Payment in full of the department's estimated cost of the service credit if the purchase is for a qualifying period, teacher improvement leave or previously uncredited service as a junior teacher or executive official under s. 40.285 (2) (c)
, Stats. Such payment may include authority to transfer 403(b) funds or additional contributions under s. 40.05 (1) (a) 5.
, Stats., already held by the department in order to make the purchase. A transfer of 403(b) funds must be authorized by the school district or other educational institution employer operating the plan under s. 403(b) of the internal revenue code.
In lieu of payment in full, the applicant may include at least 10% of the department's estimated cost of the creditable service with the application and arrange for the balance to be paid by a plan-to-plan transfer under s. 40.285 (5)
, Stats. Such transfer funds must be received within 90 days after receipt of the application or the application or the purchase will be treated under the payment shortfall provisions of s. 40.285 (5) (c)
, Stats., and par. (h)
Partial payment of the department's estimated cost of the service credit, but only if the purchase is for forfeited service or other governmental service, under s. 40.285 (2) (a)
The department may reject any application which 90 days after the date of application remains incomplete in any respect other than receipt of payment. If an application is rejected under this subdivision then the department shall refund any associated payment as provided by par. (f)
An application to purchase creditable service for forfeited service or other governmental service under s. 40.285 (2) (a)
, Stats., shall be rejected if the applicant does not have at least three continuous years of creditable service immediately preceding the date the completed application form is received by the department, with no break in service between the three continuous years and the application date.
Effect of purchasing service.
Buying creditable service under this section adds the amount of service purchased to the person's total creditable service for the purpose of calculating a formula annuity benefit under s. 40.23 (2) (b)
or (2m) (e)
, Stats., or making a formula annuity calculation in the same manner, including under s. 40.25 (1)
, 40.63 (8)
or 40.73 (1) (c)
, Stats. Buying creditable service has no retroactive effect, including but not limited to the following:
Buying creditable service does not undo any effects of the requirement that a person who takes a separation benefit must thereafter be treated as a new employee upon subsequent employment by a participating employer.
ETF 20.17 Note
See s. 40.25 (3)
Buying creditable service does not establish an earlier date of participation nor restore an account as though it had never been closed.
Buying creditable service does not restore or entitle the purchaser to any benefits or rights associated with being a participant in the Wisconsin retirement system, or a member of any predecessor retirement system, at the time the services for which credit is being purchased were actually performed.
Except as provided in s. ETF 50.50 (2) (b)
, buying creditable service does not establish creditable service in or for any particular annual earnings period or calendar year, or prior to any past date, or for purposes of measuring continuous years of creditable service.
ETF 20.17 Note
Note 1: As a consequence of purchased service credits not establishing creditable service in or for any particular annual earnings period or calendar year, purchased service does not affect the denominator for the calculation of final average earnings in s. 40.02 (33) (a) 2.
, Stats., nor the amount of a person's creditable service in a particular annual earnings period for purposes of s. 40.23 (2m) (fm)
or 40.63 (1) (a)
, Stats., for example.
ETF 20.17 Note
Note 2: Purchased service credit is included in the "creditable service" used to determine the normal retirement age and the maximum formula benefit for a protective occupation participant under ss. 40.02 (42) (a)
and 40.23 (2m) (b)
, Stats., respectively, as well as months of creditable service for reducing the actuarial adjustment under s. 40.23 (2m) (f) 2.
, Stats., and the reduction of duty disability benefits for service over 25 years under s. 40.65 (5) (a)
, Stats. Credit purchased under s. 40.285
, Stats., except under s. 40.285 (2) (b)
, Stats., also applies to the "creditable service" used to determine eligibility for creditable military service, group health, and post-retirement life insurance, under ss. 40.02 (15) (c)
, 40.02 (25) (b) 6. a.
, 6m. b.
and 40.72 (4) (b)
, Stats. Limitations on the use of purchased credit for other governmental service in particular are listed in sub. (4) (e) 5.
ETF 20.17 Note
Note 3: Service purchased under s. 40.285
, Stats., shall be included with all other creditable service in the participant's account divided by a qualified domestic relations order pursuant to s. 40.08 (1m) (b)
, Stats., provided the application for the purchase was actually received by the department prior to the decree date, as that term is defined by s. 40.02 (18f)
, Stats. See s. ETF 20.35 (3) (d) 2.
ETF 20.17 Note
Example 1. A person became a participating employee covered by the Wisconsin retirement system in 1995. The participant terminated employment in 1999 and took a separation benefit in 2000 thereby closing her Wisconsin retirement system account. She again became a participating employee on January 1, 2002, and later purchased all the service forfeited by taking the separation benefit in 2000. The years of service purchased are added to the participant's current service balance and are included in the creditable service used to calculate a formula annuity benefit under s. 40.23 (2) (e)
, Stats. However, for all Wisconsin retirement system purposes she is treated as a new participant as of January 1, 2002. Her account and benefit rights are not restored as though her account had never been closed.
ETF 20.17 Note
Example 2. A former member of the state teacher retirement system took a separation benefit in 1971. Subsequently buying creditable service for teaching services rendered in 1970 does not confer any present right to the minimum retirement age of 50 for teachers that was in effect in 1970.
ETF 20.17 Note
Example 3. A former member of either the state or Milwaukee teacher retirement system before 1964 whose account was later closed by withdrawing member contributions as a member of either the combined or formula group, or by withdrawing both member and state deposits as a member of the separate group, does not reestablish that account by subsequently purchasing credit for the forfeited service. The former teacher is treated for all WRS purposes as a new employee upon returning to participating employment. Consequently, any benefits now paid to the participant are not being paid on the account of a December 31, 1963, member. However, nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the Wisconsin department of revenue from interpreting s. 71.05 (1) (a)
, Stats., as it sees fit for its purposes.
Buying credit for service does not affect or restore earnings for any annual earnings period or for purposes of calculating a benefit or final average earnings.
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.
"Military service" means active military service and active service as defined in s. ETF 10.01 (1g)
, active duty for training, service as a cadet or student at a U.S. military service academy, and service in the national guard and the reserves.
"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:
Service, other than military service, performed as an employee of any 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.
(3) 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 (2n) (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:
(4) 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 affidavit in lieu of the employer's certification, or contact the employer directly.
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.
Evidence that the service required, or was expected to require, at least 600 hours of employment per calendar year, regardless of whether the employment involved teaching in any form.
The employee's sworn certification that all of the following are true:
The service was not performed as an independent contractor or subject to a contract under which the employee furnishing 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.