National Association of State Retirement Administrators

Wyoming

The Wyoming Retirement System (WRS) administers pension and other benefits for substantially all employees of the state, school districts, and other political subdivisions that have elected to participate. The system administers seven plans; more than 85 percent of participants are in the Wyoming Public Employees Plan; separate plans are maintained for highway patrol and other state law enforcement officers; firefighters; and judges. WRS also administers a 457 plan.

Authorizing Statutes

Title 9 of the Wyoming State Statutes establishes the Wyoming Retirement System.

9-3-403. Wyoming retirement system; establishment; purpose; powers as body corporate. The Wyoming retirement system is established to provide retirement and other benefits to eligible employees of participating employers. It shall be a body corporate, may sue and be sued and shall have all other powers and privileges of a corporation. In its name all its business shall be transacted, all funds invested and all of its monies, securities and other property held in trust for the purposes of this article.

9-3-404 creates the Retirement Board which consists of:

  • The state treasurer;

  • A retired recipient of the retirement system;

  • Two (2) members, exclusive of the public school system, the community colleges and the University of Wyoming, one (1) of which is a participant in the Wyoming deferred compensation program;

  • Two (2) members of the public school system, the community colleges or the University of Wyoming;

  • Five (5) qualified electors from Wyoming who are known for their public spirit and business or professional ability, none of whom are members and at least one (1) of whom has professional expertise in investments and finance.

Board Composition

Plan

Board Size

Appointed

Elected

Plan Members

Ex Officio

Wyoming Retirement System

11

10

0

5

1

Contributions

Per the U.S. Census, in FY 2014, employer contributions to Wyoming state and local government pension plans were 2.06 percent of all state and local government spending.

Constitutional Protections

No explicit constitutional protection for public pension benefits, but courts provide protection for contractual pension rights based on due process principles. Peterson v. Sweetwater County School Dist. No. One, 929 P.2d 525 (Wyo. 1996)(recognizing that legitimate retirement expectations may constitute property rights that may not be deprived without due process of law); Tollefson v. Wyoming State Retirement Bd., 79 P.3d 518 (Wyo. 2003) (holding that performance based salary constituted pensionable compensation); Wyland v. Wyland, 138 P.3d 1165 (Wyo. 2006)(holding that statute which denied firefighters with less than 5 years of service a refund of their compulsory contributions was not an unconstitutional taking of property without just compensation). (WY CONST., Article 1, §35) Source: Robert Klausner, Esq., State Constitutional Protections for Public Sector Retirement Benefits

Flag of Wyoming (March 4, 1917)

Population (2016) 585,501

Wyoming public pension statistics, per U.S. Census Bureau as of FY 2016 ($ in 000s)

Assets

$7,403,669

Active Members

42,524

Annuitants

27,831

Benefits Paid

$509,447

Employee Contributions

$169,143

Employer Contributions

$175,033

Systems

9

More Data

Other Resources