The WRS Works for Wisconsin


State retirement system named ‘Best in Nation’


Three things new educators
should know about retirement

Teacher pipeline, retention
and how pensions fit

Why pensions are good for schools, communities
as well as educators

Wisconsin can be proud that the WRS is one of the best managed and funded systems in the nation. Because retirement security is critical to attracting and keeping highly qualified professionals in our schools, WEAC keeps a close watch and mobilizes members around the state to help keep the WRS strong.

What’s New in Wisconsin?

Despite its stellar performance, over the years there have been attempts to move the WRS to a defined contribution system. The idea has always been squelched, because it can drive taxes higher while reducing retirees’ pensions — and local buying power.

the red rectangle button

Recent articles about the WRS:

  • Pensions work better for teachers than 401(k)s, expert writes

    One of the arguments being made by politicians attacking teacher pensions nationally is that 401(k)s would be better for teachers anyway. Don’t believe it, writes Nari Rhee, director of the Retirement Security Program at the UC Berkeley Labor Center. “Our research shows, by the time most active teachers leave service — in their early 50s or later — they will be far better off with their pensions than they would have been with 401(k)s,” Rhee writes in a Los Angeles Times column. Read More...
  • Legislative Update – June 15

    The Joint Finance Committee unanimously nixed the governor’s plan to move state workers to self-insurance, after halting meetings for over a week, saying it was risky and they can find other ways to insure schools. “I’m happy we were able to do that without sticking it to state employees,” Rep. Gordon Hintz, D-Oshkosh, told Madison insiders. Other topics include the debate over K-12 funding, referendum restrictions and private school vouchers. Read More...
  • Legislative Update and Action Alerts – May 19

    This week’s Legislative Update includes Action Alerts to contact your elected officials and ask them to support full funding of public education over private charters and voucher schools, and to protect the Wisconsin Retirement System from unnecessary changes. Other topics include special education funding, school board candidate signatures and campus speech. Read More...
  • Legislative Update – May 5

    A fiscal estimate was received on a bill that WEAC is closely watching because it would raise the early retirement age for educators from 55 to 60 and change the calculation for final average earning. Other topics this week include: Legislative review of DPI’s plan for the federal Every Student Succeeds Act … Transportation funding plan affects state’s tax structure .. The governor says he’s confident school won’t start before September 1 … The governor is voicing support for a prevailing wage ban … Committee considers reducing size of the WERC. Read More...
  • Legislative Update – April 24

    Bill increases state aid for special education and school age parents programs to no less than 33 percent of the school district’s costs … Bill would raise early retirement age from 50 to 52 for protective services employees and from 55 to 60 for general employees, and change the calculation for a participant’s final average earning from the highest 3 years to the highest 5 years … Series of bills introduced to restrict the ability of school districts to win passage of local referendums … Bill would require DPI to first submit its ESSA plan to the Assembly and Senate education committees for approval before it goes to the federal government … Joint Finance Committee to begin state budget deliberations … Senate Education Committee will hold an executive session on bills related to recovery charter schools and a mental health training program. Read More...
  • WRS participants to see payment increases

    The Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds has announced annuity increases for the nearly 200,000 retirees of the Wisconsin Retirement System. The Core annuity adjustment is 2.0% and the Variable annuity adjustment is 4.0%, effective May 1. Read More...
  • Legislative Update – February 17

    More than $636.6 million in budget requests shut out of governor’s proposal … Bill on rural broadband, TEACH grants being circulated … Bill circulating to regulate electronic smoking devices on school property … School board meeting minutes bill introduced … Project labor agreement bill sent to Assembly Rules Committee … ETF sends letter regarding self-insurance … and more. Read More...
  • Legislative Update – February 14

    The week in review: A new school funding task force is looking to revamp of the state school funding formula. Some GOP lawmakers expressed reservations about the $649 million Governor Walker wants to pump into K-12 education. The Group Insurance Board voted to move forward with self-insuring state employees. A bill to repeal the school start date mandate gains support in the Legislature. The governor proposes a 5 percent tuition cut for all in-state undergraduate students. Read More...

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