WELS Pension Plan Benefits

Vesting Rules

A plan participant who accrues a benefit under the Pension Plan only becomes entitled to receive that benefit if the plan participant is vested. The Pension Plan’s current rules allow a plan participant to vest if the participant completes five years of vesting service without an intervening five-year break in service.

If you last terminated covered employment before January 1, 1989, please contact the WELS Benefit Plans Office for information regarding the Pension Plan vesting rules that apply to you.

Normal and Early Retirement Options

To be eligible for a normal retirement benefit, a worker must be terminated from covered employment, vested, and apply for pension benefits. Normal retirement benefits can begin on or after the date the worker attains his/her normal retirement age. The Pension Plan’s normal retirement age varies by participant according to his/her date of birth as provided in the following schedule:

PARTICIPANT’S DATE OF BIRTHNORMAL RETIREMENT AGE
On or before January 1, 194365
January 2, 1943 through January 1, 196066
After January 1, 196067

Early retirement benefits are benefits to eligible workers who are terminated from covered employment and commence receipt of benefits prior to their normal retirement age but after age 55. The amount of an early retirement benefit is calculated by reducing the normal retirement benefit amount by 0.5% for each month that benefit commencement precedes the worker’s normal retirement age.

Benefit Formula

Effective January 1, 2014, the Pension Plan’s benefit formula for a participant who terminates employment on or after January 1, 2014 is as follows:

Participant’s full monthly benefit at normal retirement age for life =
Pre-2014 Benefit  +  Post-2013 Benefit

The Pre-2014 Benefit is calculated as follows:

.0057  x  years of credited service attributable to covered employment before January 1, 2014  x  applicable salary  ÷  12

The Post-2013 Benefit is calculated as follows:

.0057  x  years of credited service attributable to covered employment after December 31, 2013  x  applicable salary  ÷  12

Benefit Estimator

Please note that the estimator below is based on the Pension Plan’s current provisions and is intended for use by participants with retirement dates on or after July 1, 2012. If you retired from WELS service prior to July 1, 2012, please contact the WELS Benefit Plans Office by emailing bpo@wels.net or by calling 414-256-3860 for a customized benefit estimate.

Benefit Option
(participant's benefit/surviving spouse's benefit)
100% / 0%    90% / 50%    85% / 67%    83% / 83%
Years of Credited Service
Benefit Basis (see table in section below estimator)
Monthly Benefit at New Normal Retirement Age =

Please note that the amounts calculated using this form are estimates of your potential monthly pension benefit amount from the WELS Pension Plan upon your retirement and are intended for the sole purpose of providing the worker with an approximation of their monthly benefit. The actual amount of your pension benefit may be different at the time of your retirement. Please note that WELS reserves the right to amend the Pension Plan, including, without limitation, the benefit formula under the Pension Plan.

The Benefit Plans Office welcomes the opportunity to provide a customized benefit estimate for you. Please contact the Benefit Plans Office by emailing bpo@wels.net or by calling 414-256-3860.

Benefit Basis

Click here to display the benefit basis table

For retirement dates on or after 7/1/2012
YEARS OF CREDITED SERVICE APPLICABLE SALARY ($)
0 35,572
1 36,165
2 36,759
3 37,352
4 37,944
5 38,538
6 39,130
7 39,722
8 40,315
9 40,909
10 41,502
11 42,094
12 42,688
13 43,281
14 43,873
15 44,465
16 45,059
17 45,652
18 46,245
19 46,838
20 47,432
21 48,023
22 48,615
23 49,209
24 49,802
25 50,395
26 50,988
27 51,581
28 52,174
29 52,765
30 or more 53,359

Benefit Options

Eligible unmarried plan participants will receive a monthly annuity benefit for life (life annuity) at the time of application for pension benefits.

Eligible married plan participants may, at the time of application for pension benefits, elect to receive one of the four benefit options below:

BENEFIT OPTIONParticipant Benefit
(Percentage of Life Annuity for Participant)
Surviving Spouse Benefit
(Percentage of Life Annuity for Participant’s Spouse)
Life Annuity100%0%
50%
Surviving Spouse Benefit
90%50%
67%
Surviving Spouse Benefit
85%67%
83%
Surviving Spouse Benefit
83%83%

Surviving Spouse Benefits

If a married plan participant is receiving his/her Pension Plan benefit in the form of a surviving spouse benefit, the plan participant dies after payment of his/her Pension Plan benefit begins, and the plan participant’s spouse survives the worker, the spouse will receive a Pension Plan benefit. This benefit will be a monthly benefit paid over the life of the spouse.

Example: If the plan participant chose the 85% / 67% surviving spouse benefit option, as indicated in the benefit options section above, at the time of application for surviving spouse benefits, the plan participant’s spouse would be eligible to receive a monthly survivor benefit for life equal to 67% of the monthly benefit that the plan participant would have received if the plan participant had elected to receive his/her Pension Plan benefit in the form of a life annuity.

*If a plan participant is married and dies before beginning to receive Pension Plan benefits, the plan participant’s spouse will receive a monthly annuity for the spouse’s life. Please contact the WELS Benefit Plans Office for more information on this pre-retirement survivor benefit.

Death Benefit

The Pension Plan provides a lump sum death benefit payable to the spouse, children or estate of an eligible plan participant. To be eligible for the death benefit, the plan participant must be:

  • Covered under the Pension Plan and die while actively employed in covered employment; or,
  • Disabled and die within one year of the date he/she terminates covered employment. The plan participant will be considered disabled if the Pension Commission, as the Plan Administrator, determines, in its sole discretion, that he/she has a physical or mental condition that prevents him/her from continuing to work in covered employment. In making its determination, the Pension Commission will consider such medical evidence that is satisfactory to the Pension Commission.
PARTICIPANT’S AGE AT DEATHBENEFIT ($)
under 3532,000
35 – 3928,000
40 – 4422,720
45 – 4916,320
50 – 5411,840
55 – 599,600
60 – 646,720
65+4,800