Wisconsin Council 40

GOP is Taking Aim at the Wisconsin Retirement System

The Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) is one of the largest and strongest public retirement plans in the nation. Currently there are 572,000 actively employed and retiree members in the WRS (that is 12% of the population of Wisconsin or 20% if you include members and their families!) The economic impact of the WRS in Wisconsin is significant. Spending by beneficiaries accounted for $4.5 billion in 2006 and the WRS has over $8.5 billion invested in companies with Wisconsin ties. Moreover, according to the Pew Center on the States, “Wisconsin is a national leader in managing its long term liabilities for both pension and retiree health care and other benefits. It has funded nearly 100% of its total pension bill…” So, if the WRS safeguards the financial security of a significant percentage of Wisconsin residents, and if the system itself is not broken, why are we talking about the WRS?

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