Retirement Planning


Whether you are a new employee or one on the brink of retiring, retirement choices have important consequences for everyone.  What are some important considerations in planning your retirement?

See: "Are you considering early retirement?"  and  "Retirement & Savings"


What if you are more than 10 years away from retirement?

Do you have previous Wisconsin Retirement System service that you forfeited (by taking a separation benefit) or classified qualifying service (six-month probationary period which wasn't covered under the WRS if you started employment with the State of Wisconsin prior to 1/1/1973)?


Submit a Benefit Request Form to determine how much it will cost to purchase this service.  Then determine whether or not it will benefit your monthly annuity in relationship to the cost of the service.


Do you have military service performed before 1974?  Be prepared to provide a copy of your military discharge papers (DD-214) to ETF.  If you cannot locate your military discharge papers, your County Veterans Service Officer may be able to assist you in getting a copy. You may also be able to obtain a copy from the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs, 608-266-1311.


Participate in the Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) program. See our online resources for retirement and investing for advice in getting started.  Click here to see when TSA vendors will be on campus to answer your questions about the program.


What if you are within 10 years of retirement? 

Visit the ETF Retirement Calculator to explore how different ages and years of service will impact your annuity.


Attend a pre-retirement planning course for your career stage. Contact Human Resources at 785-8013 to register for the next available session.


Roughly calculate your sick-leave conversion account by multiplying your hourly rate by your sick leave balance. Then add any supplemental sick leave hours based on your continuous years of service. You must have at least 15 years of continuous service to qualify for the enhanced sick-leave program. For more information about the Accumulated Sick Leave Credit Conversion Program, consult the Wisconsin Human Resources Handbook.


Sick-Leave Account Estimator (You must have Microsoft Excel to use this spreadsheet program.)


What if you are within one year of retirement?

Visit The Employee trust Funds website to view a Retirement Planning Checklist.


Contact the Social Security Administration for official estimates of your monthly benefit based on your anticipated retirement date. Local phone: (608) 784-5605 or toll-free number: 800-772-1213. 


Complete a Benefit Estimate Request to obtain official retirement annuity estimates from the Department of Employee Trust Funds. Contact Human Resources to have any questions/concerns addressed. Ideally, do this at least six months prior to your anticipated retirement date to ensure adequate time for the retirement process. 


Submit a letter of resignation. 

Faculty & academic staff employees: Send the original to the Provost, and courtesy copies to your Dean and Department Chair.


Classified employees: Send the original to Kathy Ring, Human Resources and a courtesy copy to your direct supervisor.


Contact Cedric Steine in Human Resources when you receive your official retirement packet from ETF.

It will be sent to your home address. Make an appointment to arrange your final retirement counseling appointment. You are encouraged to invite your spouse to attend this meeting as well. Your retirement paperwork can be sent to ETF at any point within 90 days of your retirement date.  If you have provided the appropriate lead time for the retirement process, you will receive your first annuity payment within six weeks of your retirement date, retroactive to the day you retired.


In advance of your counseling meeting, prepare the following paperwork to bring to the appointment:

Complete the Direct Deposit authorization portion of the retirement estimate form.

Complete the Beneficiary Designation form if you have not made a designation previously.  Otherwise, your death benefits will be paid according to standard sequence.


Remember, the finalized sick-leave conversion account cannot be established until after your retirement date. Submit your final leave report/time sheet as timely as possible. This will allow Human Resources to meet the 30-day requirement to process your sick-leave conversion.


What if I have retired?

As an official retired annuitant, your contact regarding monthly payments and benefits in retirement becomes the Department of Employee Trust Funds. You can contact ETF toll free at 877-533-5020.


When you reach age 62, contact Social Security three months prior to your birthday to apply for benefits. Contact the Social Security Administration in La Crosse at 784-5605 for more information.


If you are retired when you reach age 65, you must apply for Medicare benefits. You are required to carry Medicare Parts A & B in order to continue coverage with the State Group Health. Your policy becomes a Medicare supplement, though your overall coverage doesn't change.


Contact Medicare toll free at 800-633-4227 for more information.


Returning to Work After Retirement Fact Sheet on DTF 10.08 Wisconsin Administrative Code


Department of Employee Trust Funds website, Returning to Work After Retirement (ET-4105)


Rehired Annuitant Questions & Answers