Eligible City of Madison employees automatically contribute to the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) pension plan, which is administered by the State of Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds. Employees may also choose to participate in a deferred compensation plan.


The City of Madison participates in the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS). The City of Madison matches the employee contribution, which is taken out of the employee's paycheck with pre-tax dollars. Employees may also make voluntary, after-tax, additional contributions to their WRS account to supplement the regular WRS benefit.

Core Trust Fund

Contributions to the WRS are automatically placed into the Core Trust Fund for employees. The Core Trust Fund is invested in a combination of bonds, fixed income securities and common stock.

Variable Trust Fund

Employees may also choose to participate in the Variable Trust Fund. The Variable Trust Fund is a diversified investment portfolio and performance of the Variable Trust Fund is more dependent on the stock market than the Core Trust Fund. There is greater risk associated with the Variable Trust Fund, but also the possibility of a higher return if the stock market performs well. 50% of contributions (both employer and employee) may be placed into the Variable Trust Fund.

Employees can sign up for the Variable Trust Fund at any time. Employees can also cancel Variable Trust Fund participation, but once this is done, the employee will not be allowed to resume contributions.

Receiving Payment

In most cases, upon retirement, employees will receive an annuity, paid monthly.

The minimum retirement age to begin receiving an annuity is 55. However, the normal retirement age is 65 for general employees and employees who retire before age 65 will have an actuarial deduction made on the annuity. If an employee has at least 30 years of creditable service and retires at age 57 or later, there will be no actuarial deduction. Employees who leave the City prior to age 55 and do not secure employment with another WRS employer may have the option of taking a separation benefit. Otherwise, separated employees may leave the money in the WRS until turning age 55, at which time (or thereafter) the separated employee can choose to take a lump sum payout or a monthly annuity.

Learn more about the City retirement process.

More Information

For more information, please see the Employee Benefits Handbook.

Beneficiary Designation Form/Beneficiary Designation-Alternate Form