About 20% of WRS participants are in the Variable Fund, an option unique to Wisconsin. The investment objective for the Variable Fund is to achieve returns equal to or above that of similar stock portfolios over a market cycle. If you are considering whether or not to pick the Variable Fund option, here is some information that should be helpful.
Variable Fund is only invested in domestic and international stocks. These are the same stocks selected for the Core Fund.
Variable Fund returns are not smoothed while Core Fund returns are.
Participants in the Variable Fund are exposed to a higher degree of risk because of possible losses from unfavorable stock market performance in exchange for the possibility of greater long-run returns.
It is possible for the Variable Fund portion of your benefit to decrease below the initial base amount you receive at retirement
The effect of investment returns on employee accounts and benefits for retirees differs between the Variable and Core Funds. More information comparing the performance and impact of both funds on participants since 1983 is available. (PDF)