The Retirement Board correctly construed sub. (5) (b) in determining duty disability benefits when it reduced those benefits by earnings and lump sum worker's compensation benefits received after the effective date of the duty disability benefits. The board was reasonable in reading Coutts to hold that the statutorily specified sums are payable when they are received and that it is proper to offset them against duty disability benefits. Carey v. Wisconsin Retirement Board, 2007 WI App 17
, 298 Wis. 2d 373
, 728 N.W.2d 22
Life insurance coverage. 40.70(1)
Except as provided in sub. (11)
, each eligible employee of an employer shall be insured under the group life insurance plan provided under this subchapter if all of the following apply:
The employer is a participating employer under the Wisconsin retirement system and was included in the group life insurance program by s. 40.20 (5m)
, 1979 stats., or the governing body of the employer has adopted a resolution in a form prescribed by the department to make coverage available to its employees or is the state. Coverage may also be extended by rule to employees under other retirement systems if the employer adopts a resolution as specified in this paragraph. A certified copy of the resolution shall be filed with the department and the resolution takes effect on the first day of the 4th month beginning after the date of filing. An employer may provide group life insurance for its employees through separate contracts in addition to, or in lieu of, the group life insurance provided by the department under this subchapter.
The employee files an application in the manner provided by rule or contract, to be effective on a date fixed by the department, for one or more of the types of coverage established under this subchapter. The group insurance board may provide a different method of enrollment than provided under this subsection.
The employee pays the employee contribution toward the life insurance premium under s. 40.05 (6)
A resolution adopted under sub. (1) (a)
takes effect only if the department determines that at least 50% of the eligible employees of that employer will be covered at the time that the resolution is effective. The department's determination shall be based on the employer's prior year-end report of the number of employees participating in the Wisconsin retirement system or, if the employer was not a participating employer in the prior year, on the number of employees who, on or before the 15th day of the month immediately preceding the effective date of the resolution, have applied for group life insurance coverage under this subchapter. If the department nullifies a resolution based on insufficient participation, the employer may not file another resolution under sub. (1) (a)
during the first 6 months after the date of the previous filing.
Employers may adopt resolutions providing all the coverages provided under this subchapter or provided by contract or may identify in the resolution only specified coverages that are authorized by contract to be offered separately. Employees may file an application under sub. (1) (b)
for the amount of coverage provided under s. 40.72 (1)
and for any other coverage offered by their employer. The department shall determine the method of administration and the procedure for collection of premiums and employer costs.
The governing body of any employer may do any of the following:
Change the coverage that it makes available to its employees under s. 40.72 (2)
by adopting an amended resolution and filing a certified copy of the amended resolution with the department.
Withdraw from making coverage under this subchapter available to its employees by adopting a withdrawal resolution and filing a certified copy of the withdrawal resolution with the department.
Nullify its amended resolution or withdrawal resolution at any time before it becomes effective by adopting a nullifying resolution and filing a certified copy of the nullifying resolution with the department.
Except as provided in sub. (5)
, amended resolutions and withdrawal resolutions take effect on the first day of the 4th month beginning after the date of filing. Nullifying resolutions take effect on the date of filing.
If a withdrawal resolution becomes effective, the employer may not file another resolution under sub. (1) (a)
during the first 12 months after the effective date of the withdrawal resolution.
The department may accept or reject an amended resolution, or a resolution under sub. (1) (a)
that is filed after the employer's withdrawal resolution becomes effective, and may charge the employer for any postretirement insurance liability.
Except as provided in sub. (7m)
, any employee who has not applied for coverage under sub. (1)
within the time period specified by rule or contract after becoming eligible for coverage or any employee whose insurance terminates under sub. (8)
shall not thereafter become insured for that coverage unless the employee furnishes evidence of insurability satisfactory to the insurer, at his or her own expense. If the evidence is approved, the employee shall become insured on the first day of the first month beginning after the approval.
If, as a result of employer error, an employee has not filed an application with the department as required under sub. (1) (b)
or made premium contributions as required under sub. (1) (c)
within 60 days after becoming eligible for group life insurance coverage, the employee is considered not to be insured for that coverage. The employee may become insured by filing a new application under sub. (1) (b)
within 30 days after the employee receives from the employer written notice of the error. An employee is not required to furnish evidence of insurability to become insured under this subsection. An employee becomes insured under this subsection on the first day of the first month beginning after the date on which the employer receives the employee's new application under sub. (1) (b)
An insured employee may at any time cancel one or more of the types of life insurance coverage provided under this subchapter by filing a cancellation form with the employing office. The cancellation form shall be transmitted immediately to the department. The cancellation shall be effective and the insurance shall cease at the end of the calendar month which begins after the cancellation form is received by the appropriate office.
