Employees FAQ 29

Are police and fire chiefs and other public safety supervisors exempt from the requirement that non-represented municipal employees pay the employee’s contribution to the Wisconsin Retirement System?

It depends on whether the rank and file public safety employees are unionized and if so whether the collective bargaining agreement has the employer picking up the employee’s contribution to WRS.  If the answer is yes to both questions, then the public safety managers are treated the same.  Under 2011 Wisconsin Act 32 non-represented police and fire department managers are aligned with represented public safety employees for purposes of WRS contributions.  State law allows represented public safety employees to continue to bargain over most matters relating to wages, hours, and conditions of employment, including whether, and to what extent, the employer “picks-up” the employee share of the WRS contribution. Under Act 32, non-represented law enforcement and firefighting managerial employees employed by a municipality are treated the same as represented public safety employees employed by that municipality for purposes of paying the employee required WRS contribution. If the municipal employer picks up the represented police and fire employees’ WRS contribution, then the municipality must also pick up the non-represented police and fire managers’ WRS contribution.

If a community’s police department is not unionized, then the rank and file members of the department and the police chief and other managers are required to pay the employee’s contribution to WRS and the municipality is prohibited from paying the contribution on behalf of the employee.