ETF 20.17 Note
The purchase of the service for the qualifying period, teacher improvement leave, and previously uncredited service as a junior teacher or executive participating employee are all intended to be one-time purchases of the entire available credit with payment-in-full accompanying the application. Applications without full payment would generally be rejected. However, because a plan-to-plan transfer under s. 40.285 (5)
, Stats., is now an available payment option for all forms of creditable service purchase, the possibility exists that there will be a payment shortfall resulting in proration of the service purchased as provided by s. 40.285 (5) (c)
, Stats. This paragraph permits an additional creditable service purchase of the same type during the same calendar year, provided the participating employee remains otherwise eligible.
A person may not purchase credit for service to the extent that the effect would be to exceed the 1.0 year limit on creditable service for any annual earnings period. For purposes of this subdivision, notwithstanding par. (d) 4.
, the service for which the person wishes to purchase credit and all the person's other purchased service credits shall be treated as if credited under the Wisconsin retirement system or a predecessor retirement system in the annual earnings periods when the services were actually rendered. The person's current creditable service for an annual earnings period together with all previously granted service credits associated with that annual earnings period, including but not limited to purchased service credits as provided in this subdivision, shall first be subtracted from 1.0 year to determine the balance remaining, if any, for each annual earnings period that may be purchased under this section and s. 40.285
ETF 20.17 Note
Example 1. A participant earned 0.40 years of creditable service working for a participating employer during the 2004 annual earnings period. During the same annual earnings period, the participant worked 1,905 hours, the equivalent of one full year of creditable service, for another governmental employer not covered by the Wisconsin retirement system. Even if the participant is otherwise eligible to purchase credit for the other governmental service, no more than 0.60 years of service for the 2004 annual earnings period may be purchased.
ETF 20.17 Note
Example 2. A participant whose annual earnings periods are calendar years, earned 0.60 years of creditable service between January and May 2005 by working overtime. The participant then terminated and took a separation benefit, forfeiting the service. The participant then returned to participating employment in July and earned 0.58 years of creditable service for the remainder of 2005. Some years later, the participant meets the qualifications to purchase the forfeited service. The participant may not purchase credit for more than 0.42 years of the forfeited service.
Refunds may not be made for amounts under the threshold established by s. 40.285 (7)
, Stats. Refunds shall be made in the manner provided by s. 40.285 (6)
, Stats. Interest on refunds is subject to the provisions of s. 40.08 (6)
, Stats. No excess funds transferred to the department by a plan-to-plan transfer may be refunded directly to the participant. If the department refunds any payment taken from additional contributions under subd. 2.
, it shall restore the refunded amount to the additional account as if the transfer had not occurred. The following order of priority shall determine the sources of any refund due:
The participant's lump sum payment to the department. The refunded amount shall be paid directly to the participant.
Additional contributions transferred from the participant's after-tax additional contribution account. The amount refunded shall be transferred back to the participant's after-tax additional account.
Additional contributions transferred from the participant's tax sheltered additional contribution account. The amount refunded shall be transferred back to the participant's tax-sheltered additional account.
Funds transferred from another qualified retirement plan under s. 40.285 (5)
, Stats. When more than one qualified retirement plan was the source of transferred funds, the department shall determine the refunded amount to be returned to each qualified retirement plan.
Payments retained by the department shall be deposited in the participant's required contribution account under s. 40.04 (4) (a) 1.
, Stats. Except as otherwise provided in subd. 3.
, if the participant participates in the variable trust the payment shall be divided between the core and variable accounts in the same proportion as the participant's current contributions are so divided at the time that payment is received.
For interest crediting purposes, except as otherwise provided in subd. 3.
, all payments received to purchase creditable service including plan-to-plan transfer funds shall be treated as amounts received during the year in which the department actually receives the payment or transferred funds.
Notwithstanding subd. 2.
, for interest crediting purposes, funds transferred from the participant's voluntary employee additional contributions that were in the prior year's closing balance of the additional contribution account, including interest credited, when the transfer occurs shall retain that status so that the participant will not forfeit interest to be credited on the prior year's closing balance. Notwithstanding subd. 1.
, amounts transferred from a participant's additional contributions in the core investment fund to buy service shall remain in the core investment fund, and additional contributions transferred from the participant's variable additional contributions to buy service shall remain in the variable fund. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to affect an individual's variable cancellation rights under s. ETF 10.30 (5)
For any type of creditable service purchased under s. 40.285 (2)
, Stats., if the purchase includes a plan-to-plan transfer and the total amount received by the department is less that amount required for the purchase of the service, and the difference exceeds the threshold for corrections under s. 40.285 (7)
, Stats., then the department shall proceed under s. 40.285 (5) (c)
, Stats., and allow the participant 30 days to pay the difference. If the difference is not received within 30 days after notice is sent to the participant, the department shall complete the purchase, reducing the amount of service credit purchased to the credit that can be purchased by the payment actually received.
