Retirement Security Task Force Report for Wisconsin

Monday, January 10, 2022

Wisconsin is in trouble when it comes to retirement security. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, our retirement system was not working for a significant number of Wisconsin workers and small businesses. The landscape of retirement benefits has changed in recent decades. Businesses have moved away from pensions that were automatic and managed by employers to defined contribution plans that are voluntary and self-directed by workers. In 1983, 62% of employees were covered by a traditional pension plan. By 2016, that number had fallen to 17%. Wisconsin is already experiencing significant annual increases in the costs of programs to support retirees with insufficient retirement income, and these costs are projected to grow as the state’s population ages over the next two decades.

Understanding the importance of this challenge, Governor Evers created the Retirement Security Task Force with the signing of Executive Order #45 in September 2019, and he selected Treasurer Sarah Godlewski to serve as the chair. The Governor and Treasurer brought together a bipartisan coalition from across the state to generate achievable recommendations to address Wisconsin’s retirement crisis.