The life insurance shall terminate as provided in the contract which shall also provide an option for an employee to convert insurance coverage upon termination of employment if covered by the insurance during the entire 6 months preceding termination or if covered by the insurance from the initial effective date for that employer, to the date of termination.
The group insurance board may provide for the continuation or suspension of insurance coverage during any month in which no earnings are received during a leave of absence.
An eligible state employee shall not be insured under the group life insurance provided under this subchapter if the employee elects insurance coverage with a county under s. 978.12 (6)
See also s. ETF 60.31
, Wis. adm. code.
Death benefit eligibility.
The following described persons are entitled to death benefits from the Wisconsin retirement system, in the form and at the times specified:
The beneficiary of any participant or of any annuitant on the date of death of the participant or annuitant. For purposes of this subsection:
A participant is deemed a participating employee on the date of death even though the participant is then an applicant for a retirement or disability annuity, except as provided by s. 40.63 (8) (h)
, if the participant's application was received by the board within 30 days after the participant ceased to be a participating employee and the participant would have been entitled to the annuity had the participant lived.
If the date of death is less than one year after the last day for which earnings were paid, a participant is deemed a participating employee on leave of absence, notwithstanding the fact that no formal leave of absence is in effect, if the participating employer for which the participant last performed services as a participating employee has not filed notice of the termination of employment prior to the employee's death.
See also s. ETF 20.37
, Wis. adm. code.
If the death of a participating employee on leave of absence, other than a leave for purposes of military service, arises from employment by any employer other than a participating employer, employment is deemed to have terminated and the participant shall not be considered a participating employee on the date of his or her death.
Every participant is deemed an annuitant immediately upon the effective date of the participant's annuity, or the date the application is received by the department if the participant is living on that date, whichever is later.
Any annuitant whose annuity is terminated shall cease to be an annuitant as of the last day of the month preceding the last day on which the annuity is payable.
Any death benefit may be paid as a beneficiary annuity, subject to s. 40.73 (3)
, or as a single cash sum as specified by the beneficiary in the application for the death benefit unless the participant prohibited payment of a single cash sum in a written notice received by the department prior to the participant's death. A prohibition on payment of a single cash sum shall not be effective if the monthly amount of the annuity would be less than the amount determined under s. 40.25 (1) (a)
or if the beneficiary is the participant's estate or a trust in which the beneficiary has a beneficial interest.
Whenever any death benefit is payable in a single cash sum, it shall be paid only after receipt by the department of the following:
A copy of the death certificate of the participant or annuitant;
A written application of the beneficiary for the benefit; and
Any additional evidence deemed necessary or desirable by the department.
History: 1981 c. 96
; 1987 a. 309
See also s. ETF 20.37
, Wis. adm. code.
Nothing in s. 40.73 creates an entitlement in the beneficiary to the annuity-value single cash sum benefit as of the date of death even though the value of the single cash sum benefit is calculated as of the date of death. A beneficiary does not acquire a property interest in a single cash sum death benefit under s. 40.73 (1) (c) until the beneficiary applies for a death benefit as required by sub. (3). Fazio v. Department of Employee Trust Funds, 2006 WI 7
, 287 Wis. 2d 106
, 708 N.W.2d 326
Life insurance benefits. 40.72(1)
Except as provided in sub. (2)
, the amount of group life insurance of an insured employee under age 70 shall be $1,000 of insurance for each $1,000 or part of $1,000 of the employee's annual earnings during the prior calendar year, notwithstanding any limitation of amount that may otherwise be provided by law. For persons covered initially the earnings shall be a projection on an annual basis of the compensation at the time of coverage until the date determined by the group insurance board for establishing new annual amounts of insurance.
Except as provided by sub. (3)
, the amount of life insurance for any insured eligible employee who is 70 years of age or older or insured retired eligible employee under sub. (4)
who is 65 years of age or over shall be the amount as computed under sub. (1)
reduced by 25% of that amount on each birthday of the employee commencing with the employee's 65th birthday, with a maximum reduction of 75%.
The maximum reduction in the amount of insurance for any insured employee to whom this subsection applies by an election under s. 40.70 (3)
and for any insured state employee shall be 50%.