ETF 20.17 Note
See s. ETF 20.17 (3) (d)
for the required rules concerning how a forfeited service purchase is prorated when the participant forfeited service under more than one category of employment.
If the department determines that the actual cost of purchasing service under s. 40.285 (2)
, Stats., is greater than the amount estimated by the department for the participant, and the participant paid the estimated amount in full, then the participant shall be notified and allowed 30 days to either pay the balance due or withdraw the application, without prejudice. If the balance due or is not received prior to the deadline, then the department shall proceed under subd. 2. a.
, as appropriate.
When a plan-to-plan transfer made up part of the payment, the department shall proceed under the payment shortfall provisions of s. 40.285 (5) (c)
, Stats., except as otherwise provided by subd. 2. c.
When no plan-to-plan transfer is involved and subd. 2. c.
do not apply, or the participant made a timely request to withdraw the application, the department shall refund all amounts received as provided in par. (f)
If a Wisconsin retirement system annuity or lump sum in lieu of an annuity under s. 40.25 (1)
, Stats., is to be paid to the applicant, and the applicant so requests, the balance due shall be deducted from the lump sum or a subsequent monthly annuity payment payable. This subdivision paragraph does not apply if the balance due exceeds the amount of the benefit under s. 40.25 (1)
, Stats., or if the Department determines that the amount of the monthly annuity available for this deduction is insufficient.
If the application was for the purchase of credit for forfeited service or other governmental service, and subdivision paragraph c. does not apply, the department may complete a partial purchase as provided in sub. (3) (d)
or (4) (g)
No participant withdrawal or cancellation of application; exception.
The participant may not cancel or withdraw an application to purchase service credits once any payment has been received by the department, except under the circumstances specified in par. (h) 2. b.
Treatment of purchased service credit as pre-2000 or post-1999 service.
For purposes of computing formula annuity benefits under s. 40.23 (2m) (e)
, Stats., and the differing multipliers applicable to creditable service that was performed before January 1, 2000, and on and after that date, purchased service credits will be treated as provided in s. ETF 20.19 (2)
Words, phrases and terms used in this section shall have the same meanings as set forth in s. 40.02
, Stats., and s. ETF 10.01
. In addition, in this section:
“Current earnings" means the participant's earnings in the most recent complete annual earnings period, provided the participant was a participating employee for the full annual earnings period. If the participant was not a participating employee throughout the most recently ended annual earnings period, “current earnings" means the product of the participant's hourly pay rate on the date of application, multiplied by the number of hours the participant would reasonably be expected to be employed as a participating employee during the current annual earnings period, assuming that the participant would continue to be employed for the remainder of the current annual earnings period.
“Date of application" means the date the signed application on the form approved by the department for the purchase of the type of service in question is received by the department, as determined under s. ETF 10.82 (1)
ETF 20.17 Note
Note: The forms approved by the department for the purchase of service credits are “Application to Purchase Other Governmental Service," form ET-2205, “Qualifying Service Purchase Estimate/Application," form ET-4314, “Forfeited Service Purchase Estimate/Application" form ET-4315, “Uncredited Teaching Service Purchase Estimate/Application," form ET-4323. These are individually customized forms that reflect the department's estimate of the amount required from the participant for that particular purchase. In addition, where no standard form exists for the type of service purchase, customized estimates will be prepared by the department upon request. All forms and estimates can be obtained at no charge by writing to: department of employee trust funds, P.O. Box 7931, Madison, WI 53707-7931, or by calling (608) 266-3285 or toll free at (877) 533-5020. Forms should be requested at least four (4) weeks before the date the participating employee intends to apply, and well in advance of any anticipated termination of employment, to allow sufficient time for the department to calculate the personalized estimates of the cost.
“Money purchase balance" means the sum of the participant's employee required contributions and accrued interest, including accumulations resulting from purchases under this section, plus an amount from the employer reserve equal to the employee required accumulation less any amount resulting from purchases under s. 40.285 (2) (b)
, Stats., and interest accumulated on those amounts.
“Other governmental service" means one of the following:
The government of a U.S. state other than Wisconsin or a political subdivision, department or agency of such state.
An employer as defined by s. 40.02 (28)
, Stats., that does not participate in the Wisconsin retirement system with respect to the employee's employment category.
Service as an employee for a participating employer in the Wisconsin retirement system that was performed before the employer began to participate with respect to the employee's employment category, and that has not been recognized by the employer as creditable prior service.
ETF 20.17 Note
Under s. 40.21 (6)
, Stats., an employer may choose to recognize none, 25%, 50%, 75% or 100% of the previous service of existing employees when the employer first joins the Wisconsin retirement system, and may subsequently increase the recognized percentage for those who are still participating employees at the time. Any percentage of an employee's previous service remaining unrecognized is “other governmental service" within the meaning of subd. 2.
