FAQ

How do I see (and edit) my own data?

Members can access information about their account by logging in to our ERS Member Self-Service site.  You can access this site by clicking on the "Sign In or "Sign Up" links in the top-right corner of the any page.  More details can be found here.

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How can I update my beneficiaries?

Births, deaths and divorce are some of the reasons why you may want to change your designated beneficiaries.

 

Pension Beneficiaries

Active members are asked to review the current beneficiary information that was listed on their account statements. Retired members are also allowed to change their beneficiary designation (but not their designated survivor.) The needed forms are here for active or deferred members and here for retirees.

 

Life Insurance Beneficiaries

To change your life insurance beneficiary, a Beneficiary Change Form, must be completed and returned to the Employes' Retirement System Group Life Insurance Area.

 

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Do I need to tell ERS that I recently moved or will be moving?

Active Employees - Address changes are passed to ERS through bi-weekly payroll files from your employer.  Changing your address with your payroll section will result in ERS getting the updated address.

 

Retired or Deferred Members - If you move throughout the year, remember that the post office will not forward your pension check or direct deposit notification. You must notify our office in writting of any address changes. You may use a letter sized piece of paper to print your name, old address, new address, effective date of the new address, and either social security number or person ID number. Please indicate if the move is temporary or permanent.

Or you can print out the form and fill it out. As with any request, we ask that you clearly print the information, provide your phone number and signature. Please send the information to the ERS at 789 North Water Street, Suite 300, Milwaukee, WI 53202. 

 

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I am changing my bank account, how should I notify the ERS?

Please be sure to notify our office if you plan to close your current bank account. You must submit a new ACH (direct deposit) form. We suggest you open the new account first, let us know in a timely manner and then close your old account after the first transfer has gone into your new account. If you need a direct deposit form to change accounts, please download the form from here.

If you are closing your current bank account due to fraud, please contact our office so we can help you properly change your banking information with our office.

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For which states can the ERS withhold state taxes?

The ERS can only withhold state taxes for the State of Wisconsin.   If you are no longer a permanent resident of Wisconsin and ERS is currently withholding Wisconsin taxes, you must complete a Withholding Allowance Election form to stop the WI tax withholding.   If you are a permanent resident outside of Wisconsin, you should check with the Department of Revenue in the state you reside to determine if your pension is subject to taxation.  They can also advise you of alternative methods available to make deposits toward your estimated state tax liability.

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How do I change my tax withholding?

If you owe additional income tax this year or are getting a large refund, you might want to adjust the amount of your tax withholding. You may download the tax withholding form from our website, and then mail the completed form to the address listed on the top of the first page. If you have elected to have Wisconsin taxes withheld and are not having a flat dollar amount withheld from your check, the Wisconsin tax requirement is to withhold a minimum of $5.00.

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How do I get a replacement 1099R?

If you need a replacement 1099-R tax statement for a previous year, please contact the ERS office. Until April 15 there is no charge for the previous year's 1099-R, but a $15.00 processing fee is charged for every other re-issued 1099-R tax statement. You will need to submit a check payable to the Employes’ Retirement System and a note with your name, mailing address, social security number or payee ID number, and the year(s) for which you will need a replacement. If you receive a Duty Disability benefit from the ERS, you will not receive a 1099R, because this benefit is not taxable or reportable to the IRS. 

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Why didn't I receive a 1099-R tax form for my duty disability pension?

Because duty disability pensions are non-taxable and non-reportable to the IRS, the Employes' Retirement System does not create or send 1099-R tax forms for duty disability pensions.

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Do I need both Medicare A and Medicare B?

General City, Fire or Police Retiree, a Duty or Ordinary Disability Retiree or one of their family members and eligible for Medicare, you are required to take both Medicare A and Medicare B. This includes disability retirees under 65 as well as family members of retirees who become eligible for Medicare due to a disability or reaching age 65.  All health plans offered by the City require that persons eligible for Medicare A & B will take Medicare A & B. If you are eligible for Medicare, your Medicare A & B becomes primary and the City group insurance becomes secondary. You must take Medicare if you are eligible, or you will be responsible for medical bills. If you have any questions regarding this or become eligible for Medicare, please call an ERS Health Insurance Specialist at 414-286-3557. 

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Can I get the cost of my diabetes testing supplies paid for?

The details regarding diabetic supplies for retirees can be found here.

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How can I learn more about my group life insurance?

If you are in the covered employee groups, (General City, Police, Fire, HACM, RACM or the Wisconsin Center District), and would like to know more about your life insurance coverage, including the features of your coverage and your rights, please read our group life insurance certificate.

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How can I get the Retiree eNewsletter?

Retirees can ask to receive the monthly eNewsletter by sending an e-mail to ms.web@cmers.com.  Please include your full name and ask to subscribe to the eNewsletter. Please note that even if you choose to receive the online version of the newsletter, you will continue to receive the paper version of the newsletter with your pension payment advice.

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