The group insurance board may, by contract, limit the amount of group life insurance for any insured employee who becomes insured by electing coverage under s. 40.70 (6)
The amount of life insurance for any insured employee who was either a participating employee before January 1, 1990, or who has been covered under the group life insurance plan in at least 5 calendar years after 1989, who terminates employment shall be the same as if the employee had not terminated employment and earnings had continued at the same amount as at the time of termination, except as provided in subs. (2)
and s. 40.70 (3)
, if any of the following applies on the date of termination:
The employee meets all of the requirements for receiving an immediate annuity except the filing of an application.
The sum of the employee's creditable service on January 1, 1990, and the number of calendar years after 1989 in which the employee has been covered under the group life insurance plan equals at least 20 years.
The employee's number of years of service with the participating employer by whom the employee was employed immediately before termination equals at least 20 years.
At any time after an insured employee's amount of life insurance is reduced under subs. (2)
and life insurance premiums are no longer required under s. 40.05 (6) (b)
, the employee may convert the present value of the life insurance to pay the premiums for health or long-term care insurance provided under subch. IV
, but only if the department determines that the value of the conversion is exempt from taxation under the internal revenue code.
The amount of insurance specified under sub. (4)
shall be adjusted when the person again becomes an employee of an employer participating in the group life insurance plan and while employed again the person shall pay premiums under s. 40.05 (6)
for the insurance.
The amount of insurance of an employee who retires on disability annuity shall be the same as if the employee had not retired and his or her earnings had continued in the same amount as at the time of his or her retirement, except as provided by subs. (2)
During a period of disability in which premiums are waived under the terms of the insurance contract the amount of insurance shall be the same as if the employee had not become disabled and earnings had continued at the same amount as at the time of becoming disabled, and the contract may provide that the insurance continues during the continuance of the disability even if the person ceases to be an employee.
The life insurance in effect during the previous year shall not be reduced during subsequent consecutive years of eligible employment with the same employer unless the employee elects to have the amount of life insurance recomputed under subs. (1)
or cancels coverage. The election shall be made under procedures established by the department. This subsection is subject to the limitations of subs. (2)
In addition to the insurance provided under sub. (1)
, insurance may be provided against accidental death and dismemberment as defined by the group insurance board in accordance with benefit schedules established by contract.
Each insured state employee, and each insured employee to whom this subsection applies by an election under s. 40.70 (3)
, who is under 70 years of age, or 65 years of age if retired, shall be provided an amount of group life insurance in addition to that provided under sub. (1)
equal to 100% of the employee's earnings rounded to the next higher $1,000, if earnings are not in even $1,000 increments. The employee may cancel, in accord with the procedures specified by s. 40.70
, the amount of additional insurance provided under this subsection.
See also ss. ETF 60.31
, Wis. adm. code.
Death benefits. 40.73(1)(1)
The amount of the Wisconsin retirement system death benefit shall be:
Upon the death of a participant, other than an annuitant or a participating employee, the sum of the additional and employee required contribution accumulations credited to the participant's account on the beneficiary annuity effective date or, in the case of a lump sum payment, the first day of the month in which the death benefit is approved. In addition:
For teacher participants who were members of the state teachers retirement system or the Milwaukee teachers retirement fund on June 30, 1966, the amount shall be increased by the employer contribution accumulation credited to the participant's account on or prior to June 30, 1973, plus interest at the effective rate subsequently credited to the accumulations.
For participants who were participants of the Wisconsin retirement fund on or prior to December 31, 1965, the amount shall be increased by the employer contribution accumulation credited to the participant's account on December 31, 1965, plus interest at the effective rate subsequently credited to the accumulations.
Upon the death of a participating employee, except as otherwise provided by par. (c)
, the sum of all of the following accumulations, including any interest credited to the accumulations, that are credited to the participant's account on the beneficiary annuity effective date or, in the case of a lump sum payment, the first day of the month in which the death benefit is approved:
Twice the employee required contributions, after first subtracting the accumulations under subd. 2.
, including interest on the accumulations.
Upon the death of an annuitant, in addition to any amounts payable by virtue of the annuity option elected by an annuitant, the amount determined under par. (a)
for contributions made under s. 40.05 (1)
subsequent to the effective date of the annuity, or additional contributions not applied to provide an annuity, provided the amounts have not been previously paid out as a lump sum under s. 40.25
Upon the death of a participating employee who, prior to death, met the applicable minimum age under s. 40.23 (1) (a) (intro.)