Purchasing creditable service forfeited by a separation benefit or withdrawal of employee or member contributions. ETF 20.17(3)(am)1.1.
An applicant is eligible to purchase service under this subsection if, on the date of application, the applicant is a participating employee with at least 3 continuous years of creditable service, as defined by s. ETF 10.01 (7)
and no break in service between the three continuous years and the application date.
For purposes of s. 40.285 (2) (a) 2. b.
, Stats., unless barred because of receipt of a benefit as provided in subd. 3.
or as otherwise provided in this section or s. 40.285
, Stats., a person may purchase credit for rendering services that were then covered by the state teacher retirement system, Milwaukee teacher retirement fund or Wisconsin retirement fund, if the person subsequently received a lump sum payment under one of the separation or withdrawal laws in effect before January 1, 1982, including ss. 41.16
, 1969-79 stats., 42.242 (5)
, 42.243 (7) (e)
, 1957-79 stats., 42.245 (4)
, 1965-79 stats., 42.49 (1) (a)
, 1945-79 stats., 42.49 (14)
, 1955-79 stats., 42.49 (16)
, 1965-79 stats., 42.75 (1)
, 42.76 (10)
, 42.78 (6)
, 1971-75 stats., 42.86 (1)
, 1969-79 stats., 66.90 (15)
, 1945 stats., 66.91
, 1947-67 stats.
Conversely, a person who received an annuity, or a lump sum payment in lieu of an annuity under s. 40.25 (1)
, Stats., is not eligible to purchase credit under s. 40.285 (2) (a)
, Stats., for any services rendered to a participating employer as a participating employee prior to payment of the benefit. Correspondingly, no person may purchase credit under s. 40.285 (2) (a)
, Stats., for services rendered prior to receiving a lump sum benefit under the similar laws in effect for the Wisconsin retirement fund, state teacher retirement system or Milwaukee teacher retirement fund prior to January 1, 1982, including ss. 41.11
, 1969 stats., 41.11 (8)
, 1971-79 stats., 42.242 (7)
, 1957-79 stats., 42.245 (6)
, 1965-79 stats., 42.49 (15)
, 1955-79 stats., 42.73 (1)
and 42.76 (12) (c)
, 1971-79 stats., 42.78 (2) (k) 1.
, 1975-79 stats., and 66.906 (3d)
, 1967 stats. Those are not separation or withdrawal benefit laws within the meaning of s. 40.285 (2) (a) 2. b.
Service in different categories of employment; Calculation of cost.
In cases where the service to be reestablished was earned in more than one employment category, separate calculations shall be done for each period of service using the applicable statutory contribution rate under s. 40.05 (1) (a)
, Stats., as affected by s. 40.05 (1) (b)
, Stats., for each employment category. The department's estimate to purchase service shall be calculated based on all the years and fractions of a year of forfeited service that are then available for purchase under s. 40.285 (2) (a)
, Stats., and this subsection, including the limits of s. 40.285 (2) (a) 1. a.
, Stats., unless the applicant specifies a lesser amount. If the applicant so requests on the application received by the department, the final calculation of cost made after the application is received may include all years and fractions of a year of forfeited service eligible for purchase under s. 40.285 (2) (a)
, Stats., as of the date of application.
Proration of multiple category service for payment shortfall.
If the participant's payment to purchase service forfeited by a separation benefit or withdrawal of employee or member contributions is less than the amount needed to purchase all of the forfeited service that the participant is eligible to buy, the department shall complete the purchase by reducing the service credit purchased to the prorated credit that can be purchased by the payment actually received. Within each category of employment, the payment received shall be applied first to purchase service credit eligible to be treated as pre-2000 service, as provided in s. ETF 20.19 (2) (d)
. If the participant has forfeited service based on employment in more than one category under s. 40.23 (2) (b)
, Stats., and the participant does not specify the service category or categories to which the payment is to be applied, the department shall use the following order of priority in determining to which category of service to apply the payment, until the amount paid is exhausted:
Purchase and crediting of other governmental service. ETF 20.17(4)(b)
The department shall grant creditable service for other governmental service to participants who meet all of the following requirements:
On the date of application, the applicant is a participating employee with at least 3 continuous years of creditable service, as defined by s. ETF 10.01 (7)
, with no break in service between the three continuous years and the application date.
With respect to the other governmental service for which credit is to be purchased, the participant was the employee of a federal, state or local governmental entity. In this paragraph, notwithstanding s. 40.02 (26)
, Stats., the terms “employee" and “employer" have their common meanings. The term “employee" does not include an unpaid volunteer, an independent contractor, a person contracted to furnish more than his or her personal services, a patient or inmate of a hospital, home or institution who performs services therein, or anyone who did not receive salary, wages or other compensation for his or her services. Employment by a private or non–profit entity which received government moneys or which was under contract to provide services to or on behalf of a governmental entity does not constitute employment with a governmental entity.
