IMPORTANT NOTICE TO ALL EMPLOYEES PARTICIPATING IN THE WISCONSIN RETIREMENT SYSTEM

WRS Contribution Rates for 2011

Most UW System employees covered by the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) will be required to pay 0.2% (two tenths of one percent) of WRS-covered earnings to the WRS for 2011. Protective employees will have to pay a 0.8% (eight tenths of one percent) contribution rate, employees covered by the Building Trades bargaining agreement will have a 1% contribution rate (no change from 2010) and LTEs will have a 2.5% WRS contribution rate for 2011. 

UW System will continue to pay the remainder of the WRS contribution rate for 2011.  The WRS contribution rate paid by UW System on behalf of most employees will be 11.4% of earnings (9.1% for LTEs, 10.6% for Building Trades employees and 20.5% for protective occupation employees). 

Any required WRS contributions are automatically deducted from an employee’s paycheck.  Unclassified employees (paid monthly) will first have a WRS deduction on the January 3, 2011 paycheck and classified employees (paid bi-weekly) will have the first deduction on the January 13, 2011 paycheck.  The contribution amounts are relatively small.  For example, 0.2% of an annual salary of $40,000 amounts to $3.08 per biweekly paycheck and $6.67 per monthly paycheck.

Background

WRS contribution rates are approved by the Employee Trust Funds (ETF) Board.  These rates are based on current benefit levels and recommendations from the ETF Board’s independent consulting actuary.  The contribution rate increases for 2011 are mainly due to the large investment losses that occurred during the downturn of the stock market in 2008.

The 2009 – 2011 compensation plan and the collective bargaining agreements that are currently in force limit the amount an employer may contribute to the WRS on behalf of the employee.  The increase in the WRS contribution rates for 2011 exceeds how much UW System is allowed to contribute on the employee’s behalf.

For additional information, see http://www.uwsa.edu/hr/benefits/WRSratefaq.pdf.

Please e-mail benefits@uwgb.edu or call 465-2390 if you have any questions.