Wisconsin Retirement System

For those of you interested in this topic, here is some info. that just circulated from DETF.                          John
Department of Employee Trust Funds
December 27, 2012

Preliminary Effective Rates and
Annuity Adjustments for 2013

At this time of the year, many Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) members want to know what to expect for next year’s effective rates (applies to active employees) and annuity adjustments (applies to retirees) for the Core and Variable Trust Funds.

The projections shown below are based on the State of Wisconsin Investment Board’s (SWIB) preliminary investment returns as of November 30, 2012. Please note: Year-end finalized investment returns through December 31, mortality and other actuarial factors will affect the final rate setting process.



Core Fund

Variable Fund

SWIB Investment Return



Effective Rate

1.8% to 2.2%

13% to 15 %

Annuity Adjustment

0% to -13%

7% to 9%


Core Fund gains or losses for each year are “smoothed” (recognized) in equal increments over five years to cushion the effect of market volatility. Members in the optional Variable Fund experience the full effect of market gains or losses—returns are not smoothed.

The Core Fund annuity adjustment calculations for 2013 will be based on the investment experience from 2008 to 2012. A member’s Core annuity can never go below the original amount (“floor”) received at retirement.

Under the system’s five-year smoothing process, 2013 is the last year in which the annuity adjustment rates will reflect the investment decline caused by the stock market crash of 2008.

Watch for these upcoming important announcements:


  • Final investment returns in mid-to-late January,
  • Final effective rates in February,
  • Final annuity adjustments in March,


Individual annuity adjustments for retirees are reported in their annual annuity mailer in April (annuity adjustments will be reflected on the May 1 payment).


The unique risk-sharing feature of the WRS provides a stable and guaranteed income in retirement, despite market conditions. The WRS is in sound financial condition and positioned to pay all of its benefit promises—both now and in the future.

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