The participant submits an application to the department with payment, on a form approved by the department. The applicant shall then have 90 days to complete the application process by submitting all of the following:
Evidence that the service was other governmental service and which meets the requirements of par. (c)
. The department's determination as to the sufficiency of the documentation shall be subject to timely appeal to the employee trust funds board under ch. ETF 11
A written certification by the employer for which the service was rendered that the service will not be used to establish entitlement to, or the amount of, any other pension or retirement benefit from a plan for federal, state or local government employees which is subject to sections 401
of the internal revenue code, except for a disability or OASDHI benefit or a benefit paid for service in the national guard and the reserves. If the participant is unable to obtain the employer's certification through reasonable efforts, the department may accept the employee's written statement in lieu of the employer's certification, or contact the employer directly. If the employer does not have the information necessary to make this certification, the department may accept the employee's written statement in lieu of the employer's certification.
ETF 20.17 Note
Note: If the federal, state or local governmental retirement or pension plan, like the Wisconsin retirement system, provides a benefit defined in part by service but also includes an alternative money-purchase benefit, then service under that plan is used to establish entitlement even if the particular individual received a benefit calculated without reference to years of service. The same is true for any plan with a vesting requirement.
Required evidence of service.
A participant who proposes to purchase other governmental service shall provide to the department all of the following:
The correct name and current or latest address, and telephone number, if any, of the employer for which the service was rendered.
The dates of service for the other governmental employer, including the beginning and ending dates of each period of employment.
Evidence of whether the employment was considered full-time or part-time, and of the number of hours worked in each calendar year, sufficient to establish the amount of service which the participant is eligible to purchase. Full-time employment will be assumed to be 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week, absent a showing that the employer established a different standard. Years of service shall be calculated from hours of service rendered in the manner provided in s. ETF 10.03 (3)
Evidence that the employer was a federal, state, or local governmental entity in the United States. The department may rely on the determination of the social security administration as to whether an employer is a governmental entity.
Evidence that the participant was an employee of the governmental entity.
The service was not performed as an independent contractor or subject to a contract under which the employee furnished more than his or her personal services.
That the services were not performed as a student assistant, or as an employee-in-training or for a school or other educational institution where the employee was a student attending classes and performing services incidental to the course of study.
The services were not performed on or after April 23, 1992, while the person was a full-time student who had not attained age 20.
The services were not performed after the person had already become an annuitant, excluding annuities received in the capacity of another person's beneficiary, named survivor or alternate payee.
The services were not performed for a hospital, home or institution while the person was a patient or inmate.
The employer was not a private or non-profit entity under a contract to provide services to or on behalf of a governmental entity.
If the participating employee is applying to receive creditable service for service in the U.S. armed forces or national guard, evidence that the employee was discharged from the U.S. armed forces or national guard under honorable or general conditions.
The cost to purchase other governmental service is intended to fully fund the anticipated benefit increase provided by the purchased service credit, based on the laws then in effect.
The actuary shall devise the method for calculating the cost to purchase other governmental service. The actuary's calculation shall use the same economic and actuarial assumptions used in the actuary's valuations of the Wisconsin retirement system. The actuary shall establish the factors necessary to determine the actuarial value to each applicant of the purchased service credit. Those factors may include, without limitation:
The participant's current employment category as determined under s. 40.23 (2m) (e)
, Stats. If the participant is employed in 2 or more categories on the date of application, the computation shall be based on the current employment category in which the participant has accrued the most creditable service.
The participant's earnings for the last completed annual earnings period, as of January 1 preceding the date of application.
The number of years, in hundredths of a year, of service credit the participant requests to purchase.
The participant's accumulated employee required contributions, including interest, as of the January 1 preceding the date of application.
Twelve times the participant's final average earnings determined as of January 1 preceding the date of application.
The participant's years of creditable service, including all previously purchased service credit, by employment category and by pre-2000 and post-1999 service.
ETF 20.17 Note
This amendment (CR 09-057
) to the existing rule provides clarification that the actuary may include the eight factors specified in the rule when determining the actuarial value of the purchased service credit along with other relevant factors. In addition, the rule corrects a typo by adding the word “service" to the applicable section.
The actuary may, at any time, change the method of calculating the cost of other governmental service credits if warranted by changes in the benefit laws or valuation assumptions of the Wisconsin retirement system or by other factors the actuary determines to be actuarially significant. The actuary's new method of calculation shall be applied as soon as possible unless a delayed effective date is recommended by the actuary. The department may complete pending transactions and honor cost estimates produced before the new method of calculation went into effect.