As of October 31, 2021, the Fund had a value of $6.12 Billion, and the year-to-date return was 15.8%, net of fees.
- As required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the City of Milwaukee, as the health plan sponsor, sends out Form 1095-B to retirees who have health insurance coverage through the City. This form is mailed separately from your 1099-R form and will be mailed at the end of January 2022. Please wait until February 15, 2022 before you contact this office for a replacement. Retirees who receive a non-taxable benefit, but have health insurance will also receive this form. Please note that the amounts listed on this form will only include premium deductions for the City’s health plans. If you have any other insurance coverage being deducted from your pension payment, including the City’s dental insurance coverage, please retain your December 2021 payment stub for those year-to-date totals.
- If your pension benefit is subject to Federal income tax, the 1099-R for the pension benefits paid to you in calendar year 2021 will be mailed by the end of January 2022 in accordance with IRS regulations. If you are a recent retiree and received a GPS lump-sum bonus during 2021, you will receive a separate 1099-R for that portion of the bonus you rolled over. Any portion taken in cash will be included with the 1099-R containing your monthly annuity payments. If you receive multiple benefits from ERS (e.g. your own retirement benefit as well as a survivorship benefit from the account of your deceased spouse), you will receive a separate 1099-R for each benefit you received in 2021. Your 1099-R will be mailed to the address on file with this office. If you want this form mailed to another address, you must inform the ERS office in writing no later than January 10, 2022. Please note that all 1099-Rs will be mailed on the same date, but they may arrive at your address at different times. The post office will be delivering millions of these forms at about the same time, so there is a possibility your form might be delayed in the mail.
IMPORTANT: Do NOT make an appointment with your tax preparer/accountant until you receive your 1099-R form. If you have not received your form 1099-R, please wait until February 15, 2022 before you contact this office for a replacement. No replacements will be processed before that date. In addition, replacement 1099-Rs are not processed on a walk-in basis. Requests are processed in the order received.
Please be sure to retain all of your pay stubs, especially your December check stub or direct deposit advice. This statement summarizes your monthly annuity pay and deduction amounts for the calendar year. For example, you will see that all of your health insurance premiums paid for the year are found under the “Year-To-Date” column on your stub/advice. You may need this information when completing your tax return since health insurance deduction totals are not included on your 1099R form.
IMPORTANT: If you receive a benefit, which is not taxable and, therefore, not reportable on a form 1099R, such as a duty disability or accidental death annuity, this year-end statement will be the only record you will have of your payments. You will not receive a 1099R form; please refer to your final pay stub for this information.
2021 CPI COLA Factor is 3.0%
Every December, the ERS calculates the rate to be used to determine COLA factors granted to most protective service members based on the Consumer Price Index – All Urban Consumers (CPI-U). In November of 2021, the index was 277.948 as compared with 260.229 in November of 2020, an increase of 6.8090%; however, increases are capped at 3%.
Accordingly, COLA increases granted in calendar year 2022 to those protective service members whose COLA is determined by the CPI-U will be 3.0%.
The CPI COLA is calculated using the Consumer Price Index – All Urban Consumers data. The CPI statistics can be found on the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics website: http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/surveymost?cu
Health Insurance Reminders
- NON-MEDICARE MEMBERS: (includes retirees, spouse, and/or dependents): If you have elected or are continuing City of Milwaukee health benefits coverage for 2022, you will receive a new United Healthcare (UHC)/OptumRx card. Contact information for UHC/OptumRx is on the back of your card. Other benefit phone numbers, including UHC/OptumRx are also located on page 20 of the 2022 Retiree Benefits Guide. The ERS does not send out health/prescription drug cards. If you are new to UHC/OptumRx for 2022 and do not receive a new UHC/OptumRx card by December 31st, please contact UHC directly at 1-800-841-4901. Please be advised that updated 2022 premium deductions, if applicable, will go into effect with the December pension payment.
- MEDICARE MEMBERS: If you are continuing City of Milwaukee health benefits coverage and prescription drug coverage through UHC and UHC MedicareRx Part D for 2022, you will not receive a new UHC or UHC MedicareRx Part D cards for 2022. If you are new to UHC and UHC MedicareRx Part D for 2022 you will receive two new cards from UHC. The ERS does not send out health or prescription drug cards to Medicare members. If you do not receive the two cards by December 31, 2021 please contact UHC at 1-800-841-4901 or UHC MedicareRx Part D at 1-866-465-0572. Please be advised that updated 2022 premium deductions, if applicable, will go into effect with the December pension payment.
- MPS, MATC, MMSD, UNITED WATER SERVICES, AND VEOLIA RETIREES: The ERS office does not handle your health insurance. Please do not call ERS with health insurance questions if you retired from one of the above listed agencies. If you have questions or concerns, you should call the agency directly.
- POLICE AND FIRE RETIREES METLIFE VISION/ DENTAL COVERAGE VIA SOURCE ONE (aka the “Retired Public Safety Officers Insurance Premium Deduction Program.”): The ERS office does not administer this benefit. If you have questions or concerns regarding this benefit, please call Source One at 414-220-9900
Seasonal Flu Shots
The flu is a contagious illness caused by influenza viruses that affects millions of people each year and can lead to serious illness. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that the best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year.
Q: Where can I get my flu shot and is it covered?
A: IF YOU HAVE CITY PLAN COVERAGE WITH UHC, FLU SHOTS ARE COVERED AT 100% with no co-pay, co-insurance or deductible (as part of preventive services under the Affordable Care Act). There are several ways retirees covered under UHC Choice and UHC Choice PLUS plans can obtain this year’s flu vaccine. UHC Choice/UHC Choice PLUS members should visit their doctors or other in-network providers. Please note that if members are seeing a provider for a non-preventive visit, they will be charged for the visit, but not the flu shot. A member may also visit a network Convenience Care Clinic, select retail pharmacy like Walgreens, CVS, Target, etc. or contracted flu shot providers. If you need additional information, please contact UHC’s customer service department at 1-800-741-8786.
Check out the Rest of our Website
You are a member of the ERS, and membership has its privileges. One of those privileges is access to the portion of our website that is all about you. We call it ERS Member Self Service. Click here for more details.
Other recent news can be found on the most recent newsletter.
Other important information can be found on our Frequently Asked Questions page.