Optional Retirement System for UW System Employees Proposed

PROFS has learned that State Representative Pat Strachota (R-West Bend) is proposing legislation that would give the University of Wisconsin System the authority to create an optional retirement plan for employees hired after the effective date of the legislation. Strachota writes in a memo to fellow legislators:

UW System campuses are at a competitive disadvantage because Wisconsin does not offer access to the type of retirement plan which is standard in higher education across the country. Every Big Ten university, including the University of Nebraska, offers access to such a plan.

Strachota’s proposal differs from one¬†advanced in 1997 (AB 331) in that it does not mandate the creation of an optional retirement plan, it merely gives the Board of Regents the authority to do so.

The proposal has not yet been introduced — Strachota is recruiting cosponsors right now — and PROFS has not taken a position on the proposal. We would like to know what you think of the proposed legislation. Are you in favor of an optional retirement plan (ORP)? Do you think the ability to participate in an ORP would be attractive to new faculty hires? Please use the comment section to let us know.

1 comment for “Optional Retirement System for UW System Employees Proposed

  1. Karen Tusack
    January 19, 2012 at 11:42 am

    This is the first in a series of attempts to change the WRS from a defined benefit to a defined contribution plan. In fact, the WRS “…is a “hybrid” pension plan, with features of both defined contribution and defined benefit plans” now. We already have the “flexibility”, if desired. We are NOT at any competitive disadvantage! Do not be fooled by this bill! How many 401k plans didn’t take massive hits in the crash of 2008? The party in power wants to end the WRS as we know it, period.

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