Vol. 16, No. 3
January 22, 1999
Determining whether an Employe Qualifies for WRS Participation
AND Benefit Presentations Begin February 1 in 13 Locations
As the result of a recent appeal, the Department of Employe Trust
Funds is issuing this notice to employers for clarification of the
following two issues:
- The effective date for reporting an employe to the WRS under
the "look back" provision in Wis. Stats. § 40.22 (2m).
- When it is appropriate to exclude an employe from the WRS under
the "30 calendar days" provision in Wis. Stats. § 40.22
Look Back Provision
If an employe is brought into the WRS as a result of the "look
back" provision, the effective date of participation must be
the day after the first day on which both of the following are true:
- The employe has been employed by the employer for at least one
- The employe worked 600 hours (non-teacher) or 440 hours (teacher)
for the employer during the immediately preceding 12-month period.
When an employe reaches 600 hours (non-teacher) or 440 hours (teacher)
in a 12-month "look back" period, you must determine the
actual day the employe reached 600 hours (non-teacher) or 440 hours
(teacher) and enroll the employe effective the following day. Some
WRS employers are identifying the "pay-period" in which
the employe reaches the two criteria above and enrolling the employe
effective the first day of the next pay period. This process does
not comply with the statutory provision. Therefore, the employer
may not use the first day of the next pay period for enrollment
purposes unless the employe reaches 600 hours (non-teacher) or 440
hours (teacher) on the last day of the pay period.
||A non-teaching employe begins
work on March 10, 1998. At hire, it is determined that he will
not be employed for at least 600 hours and, thus, he is not
enrolled in WRS. One year later, the employe is still employed.
On March 10, 1999, the employer performs a "look back"
and determines that the employe has worked less than 600 hours.
Therefore, the employer must continue to evaluate his eligibility
on a 12-month rolling period. As each future payroll is processed,
the employer must add the hours from the most recent payroll
period and subtract the hours from the oldest payroll period
to determine the total hours worked in the immediately preceding
12 months. During the pay period April 11, 1999 through April
24, 1999, the employe exceeds 600 hours. The number of hours
worked in the one-year review period from April 25, 1998 to
April 24, 1999 equals 624 hours. The employer now must determine
the actual day the employe reached 600 hours and enroll the
employe effective the following day. In this example it is determined
the employe reached 600 hours on April 21, 1999. The employe
must be enrolled effective April 22, 1999.
30 Calendar Day Provision
An employe is excluded from participation in the WRS if the employe
is hired and then terminates employment with that employer within
the same 30 calendar days.
||An employe is newly hired on December
1, 1998 to fill a full-time position, but terminates on December
18, 1998. Although the employe met the WRS eligibility criteria
upon hire and was enrolled, the employe is not eligible to participate
in WRS for that period of service as the length of employment
was for less than 30 calendar days. The employer must reverse
(using termination transaction code 03) the initial WRS enrollment
and any retirement contributions withheld from the employe's
salary must be refunded.
If the employe's hire date and termination date are more than 30
calendar days apart, the employe may not be excluded from the WRS
under the 30 calendar day provision. There is no need to count the
actual number of days worked, or to measure the length of time between
the qualifying date (e.g. WRS begin date) and termination date,
or to count the number of days the employe is eligible for WRS.
The test is the period of employment.
||A non-teaching employe is hired
on September 1, 1998 and the expectation is that she will not
be employed for 600 hours. On September 1, 1999, the employer
performs the 12-month "look back" and determines the
employe worked 600 hours and enrolls the employe in the WRS.
The employe terminates employment on September 17, 1999. In
this case, the employe is eligible for WRS even though her WRS
coverage was for less than 30 calendar days because the employe's
duration of employment exceeded 30 calendar days; therefore,
she is eligible for WRS coverage.
In summary, Wis. Stat. § 40.22 (6) requires that you look at the
period of employment in determining if the 30 calendar day provision
applies, not the period of WRS coverage. If the employe has been
employed less than 30 calendar days between the date of hire and
the termination date, the employe is not eligible for WRS.
Please direct any questions or concerns about the above process
to the Employer Communication Center at (608) 264-7900.
Benefit Presentations Begin February 1 in 13 Locations
The Department of Employe Trust Funds (ETF) and other sponsors
will offer 13 public presentations explaining Wisconsin Retirement
System (WRS) and other benefits. Employes, spouses and any interested
individuals are encouraged to attend if interested in learning more
about WRS benefits and how they apply at the time of retirement.
The first session is on February 1 in the Shawano Community High
School Auditorium in Shawano, Wisconsin. Topics include retirement
formula benefit calculation, annuity options, disability benefits,
separation benefits, taxes, survivor benefits plus health and life
insurance benefits. Questions on when to retire and how to determine
actual benefits also will be discussed.
No reservations or fees are required. Each session is from 7 to
9 p.m. All locations are handicapped accessible with adequate free
Please inform your employes of the dates and locations. Attached
to this Bulletin is a list of the presentation dates and
locations. Please reproduce the page as a poster for display in
your work areas. In addition, you may want to highlight the locations
within driving distance to your office(s).
For questions about the presentation schedule contact Luana Schneider,
ETF Member Services, at (608) 266-3463.