A sample form of the Statement of Benefits is divided into parts with details to help you understand the information. Click on a section to navigate to or scroll down to each section. After you finish a section, click on "Back to Top" to navigate to a new section. Follow along on your own Statement of Benefits. If you do not have your own to look at, download the sample above.
Name & Address and IRS Codes
- Name & Address: Make sure you receive important information about your WRS account by keeping your contact information up to date. See the Change My Address page for steps to change information.
- IRS Codes: The WRS falls under Internal Revenue Service Codes 401(a) and 403(b). The WRS is a defined benefit pension plan; it is neither a 401(k) nor a 457(b). See the WRS Retirement Benefit page for more information.
Section 1 and Section 2
- Section 1 – Earnings and Service: Your employer reports your WRS earnings and service to ETF each year.
- Section 2 – Years of Creditable Service: This section shows your total years of creditable service broken down into three types: "Before 2000," "After 1999," and "After Act 10." This includes military service, if applicable. You may have service in one, two, or all three types, depending on when and how long you have worked under the WRS. See the WRS Retirement Benefit page for more information.
- Section 3 – Employee-Required Contributions: This section shows the cumulative employee-required contributions in your account. This amount does not include the matching employer contributions (see Section 9 for your total account balance). Your interest rate is shown in this section.
- Non-taxable portion of employee contributions (Investment in Contract): Since July 2011, most employee contributions are made on a pre-tax basis and are not taxed until you receive a WRS benefit. However, some types of employee contributions are made on an after-tax basis and are not taxed again. The non-taxable portion of your account is your Investment in Contract.
Section 4 and Section 5
- Section 4 – Additional Contributions: This section shows the balance of voluntary additional contributions that you and/or your employer have made to your account. Additional contributions always receive the effective rate of interest. You cannot withdraw contributions until you leave all WRS employment. See the Additional Contributions page for more information.
- If you received a Long-Term Disability Insurance (LTDI) benefit, your LTDI supplemental contributions are included as Core Employer Additional Contributions.
- Non-taxable portion of employee contributions (Investment in Contract): Currently, additional employee contributions are made on an after-tax basis. After-tax employee additional contributions are included in the Investment in Contract amount. Note: Before 2009, some employees were eligible to make pre-tax additional contributions (tax-deferred). Those and all employer additional contributions are fully taxed when the WRS benefit is paid.
- Section 5 – Primary Beneficiary Designation(s): This section shows who receives any death benefit payable when you die. Your statement only shows your primary beneficiary designation(s) added after 1988. Secondary and tertiary beneficiaries are not listed, but are on file with ETF. If you do not have one on file or you turned one in before 1988, you will see a message like the one in the example. Changes in your personal situation like marriage, divorce, or termination of a domestic partnership do not change your beneficiary designation. You must file a new designation form to change your beneficiary. See the Designate a Beneficiary page for more information.
Section 6 and Section 7
- Section 6 – Separation Benefit: This section shows the amount available if you are eligible for a separation benefit. A separation benefit includes your employee contributions, additional contributions (if applicable), and your earned interest. It does not include employer contributions. If you choose this option, you will lose all employer contributions (if vested) and service, and your account will be closed. See the Leaving WRS Employment page for more information.
- Section 7 – Death Benefit: The amount shown is the minimum death benefit payable to your beneficiary(ies). It will be paid if you die before your WRS benefit begin date. Once you are receiving benefit payments from your WRS account, these estimated death benefits are no longer valid. Instead, your death benefit, if any, is based on the annuity payment option that you selected. See the Death Benefits page for more information.
- Active: This benefit will be paid if you die while employed in a WRS-covered position. A higher formula death benefit may be payable if you are an active WRS employee and are minimum retirement age when you die. An active employee’s beneficiary(ies) is entitled to this benefit regardless of vesting requirements.
- Inactive: This benefit will be paid if you no longer work in a WRS-covered position and have not yet received a WRS benefit.
Section 8 and Section 9
- Section 8 – Formula Benefit Data: This section shows the data ETF uses to calculate your formula retirement benefit. See the WRS Retirement Benefit Calculations page for more information.
- Your three highest years of WRS earnings. The years do not need to be three years in a row, nor your three most recent years.
- Your final average monthly earnings (FAE). Your FAE is calculated by adding the total earnings from your three highest years, dividing that amount by the total service credited for those three years, then dividing by 12.
- If you participate in the Variable Trust Fund, your Variable excess or deficiency amount is shown. This represents how much more or less is in your account because of your Variable participation when compared to your account value if you had never participated in the Variable Fund. See the Variable Fund page for more information.
- Section 9 – Money Purchase Balance: Your money purchase balance is the total value of your account. It includes both the employee-required contributions balance and the matching employer contributions in your account plus accumulated interest. Note: Your monthly money purchase retirement benefit is calculated by multiplying this total balance (including interest) by the money purchase factor for your age on the benefit begin date. Your benefit will be based on this balance, unless the formula calculation (using information from Section 8) is higher.
- Section 10 – Retirement Benefit Projections: This section shows estimates for your retirement benefit under both the money purchase and formula methods. These are not official estimates; they are for your general information only. For more information about projecting your retirement benefit, see the WRS Retirement Benefit Calculations page.
- If you are older than the normal retirement age for your employment category, the amounts are calculated based on your age as of January 1.
Members with Protective and other WRS-creditable service:
This retirement projection shows your estimates for both your “minimum retirement age” and “normal retirement age.” Your normal retirement age is the age at which you can receive a full benefit without an age reduction factor. This calculation takes into account all employment categories for which you have service. Your minimum retirement age is the earliest age you can begin a retirement benefit, at a reduced amount because the benefit is expected to be paid longer. Depending on your age and years of creditable service, these dates can be the same and produce only one benefit projection.
If you have both Protective and other Wisconsin Retirement System service, your previous statements may have shown incorrect ages and amounts for your retirement projections. Your January 1, 2023 statement shows the correct projections in this section.
Please note, your statement does not include any account receivable amount due if you have an outstanding balance pending. Any monies owed on your account will be deducted from your WRS benefit, if not paid in full, before you apply for benefits.