The Wisconsin Deferred Compensation Program (WDC) 457 Program is a supplemental retirement savings plan regulated by Section 457 of the Internal Revenue Code. Through the WDC program employees can invest a portion of their income for retirement either on a pre-tax or post-tax (Roth) basis or a combination of both. Participation in the program is voluntary; employees make the entire contribution. There is no employer match.

The WDC program is administered by the Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) through a third-party administrator, Empower (Empower Retirement).

Learn more about the WDC Program at: www.wdc457.org.


All Universities of Wisconsin employees (including graduate assistants, rehired annuitants, student hourly), are eligible to participate. Some positions funded by scholarships or fellowships are not eligible.

Eligible employees can enroll at any time.


Enroll and set up your contribution election directly with WDC. Eligible employees can enroll online or over the phone with the WDC Plan Enrollment Code pdf . Enter ‘UW’ when asked for your employer.

For questions, contact the WDC directly at wdcquestions@empower.com or (877) 457-9327.

Contribution Changes

You can change your contribution to the WDC at any time. To change your contribution:

  • Log into your WDC account at www.wdc457.org
    • Use the slider bars to model how different contribution changes will affect your take-home pay and retirement savings
    • Click on Review change(s)
    • Click on Submit your change(s)
    • If you would like to change your contribution for a specific paycheck date, you may do so on the WDC website under Account on the Contributions page.
  • Contact the WDC at (877) 457-9327

Consider saving a percent of your salary instead of a flat dollar amount. When you contribute a percent of your pay, the amount you contribute increases automatically if you have a change to your pay. It also helps keep you on track to replacing your working income in retirement. You can contribute a percent of your pay or a flat dollar amount to your account.

Contribution Limits

Federal tax code limits the amount of money that employees can be contributed to the WDC on an annual basis.

2024 contribution limits

  • If under age 50: $23,000
  • If age 50 or older at any time during the year: $30,500 ($23,000 + $7,500 catch-up provision)

Employees within the 3 years before attainment of normal retirement age (typically age 65), may be eligible to use the Special Catch-Up Contribution provision, which could be as much as twice the basic amount. Employees may not contribute to both the Special Catch-Up and the Age 50+ Catch-Up options in the same calendar year, even if eligible for both. Catch-up contribution limits are calculated based on how much was under-contributed in prior years. Contact WDC to determine if you are eligible. Employees are responsible for monitoring contributions to ensure that they stay within the annual limits.

Employees can make the maximum contributions under both the WDC Program and the UW 403(b) Supplemental Retirement Program (SRP).

Investment Choices

WDC offers a wide range of investment options. All options are no-load which means there are no sales commissions or broker fees. Participants have access to low-cost institutional share classes. The investment options are divided into 4 tiers:

  • Target Date Retirement Funds
  • Passive Index Funds
  • Actively Managed Funds
  • Self-Directed Brokerage Account

An investment management fee is deducted by each investment option’s management company (not by the WDC) before the daily price or performance is calculated. These fees are used to pay for securities trading in the underlying funds and other management expenses. Investment management fees vary by investment option. A full list of the WDC’s investment options and their expense ratios can be accessed at wdc457.org. Go to Investing, then Investment Information, and click Wisconsin Deferred Compensation Program Investment Performance.

For help choosing and/or managing your investments, schedule a meeting with a local WDC Retirement Plan Advisor. Go to wdc457.org then Schedule a Meeting in the bottom left-hand corner to schedule time with a WDC Retirement Plan Advisor.


WDC administrative fee are based on account balance. Fees are charged as a monthly flat dollar amount and are automatically deducted from participant’s account. The fees cover the cost of the WDC including the website, statements, and WDC Retirement Plan Advisors located statewide. The WDC is non-profit and participant administrative fees may not exceed the cost of administering the plan.

Account Balance Monthly / Annual Fee
(as of January 1, 2023)
Monthly / Annual Fee
(as of January 1, 2024)
$1-$5,000 $0 / $0 $0 / $0
$5,001 – $25,000 $1.25 / $15 $0.75 / $9
$25,001 – $50,000 $3.00 / $36 $1.75 / $21
$50,001 – $100,000 $6.50 / $78 $4 / $48
$100,001 – $150,000 $8.25 / $99 $5 / $60
$150,001 – $250,000 $11.75 / $141 $7 / $84
over $250,000 $17.25 / $207 $10.25 / $123

Beneficiary Information

You are encouraged to designate a beneficiary(ies) to ensure benefits are paid according to your wishes. Whenever you have a life event, review and update your beneficiary designations. Beneficiary designations can be changed at any time.

For more information on beneficiary designations, see the Beneficiary Information web page.

Forms & Resources

WDC accounts can be managed online, over the phone, or with a local WDC Retirement Plan Advisor.

    • After logging into your WDC account, you may:
      • Update your contribution election
      • Submit or change your beneficiary
      • Consolidate accounts
      • Aggregate your outside accounts to obtain your net worth and review your holistic financial picture
      • Get help budgeting and/or information about emergency savings
      • Review your probability of retiring when you want to
      • Update your account information, such as address, username, and password
  • By Phone:
    • WDC representatives are available Monday through Friday between 7 am and 9 pm, and Saturday between 8 am and 4:30 pm at (877) 457-9327. Press 0 and follow the prompts to speak to a representative.
    • For local assistance in Madison, answer ‘yes’ to the prompts Monday through Friday between 8 am and 4:30 pm.
  • With a Retirement Plan Advisor:
    • Schedule a virtual or in-person meeting with a WDC Retirement Plan Advisor. Go to wdc457.org then Schedule a Meeting in the bottom left-hand corner.
  •  Email:

The WDC is administered by the Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF). Because the WDC is administered by ETF, active employees who are vested in the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) can view an estimated WRS pension benefit projection in their WDC account. After logging into your WDC account the projection can be found on the homepage under WRS Pension Benefit Estimate.

Review the Terms and Conditions.

Every effort has been made to ensure this information is current and correct. Information on this page does not guarantee enrollment, benefits and/or the ability to make changes to your benefits.

Updated: 04/01/2024