University of Wisconsin–Madison

Wisconsin Deferred Compensation 457(b)

The Wisconsin Deferred Compensation (WDC) 457(b) program is a supplemental retirement savings plan that allows you to invest a portion of your income for retirement either on a pre-tax or post-tax (Roth) basis or a combination of both. Participation in the WDC program is voluntary with employees making the entire contribution; there is no employer match.


Eligible Employees

  • Employees covered by the WRS
  • LTE and Project employees
  • Rehired annuitants
  • Student hourly employees
  • Graduate Assistants
  • Short-Term Academic Staff employees

Ineligible Employees

  • Employees-in-Training
  • Fellows
  • Interns


2021 Maximum Contributions

  • $19,500 if under age 50
  • $26,000 if age 50 or older

Special Catch-Up

If you are within three years of your normal retirement age, you may use the Special Catch-Up provision, which allows you to save an additional $19,500. This amounts to a total possible contribution of $39,000.

Note: You may not contribute to both the Special Catch-Up option and the Age 50+ Catch-Up option in the same calendar year, even if you are eligible for both. Catch-up contribution limits are in addition to the regular contribution amount depending on how much you under contributed in prior years. Contact WDC for more information.


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

Account Balance Monthly Fee
$1–$5,000 $0
$5,001–$25,000 $1
$25,001–$50,000 $3.25
$50,001–$100,000 $6.50
$100,001–$150,000 $8.50
$150,001–$250,000 $11.75
over $250,000 $17.50


Distributions from your account are available at:

  • Termination from service
  • Retirement
  • Death
  • Unforeseen financial hardship situations, as defined by the Internal Revenue Code

After you terminate employment or retire, you may elect a distribution date anytime up to April 1 of the calendar year following the year you reach required minimum distribution age or the year you terminate employment, if later.

You may receive your distributions as:

  • A lump sum payment of your full or partial account balance
  • Periodic ongoing payments (monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually)
  • An unforeseen emergency release, in the event that you or your beneficiary has experienced a severe financial hardship within the last 12 months.

Note: The determination of an unforeseeable emergency will depend on the facts and circumstances of each case. Regulations do not consider a planned or voluntary event to be an unforeseen emergency. For more information, review the Unforeseeable Financial Emergency Distribution Guide.

Rollovers and Transfers

You may roll dollars from a traditional individual retirement account (IRA), a 401(k), or 403(b) plan into the WDC. Likewise, if you cease working for a WDC-eligible employer, dollars from your WDC account can be rolled out of the WDC into these programs and may be rolled out to a Roth IRA account as well. Dollars rolled out of the WDC will be subject to the tax rules of the new plan.

Learn More about the WDC Program

Individual Appointments

Schedule an appointment online (click Schedule a Meeting in the top right corner) or call the local WDC office at 608-241-6604.

Individual counseling appointments are scheduled for 30 minutes each. Appointments are regularly available on the UW–Madison campus. Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins are welcome.

Group Sessions

Register for a WDC group session. Registration is required for group sessions.


If you have any questions, contact the WDC office directly at or 877-457-9327, option 2.


Enroll directly with WDC online or over the phone with the Plan Enrollment Code, available in the Forms & Publications section below. You may also call WDC for physical paper forms.

Once enrolled, you may change your contribution level, beneficiary designation, or investment choices by contacting WDC directly.

WDC representatives are available via phone Monday through Saturday 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 am–4:30 pm. You may also email WDC at