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.

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, available 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 wdcquestions@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.

2020 contribution limits

  • If under age 50: $19,500
  • If age 50 or older at any time during the year: $26,000 ($19,500 + $6,500 catch-up provision)

2021 contribution limits

  • If under age 50: $19,500 (no change from 2020 limit)
  • If age 50 or older at any time during the year: $26,000 ($19,500 + $6,500 catch-up provision) (no change from 2020 limit)

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 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

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 page.


WDC fees are based on account balance as follows:

Account Balance 2020 Monthly / Annual Fee
$1-$5,000 $0 / $0
$5,001 – $25,000 $1 / $12
$25,001 – $50,000 $3.25 / $39
$50,001 – $100,000 $6.50 / $78
$100,001 – $150,000 $8.50 / $102
$150,001 – $250,000 $11.75 / $141
over $250,000 $17.50 / $210

Forms & Resources

WDC accounts can be managed online or over the phone.

    •  After logging into your WDC account, you may:
      • Submit or change your beneficiary
      • Enroll in Special Catch-up provision
      • Consolidate accounts
      • Update your account information, such as address, username, and password
  • By Phone:
    • WDC representatives are available Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m., and Saturday 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.
  • Email:


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: 12/22/2020