WRS Contribution Rates to Decrease in 2018

The Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) has announced a slight decrease for 2018 Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) contribution rates effective January 1, 2018. According to ETF, the 2018 contribution rate changes are primarily due to higher favorable WRS Trust Fund investment performance.  In general, when trust fund investment earnings are greater than expected, contribution rates may decrease the following year.  When earnings are lower than expected, rates may increase to make up for the shortfall. Changes in WRS contribution rates are designed to be stable, with investment returns for the Core Fund smoothed over a five-year period.

WRS contribution rates are set annually by the ETF Board, upon review of its consulting actuary’s annual valuation of the system and its funding requirements.  The total rates are generally split evenly between employees and employers and adjusted annually.

Your contribution rate is determined by your WRS employment category. Most UW employees are covered by the General/Teacher WRS category. High level administrators (chancellors, president, vice presidents, provosts) are covered by the Executive category.  Employees whose main duties are related to law enforcement or the protection of the public (police officers, fire fighters) are covered by the Protective category.

2018 WRS RatesThe 2018 rates will apply to all paychecks paid in 2018, beginning on the January 2, 2018 for Faculty, Academic Staff and Limited Appointees paid monthly, and January 4, 2018 for University Staff paid bi-weekly.  As a reminder, WRS contributions are taken on a pre-tax basis for state and federal purposes.

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