continues to be in very good health. While the average funded status of public pension plans nationally hovers just north of 70%, the WRS funding ratio (a measure of whether a pension plan has sufficient assets to pay promised benefits) was 99.1% at the end of 2016, as measured under the Government Accounting Standards Board requirements. The State of Wisconsin Investment Board's strong performance in 2017 will increase this funding ratio and provide for a Core annuity adjustment of around 2% this spring, and exert downward pressure on contribution rates for 2019. The WRS is well positioned for the future.

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SWIB Names New Executive Director

Rick Smirl has been appointed Executive Director of the State of Wisconsin Investment Board. Smirl comes to SWIB after serving as partner and chief operating officer at William Blair Investment Management. The firm provides investment solutions to individuals, pension funds, insurance companies, corporations, state and municipal government entities, sovereign wealth funds, and other leading institutional investors across the globe.

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ETF Projections for Effective Rates, Annuity Adjustments

The State of Wisconsin Investment Board has announced preliminary 2017 investment returns for the Core Trust Fund and the Variable Trust Fund. How will this affect your Wisconsin Retirement System account?

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The Great Recession: 10 Years Later

This is the first in a three-part series that looks back at the Great Recession, its effect on the Wisconsin Retirement System and how the State of Wisconsin Investment Board invests first to help protect the pension system from another major downturn and then to earn reasonable returns.

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Legislative Update -- by Tarna Hunter, ETF Government Relations Director

The Wisconsin Legislature is expected to wrap up the 2017-2018 session in late February or early March. The following is the latest legislation or legislative actions affecting the benefit programs administered by the Department of Employee Trust Funds.

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SWIB Wins Pair of Allocators' Choice Awards

The State of Wisconsin Investment Board has received two Institutional Investor Allocators' Choice Awards. In a recent ceremony SWIB took home top honors in the Technology User of the Year and Team of the Year categories. SWIB was among three finalists for Technology User of the Year and one of seven finalists for Team of the Year.

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Why Are You in Public Service?

Tell us why you are working to serve the public, your community and the people of Wisconsin. Take our survey today.

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New Year, New Resolve: Get Financially Fit with ETF's Program

Along with the usual resolution to get in better physical shape, how about resolving to get financially well and fit? You can do it with ETF's Financial Fitness Program — and end up feeling more confident about your financial future, to boot.

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Pharmacy Benefits: Saving on Your Prescriptions

Watch this ETF eLearning to learn how to reduce your out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs.

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Know Your Benefits

I want to learn more about my WRS benefits and how they work for me. Where should I start?

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Near Retirement? Schedule an Appointment

Members who have retirement estimates and are within a year of retirement can schedule an appointment with an ETF benefits specialist. ETF offers three kinds of appointments, all of which provide a thorough explanation of your retirement estimate, annuity payment options, the retirement process itself, and much more:

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How Divorce Can Affect Your WRS Account

If a marriage is legally terminated, the court can award a certain percentage of your Wisconsin Retirement System account to an alternate payee (your former spouse). The court order that awards a portion of the account to the alternate payee is called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order. The QDRO must award a percentage of the account to the alternate payee — not a dollar amount — and it can be up to 50%. This percentage applies to all parts of the account, including employee and employer contributions, additional contributions and creditable service (including military service).

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Senate Confirms Reappointment of Trustee Sheehy

Trustee Tim Sheehy has been reappointed to serve on the State of Wisconsin Investment Board's Board of Trustees.

Sheehy is a gubernatorial appointment. The Senate Committee on Revenue, Financial Institutions and Rural Issues recommended Sheehy's reappointment and it was approved by the full Senate in October. Sheehy will serve a six-year term that expires in May 2023.

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Spring is Statement of Benefits Time

In April, the Department of Employee Trust Funds will distribute the 2018 Annual Statement of Benefits to actively employed Wisconsin Retirement System members. The statement is a summary of your WRS pension account, including year-end balances. Visit this webpage after you receive your statement for additional information, including:

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Why It's Important to Keep Your Beneficiary Designation Upated

When it comes to your Wisconsin Retirement System account, few things are more important than keeping your beneficiary designation up to date. Did you know that your beneficiary does not automatically change when your life circumstances change, or that your will does not constitute a WRS beneficiary designation?

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2018 WRS Governing Board Meetings

The issues discussed and decisions made by the five governing boards of the Wisconsin Retirement System affect the benefit programs administered by the Department of Employee Trust Funds.

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Free Wellness Webinars

The Well Wisconsin Program continues its series of free wellness webinars for members covered under the group health insurance program.

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P&I Video Interview with David Villa

Watch this brief Pension & Investments video interview of David Villa, SWIB Chief Investment Officer, on the rewards and challenges of managing the WRS Trust Funds. Specific topics include important tenets of investment philosophy, portfolio development, investment staff acquisition and development, shared investment risk and reward, and SWIB's investment in technology/operational changes.

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Coming Soon: A New Online Experience with the WDC

In the coming weeks, some big changes are coming to the Wisconsin Deferred Compensation Program website, www.wdc457.org. These include:

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ETF Seeks Individuals with Abandoned Accounts

Every January ETF publishes a notice of individuals age 70 or older who have abandoned WRS accounts. Members or their heirs have 10 years after published notification to apply for the benefit.

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Request Retirement Benefit Estimate Online

Do you plan to retire within the next 12 months? If so, have you requested an official retirement benefit estimate from your account? It's easy to do online. Complete the required fields and we will send you an estimate based on your account. The current wait time for estimates is about 4 weeks.

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Returning to Work After Retirement

So, you're going to retire soon — congratulations! Every year approximately 10,000 Wisconsin Retirement System employees join our retiree ranks. But before you make it official, we must ask: Do you have plans to work after retirement? It's important to note that you can work for a non-WRS employer at any time — your WRS benefits administered by the Department of Employee Trust Funds won't change.

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