Retirement Planning

Most people will spend up to one-third of their life in retirement, so it is important to prepare and save money now in order to support yourself during your golden years. Experts estimate that you will need at least 70% of your pre-retirement income to maintain the same standard of living once you stop working. Several programs are available through your UW employment to help you meet your financial needs in retirement.

Saving for Retirement

UW System employees have several options to save money for retirement.

Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS)

The Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) provides retirement (pension) benefits to UW System employees and to most public employees across the State of Wisconsin.  Participation is automatic for all eligible employees, with coverage beginning on the first day an employee is eligible.  The required employee and employer contribution rates are updated annually.  The employee share is deducted on a pre-tax basis.  You may not opt out of the WRS.  The WRS is administered by the Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF).

WRS Annual Statement of Benefits are issued by the ETF each April and are available to current employees on the My UW Portal, under Benefits Information, Statements tab.

Explanation of Annual Statement of Benefits

Supplemental Retirement Savings Plans set aside money for retirement on a pre-tax or post-tax (Roth) basis.
 
Tax-Sheltered Annuity 403(b) Program

The UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity 403(b) Program is a supplemental retirement savings program through which you can invest a portion of your income for retirement on either a pre-tax basis, an after-tax basis (Roth), or a combination of both.  Participation in the UW TSA plan is voluntary.  You make the entire contribution; there is no employer match.

Salary Reduction Agreement
Tax-Sheltered Annuity 403(b) Program

Wisconsin Deferred Compensation

The Wisconsin Deferred Compensation (WDC) is a supplemental retirement savings plan, regulated by Section 457 of the Internal Revenue Code.  Through the WDC plan you can invest a portion of your income for retirement either on a pre-tax or post-tax (Roth) basis or a combination of both.  Participation in the WDC plan is voluntary.  You make the entire contribution; there is no employer match.

Social Security

Social Security is a federal program that provides you (and in some cases your spouse or former spouse) with a monthly retirement benefit at age 62 or later. 

 

Health Insurance in Retirement

  • Any sick leave hours accumulated by the time of retirement are converted to a dollar amount in order to pay for your health insurance as a retiree through the State Group Health Insurance program.
  • Learn more about this in the Sick Leave Conversion Program.

Resources