The Wisconsin Deferred Compensation Program (WDC) is a supplemental retirement savings plan, regulated by Section 457 of the Internal Revenue Code. Through the WDC plan 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 plan is voluntary; employees make the entire contribution. There is no employer match, since for most employees, the University contributes to the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS), the state’s primary pension plan.

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

Learn more about Wisconsin Deferred Compensation at: www.wdc457.org.


All UW System 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/or make changes directly with WDC. Eligible employees can enroll online or over the phone with the Plan Enrollment Code, which is a document that can be accessed in the Forms & Resources section below.

Once enrolled, employees may change their contribution level or investment choices by contacting WDC directly.

For questions, contact WDC directly at wdcprogram@empower-retirement.com or 877-457-9327.

Contribution Limits

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

2019 Contribution Limits

  • If under age 50: $19,000
  • If age 50 or older at any time during the year: $25,000 ($19,000 + $6,000 catch-up provision)

Employees that are within 3 years of normal retirement age (typically age 65), may be eligible to use the Special Catch-Up Contribution provision. Employees may not contribute to both the Special Catch-Up option and the Age 50+ Catch-Up option in the same calendar year, even if they are eligible for both. Catch-up contribution limits are in addition to the regular contribution amount depending on how much was undercontributed in prior years. 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 Tax-Sheltered Annuity 403(b) Program.

Investment Choices

WDC offers a wide range of investment options to meet. The investment options are divided into 4 tiers:

  • Lifecycle Funds
  • Passive Index Funds
  • Actively Managed Funds
  • Self-Directed Brokerage Account

See the Wisconsin Deferred Compensation website for a full list of available investment options.

Beneficiary Information

Employees are encouraged to designate a beneficiary(ies) to ensure benefits are paid according to their wishes. Whenever an employee has a life event, such as a marriage, divorce, birth of a child, beneficiary designations should be reviewed and updated. Beneficiary designations can be changed at any time.

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


The monthly fee to participate in WDC is based on your account balance as follows:

Account Balance Monthly/Annual Fee
$1-$5,000 $0 / $0
$5,001 – $25,000 $1 / $12
$25,001 – $50,000 $3 / $36
$50,001 – $100,000 $6 / $72
$100,001 – $150,000 $8 / $96
$150,001 – $250,000 $11 / $132
over $250,000 $16.50 / $198

Forms & Resources

WDC accounts can be managed online or over the phone.

The following can be found on the WDC website without logging in:

After you log into your WDC account, employees may:

  • Submit or change their beneficiary
  • Take advantage of the Special Catch-up provision
  • Consolidate accounts
  • Update your account information, such as address, username, and password

Employees may also call WDC for the forms. WDC representatives are available Monday-Friday between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m., and Saturdays between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. at 1-877-457-9327. 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 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Employees may also contact the WDC at wdcquestions@empower-retirement.com.

Employees can also review the Terms and Conditions.

last updated: 3/15/2019

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.