How many hours must a new employee work in a year to become eligible for Wisconsin Retirement System benefits?
In 2011 the WRS eligibility threshold was changed by 2011 Wisconsin Act 32 from 600 hours to 1,200 hours. Any employee initially hired after July 1, 2011 must work 1,200 hours before becoming eligible for WRS benefits.
A newly hired municipal employee who previously worked for any WRS participating employer prior to July 1, 2011 is covered by the 600 hour eligibility threshold. The threshold change made by Act 32 did not modify the eligibility criteria for any employee initially employed by a WRS participating employer prior to July 1, 2011, including both WRS eligible and non-WRS eligible employees. Employers must consider any employment with a participating WRS employer prior to July 1, 2011, when determining WRS eligibility under Act 32. Any employee who received earnings for personal services rendered from a participating employer prior to July 1, 2011, would have previously been evaluated for WRS eligibility, including seasonal, project, limited-term, temporary and/or part-time employees, members of boards and commissions, and elected officials. The eligibility criteria regarding expected hours for these employees remains 600 hours.