Who is eligible to participate in this program?
Retired public safety officers as defined by federal law are eligible to participate. The following links,
available through the IRS web site, provide the federal regulations on the income tax exclusion and the
federal definition of an eligible public safety officer (you must scroll through the information on these sites to
find the applicable public safety officer sections):
I retired as a public safety officer. Who can tell me if I’m eligible for this program?
It is the responsibility of each individual to determine his or her eligibility based on the federal regulations. ETF cannot determine eligibility because federal law defines who is eligible. If you are unsure about your eligibility for the program, contact your tax adviser or the IRS.
I worked as a public safety officer for many years, but I retired in a different position. Am I still eligible?
No. You must have retired as a public safety officer to be eligible. Your retirement as a public safety officer also must have been from the employer who has the retirement plan from which you are receiving a benefit. Your insurance premium deduction must be taken from this retirement benefit.
I took an early retirement. Am I eligible?
No. To be eligible for the program, you must have retired as a public safety officer at the normal retirement age stated in your plan’s provisions. For the Wisconsin Retirement System, the normal retirement age for each employment category is:
Age 53: Protective occupation participants with at least 25 years of creditable service, including creditable military service.
Age 54: Protective occupation participants with less than 25 years of creditable service, including creditable military service.
Age 62: Elected officials and state executive retirement plan employees. Age 65: General employees, teachers, and educational support staff.
If I took an early retirement, do I become eligible when I reach my normal retirement age?
No. A public safety officer who retires early does not become eligible later to participate in the program.
An early retirement window existed from 1989–1990 that allowed participants to retire early and still be considered retiring at normal retirement age. Early Retirement Window, Wis Act 13, Effective: May 16, 1989 through June 30, 1990. Eligibility: Participants must terminate WRS employment on or after May 16, 1989 but before July 1, 1990.
I retired due to a disability. Am I eligible?
Yes. One requirement for eligibility in the program for officers with a disability is that you must have retired as a public safety officer through a disability and are receiving a retirement benefit.
I am receiving a duty disability benefit. Am I eligible?
No. A duty disability benefit is not a retirement benefit. If you are receiving a retirement or disability retirement benefit in addition to a duty disability benefit, you may be eligible to participate in the program if you meet the other requirements for an eligible public safety officer as defined by federal law.