Newsmakers: Wisconsin Retirement System
A long-awaited study of the Wisconsin Retirement System reached this conclusion: Wisconsin's 778,000-member WRS is the only retirement system in the nation "with 100% funding," so there is no reason to consider changing the current defined-benefit system. Robert Conlin, secretary of the Department of Employee Trust Funds, which administers WRS, talked in a July 26 Newsmakers about the $3 billion in benefits WRS paid out in 2011, why that total fell 23% from 2010, and how the system's unique "risk sharing" program kept it fiscally sound during the recession. About 86% of WRS retirees remain in Wisconsin. The study found no reason for WRS to go to defined contribution or opt-out retirement plans.