ON-Lion Letter
The average employer contribution for private-sector pension plans in Wisconsin is 5.3% of payroll, compared to the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS), in which the employer contribution ranges between 10.55% and 13.3% of payroll, according to a February report from the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute (WPRI).

Each one percent of payroll represents approximately $110 million, notes the WPRI study, The Imbalance Between Public and Private Pensions in Wisconsin.  If WRS's public-sector contributions were similar to private contributions, therefore, $577 to $880 million less would be required from state taxpayers each year.

The study was conducted by Milwaukee actuary Joan Gucciardi.
"Wisconsin needs to reform its public pension system," WPRI president George Lightbourn writes in the report.  "It is a system that has simply overstayed its welcome.  Not only is it expensive, it is far out of the mainstream when compared to what the vast majority of Wisconsin employers offer their employees."

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee substantially supports WPRI.
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