Skip Navigation Links Wyoming Retirement System

News for WRS Plan Members


Fall/Winter 2016 Newsletter

Wyoming Retirement System Newsletter

Stories include:

- Working to Ensure Healthy Pension Plans
- Update on U.S. Economy
- Prioritizing Between Saving for Children's College & Retirement
- Wyoming's Leaders Proponents of Retirement Security
- And More...

Download the Fall/Winter 2016 Newsletter (pdf)...

Previous Newsletters... 

2017 Deferred Compensation Contribution Limits

The regular contribution limit for elective deferrals to the 457 Deferred Compensation Plan will remain $18,000 in 2017. Employees age 50 or older may contribute up to an additional $6,000, for a total of $24,000. Employees taking advantage of the special catch-up may be eligible to contribute up to double the regular limit, for a total of $36,000 in the calendar year. For more information regarding special catch up, contact the Plan at 457pln@wyo.gov or 307-777-3325.

Contribution changes may be made by completing a Paycheck Contribution Election Form. Changes must be received by the Plan by the last day of of the current month to take effect as early as the following month.

State Employee Out-of-Pocket Contribution Rate Changes July 1, 2017

The amount state employees pay out-of-pocket for the Public Employee Pension will increase from 2.305 percent to 2.68 percent on July 1, 2017. This adjustment is in keeping with a four-year plan for adjusting the employee contribution rate put in state law in 2013.

Many participating non-state employers follow the same pattern for the “pick-up” of the employee contribution. Check with your employer for specifics.

The Public Employee Plan required employee (8.25%) and employer (8.37%) contribution rates remain the same for a total of 16.62 percent.

The out-of-pocket contribution for members of the Warden, Patrol & DCI Pension will increase to 2.64 percent on July 1, 2017.

Learn more about the contribution increases that will be phased in through July 1, 2017 for the Public Employee Pension Plan and the Warden, Patrol and DCI Plan...


Annual Member Survey Results

Each fall, WRS surveys its membership to assess a variety of topics. Results of the 2015 Active Employee and Retiree surveys are now available: Retiree Survey (pdf) | Active Employee Survey (pdf)

 

Annual Pension Account Statements

Annual Pension Account Statements are an important part of helping members understand their pension benefit and for verifying account information.

Pension statements are posted annually to the Online Pension Account of actively employed and inactive members. View the Online Pension Account Setup video for assistance. You can also update contact information, beneficiaries, and more via the Online Pension Account. If you have additional questions about your statement, please email us at wrschange@wyo.gov.

More Information on Annual Pension Account Statements is Available Here...


WRS Board Changes Interest for Non-Retiree Accounts

At its August 2015 meeting, the WRS Board voted to change the interest rate applicable to non-retiree pension accounts from 5.5% to 3% compounded annually starting Jan. 1, 2016. Pension accounts are comprised of employee contributions and interest.

This interest rate change affects account refunds and pre-retirement death benefits, but is generally not a factor in determining pension benefits for the large majority of members. There is a small group of non-retired members hired prior to July 1, 1981 whose pension benefits may be impacted by this change. Contact WRS at pension@wyo.gov or 777-1977 for account specific information. The Board carefully studied this change prior to approval.

The Board wanted to establish a consistent rate for all plans and better align with the existing interest rate environment. With the exception of WRS’ Volunteer Plan, which has a 3% rate established by state law, the rate applicable to all other plans had been 5.5% for many years.

Retiree News

Retiree payroll schedule

The retiree pay schedule reflects the dates that electronic funds transfers will occur or physical checks will be mailed. Payroll dates are subject to change.

2017
Monday, January 30
Monday, February 27
Thursday, March 30
Thursday, April 27
Tuesday, May 30
Thursday, June 29
Monday, July 31
Wednesday, August 30
Thursday, September 28
Monday, October 30
Wednesday, November 29
Thursday, December 28
 

Retiree payroll statements

WRS mails retiree payroll statements once per year at year end, and whenever a change is made to a retiree's account. Payroll statements are also available each month in your Online Pension Account.

If you have questions concerning your retirement benefit, please email them to retireequestions@wyo.gov or call WRS at
(307) 777-7691 and ask for the payroll section.

1099-R Forms

WRS issues 1099-R forms via mail on or before January 31 of each year. Learn more about your 1099-R form...

 

Information Regarding COLAs

The WRS Board and Executive Director are aware that rising prices and inflation are a difficulty for long-time retirees on a fixed income.

In 2012, the State Legislature passed a law returning the authority to grant pension cost of living adjustments (COLAs) to the Legislature and also requiring 100% funding of the plan before a COLA could be awarded from WRS funds. The Public Employee Pension Plan is moving in the direction of 100% funding through strong investment earnings and contribution increases. However, it will be many years before the plan meets the requirements to grant a COLA from WRS funds.

The WRS Board has advocated for legislatively funded COLAs and has provided the Legislature with a tool for estimating the cost of COLAs. WRS is not aware of any pending legislation to address this issue.

 

Retiree FAQs...