The week before you get paid for the first time, ETF will send an Annuity Payment Statement (ET-7211). The statement shows your first payment amount. After this first statement, ETF will only send a statement if there is a change to your payment amount (e.g. tax withholding changes, annuity adjustments, etc.).
Monthly Wisconsin Retirement System annuity payments are payable on the first day of the month. Payment dates may be affected when the first falls on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday. Deposits into individual accounts may vary by financial institution.
Annuity adjustments are yearly changes in a retiree’s monthly pension payment amount for the next 12 months. Payments may increase or decrease based on Core Trust Fund and Variable Trust Fund investment returns. The adjustments are applied to the May 1st payments. In late April, ETF will send an annuity statement showing how much the payment will change.
Annuity Adjustment Rates
Annuity adjustment rates are based on an assumed 5% effective rate of interest. They may be higher or lower, depending on whether actual fund performance is above or below 5%. Once the effective rate is decided, the effective rate, 5% assumption, and actuarial factors (death rates, fund carryover, etc.) are used to calculate the annuity adjustment rate. To see current rates, go to the Annual Returns, Rates and Adjustments page.
Core Trust Fund and Five-Year Smoothing
Your Core annuity is guaranteed for your lifetime and, by law, will never go below the Core (“floor”) (lowest payment limit). The Core floor is set once the final calculation is done for your retirement benefit. If you want to know your Core floor, look at your most recent annuity statement. Look in the “Required Contributions” section and find the words “Regular Core.” The dollar amount shown is your Core floor.
By state law, Core Fund investment returns are smoothed over a five-year period. Smoothing helps cushion the effects of the ups and downs of the stock market. This tends to make annuity adjustments more stable so that you will see less of a change from year to year.
Variable Trust Fund and Risk
Investment returns of the Variable Fund are not smoothed. This means that gains (or losses) are applied in full to the Variable Fund each year. If you participate in the Variable Fund, it is possible for this portion of your monthly annuity to be reduced (by negative adjustments) to an amount below what you began with at retirement (after the final calculation of your retirement benefit). There is no guaranteed “floor” for the Variable Fund portion of your retirement payments. For more information about the Variable Fund, go to the Core Trust Fund and Variable Trust Fund page.