Benefits Available to State of Wisconsin Employees

The fringe benefits offered to State of Wisconsin employees are significant, and are a valuable part of an individual's compensation package.

The fringe benefits may vary somewhat between employee groups based on: occupational status (i.e., protective, executive, general); whether or not the employees are covered by a collective bargaining agreement; and, percentage of full-time employment.

The available benefits are:


Employees are covered immediately under the Wisconsin Retirement System. Vested employee-required contributions, approximately 5% of an employee's earnings, are made by the State on behalf of the employee. The State pays another 5-10%, depending upon the employee's occupational status, toward the non-vested employer-required contribution.

Deferred Compensation

The Deferred Compensation Program allows employees to invest pre-tax earnings into a variety of investment options offered by the program. The annual maximum in 2006 is $15,000, and this will be periodically increased by the federal government in $500 increments based on changes in the Consumer Price Index.

There are 21 investment options currently offered by the plan, plus a self-directed brokerage option that provides more than 2,000 mutual fund choices, available through the Schwab Personal Choice Retirement Account.

Detailed information about the Deferred Compensation Program.


Vacation is earned from the first day of employment, but cannot be used until the employee has worked for six months. Vacation is earned at the following rate for full time employees. The amount of vacation time earned for part time employees is pro-rated.

Years of ServiceNon-Exempt Employees -
Hours Earned Each Year
Exempt Employees -
Hours Earned Each Year
During first 5104120
5+ to 10144160
10+ to 15160176
15+ to 20184200
20+ to 25200216
25 and over216216

Non-Exempt include represented and non-represented employees. Exempt employees include some represented and non-represented employees. Please contact Human Resource Services for specific information.

Personal Holidays

Full time employees are granted 36 hours (4 1/2 days) of personal holiday each year.

Legal Holidays

Employees have 9 legal holidays per year. The holidays are:

Sick Leave

Sick leave is earned at the rate of 5 hours per bi-weekly pay period for full-time employees. Unused sick leave accumulates from year to year. Upon retirement, the State matches a certain amount of the unused sick leave, and the entire balance is converted at the employee's current hourly rate to pay health insurance premiums.

Health Insurance

A variety of Health Maintenance Organizations, Preferred Provider Plans, and fee-for-service health providers offer coverage. The State contribution toward premium is not effective until after 6 months of State employment under the Wisconsin Retirement System. Employees may obtain coverage within one month of starting work at their own expense. Detailed information about the group health insurance benefits and coverages can be found at the Department of Employee Trust Funds web site.

Life Insurance

After 6 months of coverage under the Wisconsin Retirement System, an employee may have group term life insurance coverage in an amount up to 5 times his/her annual salary. The State contributes approximately 30% of the premium toward 2 of the 5 levels of coverage; however, the premiums for the remaining 3 levels of coverage are paid totally by the employee. Employees may also secure coverage for their spouse (up to $20,000) and dependents (up to $10,000 each).

Income Continuation Insurance

After 6 months of coverage in the Wisconsin Retirement System, employees are eligible for income continuation insurance. This benefit ensures that individuals will receive up to 75% of their gross salary for physical or mental disabilities. State contribution, which can range from 0% to 100%, is contingent upon an employee's accrual and use of sick leave.

Catastrophic Insurance

Major medical, accidental death and dismemberment, and dental coverage are features of this insurance. Employees are responsible for the entire premium.

Dental Insurance

Some dental coverage is included in many of the group health insurance plans and the catastrophic insurance plan. DentalBlue is also an option. Many unions offer separate dental coverage to their membership.

Long-term Care Insurance

This insurance covers short-term and long-term home health care, assisted living, community-based care, and nursing home care. The plan is available only to State employees and annuitants, including their spouse, parents, and spouse's parents. Employees pay the full premium.

Employee Reimbursement Accounts Program

The Employee Reimbursement Accounts Program allows employees to pay eligible medical and dependent care expenses from pre-tax rather than post-tax income. In addition, premiums for State group health, catastrophic, and life insurance (excluding spouse and dependent life insurance coverage) may be treated as pre-tax deductions.

Information about the Employee Reimbursement Accounts Program.

Worker's Compensation

All employees are covered by the State of Wisconsin Worker's Compensation Law the day they start employment. The law covers both mental and physical harm from either accidents or occupational diseases.

Commuter Benefits

The Commuter Benefits Program allows employees to pay eligible parking, mass transit and van pooling expenses from pre-tax rather than post-tax income.

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