, if the beneficiary to whom a death benefit is payable is a natural person, or a trust in which the natural person has a beneficial interest, the present value on the day following the date of death of the life annuity to the beneficiary which would have been payable if the participating employee had been eligible to receive a retirement annuity, computed under s. 40.23
, beginning on the date of death and had elected to receive the annuity in the form of a joint and survivor annuity providing the same amount of annuity to the surviving beneficiary as the reduced amount payable during the participant's lifetime. If there is more than one beneficiary the amount of the annuity and its present value will be determined as if the oldest of the beneficiaries were the sole beneficiary. If the death benefit payable to the beneficiary under this paragraph would be less than the amount determined under par. (am)
the death benefit shall be payable under par. (am)
and this paragraph shall not be applicable to the beneficiary. An annuitant receiving an annuity only under s. 40.24 (1) (f)
, which annuity was an immediate annuity, shall be deemed a participating employee for purposes of this paragraph only, but the amount payable under s. 40.24 (1) (f)
shall not be changed.
Increased, upon the death of a participant who had elected the additional benefit provided by s. 42.81 (14)
, 1979 stats., and continued making the contributions provided for in s. 42.81 (14)
, 1979 stats., and was eligible for the benefit on December 15, 1988, by an amount and for a period determined by the actuary and approved by the board as being appropriate to the level of contributions provided for in s. 42.81 (14)
, 1979 stats., or any lower level of contributions, as determined by the actuary and approved by the board. The board may require that the payment of benefits under an insurance contract be paid in lieu of any benefits provided under this paragraph, but only if the benefits under the insurance contract are at least equal to the benefits that would otherwise have been paid under this paragraph on the date on which the insurance contract went into effect.
Decreased by the balance in the memorandum account established under s. 40.26 (2) (b)
except when the death benefit amount is determined under par. (c)
and the retirement annuity would have been computed under s. 40.26
Upon the death, prior to the expiration of the guarantee period, of an annuitant receiving an annuity which provides a guaranteed number of monthly payments, monthly payments shall be continued until payments have been made for the guaranteed number of months. Any beneficiary under this paragraph may elect at any time to receive the then present value of the annuity, including monthly interest at the assumed benefit rate for each full month between the termination of annuity payments and the month in which the single sum payment is approved, in a single sum.
In lieu of the continuation of monthly payments under par. (a)
, the then present value of the annuity shall be paid as a death benefit under sub. (1)
The death of the beneficiary occurs after having become entitled to receive payments under par. (a)
, but prior to the end of the period guaranteed;
The amount of the monthly payments to the beneficiary, including any amount payable under s. 40.27
, is less than the amount determined under s. 40.25 (1) (a)
At the death of the annuitant the remainder of the period for which payments are guaranteed is less than 12 months.
A death benefit may be paid as an annuity for the life of the beneficiary, if the amount of the death benefit is sufficient to provide a beneficiary annuity in the normal form at least equal to the amount determined under s. 40.25 (1) (a)
and the beneficiary or the participant has elected to have the death benefit paid as a beneficiary annuity.
Whenever any death benefit is payable in the form of an annuity, the annuity may begin on the day following the date of death of the participant or annuitant if the department has received a copy of the death certificate of the participant or annuitant, and a written application of the beneficiary for the benefit, subject to the same restrictions on effective dates as set forth for retirement annuities.
The amount of any beneficiary annuity shall be that which can be provided from the death benefit, determined in accordance with the actuarial tables in effect on the effective date of the annuity.
Any beneficiary who is eligible to receive a beneficiary annuity may elect to receive the annuity in any of the optional annuity forms provided for retirement annuities, other than as an annuity payable over the joint life expectancies of the beneficiary and another person. The number of guaranteed monthly payments available to a beneficiary may not exceed the life expectancy of the beneficiary.
Any beneficiary between ages 18 and 21 or the legal or natural guardian of a minor beneficiary may, in lieu of a life annuity, elect that the death benefit be paid in the form of a temporary life annuity, beginning on the day following the date of death of the participant or annuitant and ending with the monthly payment immediately prior to the beneficiary's 21st birthday, and a final payment, payable one month after the termination of the temporary annuity, in the amounts specified in the application, provided the amounts can be provided from the death benefit, on the basis of the actuarial tables in effect on the date of initial approval of the annuity. A beneficiary, prior to the final payment, may, if the amount of the final payment is sufficient to provide an immediate beneficiary annuity in the normal form of at least an amount equal to the amount determined under s. 40.25 (1) (a)
monthly, elect to receive in lieu of the final payment an annuity commencing on the day following the date of termination of the temporary annuity, determined on the basis of the actuarial tables in effect on the date of initial approval of the annuity.