University of Wisconsin - Madison


Retirement Association

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July 2019


  1. In addition to reports to its members through The Sifter, the Association website, and the annual meeting, the board shall, from time to time, make reports to the UW-Madison Retirement Issues Committee.
  2. Board reports:  Each year the president-elect prepares an annual report of Association programs and activities that is posted on the website and may be distributed at the new-retiree reception and included in membership renewals.
  3. Committee reports:  Each committee prepares an annual report of committee programs and activities. This is provided to the board at the summer annual meeting or at the first monthly meeting of the new academic year and is posted on the Association website.     


    1. Committees recruit and appoint their new members. The chairs and co-chairs of committees are recommended to the board for approval.
    2. The board encourages the members of each committee to nominate persons to serve as chairs and co-chairs of their respective committees.
    3. All committees shall have co-chairs whenever possible as well as a reasonable number of members to provide for shared responsibilities. If possible, committees shall seek representation from all three membership groups (university staff, academic staff, faculty) and from Extension, System Administration, Colleges, UW Health, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association, and UW-Madison campus as appropriate.
    4. Each year the chairs of each committee ascertain the willingness of committee members to continue their service on their committees.
    5. Resignations from committees normally become effective immediately. Appointments to committees are made throughout the year.
    6. New appointments are normally made as soon as possible.
    7. There are no fixed terms of service on any committee.
    8. Each member of the board of directors assumes responsibility each year for identifying prospective committee members from the Association’s membership.
    9. Chairs of committees shall serve as advisors to the board and are welcome to attend monthly meetings of the board of directors. The executive director shall include them on the agenda distribution list.
    10. If possible, each board member shall serve on a standing committee.   
    1. Other than the Nominating Committee, which is explicitly mandated in the Association’s bylaws, committees may be created or disbanded, as appropriate, by the board.
    2. The Association provides the chairs of committees a number of appropriate gifts that may be offered to program presenters and luncheon speakers in lieu of monetary honoraria.
    3. All outgoing board members and officers will receive a gift, usually selected from the gifts available to speakers. In addition, standing committee members will receive a gift in each year that they have completed three years of service.
    4. The Association shall have a document retention policy in place. It shall note that financial and membership records are to be retained indefinitely. See document in the appendix for further details.
    5. The board shall have a policy on disclosure of conflicts of interest by board members, officers, committee chairs, and staff. Such disclosures will be updated annually.
    6. The board shall periodically review the Association’s dues structure. The membership year extends from July 1 through June 30 of each year. Members may choose from among the following categories.
      • Regular one-year membership; can be for multiple years. New members who join after January 1 are enrolled through June 30 of the following year, thus giving them up to six months of “free” membership.
      • Bargain membership: six years for the price of five.
      • Out-of-area membership: half-price membership for members outside 535, 537, and 539 ZIP codes; Sifters by email only.
      • Life membership: nonrefundable and available only if one member of the household is receiving a Wisconsin Retirement System annuity.
      • Not yet retired: half-price membership with Sifters by email only.
    7. Each new membership includes one free Retirement Association luncheon during the first year of membership.  (Revised January 2018)
    8. Each member who recruits a new member shall receive a one-time one-year membership extension.  (This offer may be claimed only once.)  (revised January 2018)
    1. Membership:  This committee seeks to maximize membership in the Association. Its efforts focus primarily on gaining members from the most recent retirees and on encouraging renewals. The board currently offers new retirees a complimentary subscription to The Sifter as well as certain privileges offered to members, including registering for and attending most Association activities and events, for six months following their retirement.
    2. Luncheons:  This committee organizes several luncheons each year, highlighted by a speaker from either the university or the Madison community, and typically preceded by a morning program. The committee presents four luncheons each year, two in the fall, one in the winter, and one in the spring timed to coincide with the annual meeting.
    3. Financial Matters in Retirement:  This committee offers a monthly program, September through May. The scope of its agenda is indicated by its title.
    4. Retirement Challenges and Opportunities:   This committee offers programs and activities to help UWRA members live a rewarding retirement, all the while making new friends and having fun!  (Revised January 2018, October 2018)
    5. Travel:   This committee typically organizes one-day travel opportunities leaving by bus from Madison. Destinations are usually historical, educational, and interesting sites. Prices include transportation, admission fees, gratuities, and lunch. The committee welcomes suggestions for trips from the membership.
    6. Auditors:   This committee consists of a small number of experienced UW-Madison administrators called on by the executive director to audit the treasurer’s books annually and to offer advice concerning the fiscal management of the Association.
    7. Partnership and Engagement:   This committee promotes, maintains, and encourages relationships with other organizations, e.g., Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association, State of Wisconsin agencies, UW-Madison, and other Big 10 Retirement Associations.  (Revised November 2016; January 2018; October 2018)
    8. Budget:  The Budget Committee is charged with developing an operating budget for the following year based on a draft created by the treasurer. Members include the treasurer, president, past president, president-elect, executive director, and other Association members as needed. The budget shall be discussed and approved by the board in sufficient time to be considered by the membership at the Association’s annual meeting.
    9. Electronic Technology:  This committee assists Association members to stay abreast of changing electronic technology, which may include devices such as computers and tablets, telephones, cameras, and printers, and software applications like library software, social networking, and Skype.
    10. Business Office and Operations Team:  The team assists the UWRA Executive Director in website development, maintenance and content management including but not limited to committee calendars, programs, event information and other website-related office operations.  (June 2018)
    11. As conditions and activities warrant, the board may find it useful to establish ad hoc working groups, committees, programs, or positions. Such situations shall be discussed by the board, and if such committees or positions evolve into standing committees or appointments, board approval will be required.
    1. The Sifter:  The monthly (September through June) newsletter is an important vehicle for announcing programs, for reminding members of important pension details from federal or state government, and for soliciting donations to activities supported by the Association. The editor of the newsletter, whose appointment is discussed with and approved by the board, is welcome to attend board meetings and may consult with the executive director.
    2. Schools Partnerships:  On the recommendation of the Partnership and Engagement Committee, the Board partially matches member’ contributions to the Foundation for Madison’s Public Schools.  The Foundation supports special educational activities not provided for in the schools’ base budgets.  (Revised January 2018)
    3. University Grants: The board will provide financial support of $1,000 annually to the dean of students’ crisis fund and provide up to $1,000 financial support to other university organizations as decided by the board.
    4. Website: The Association’s website is an important communication vehicle for the membership. The website manager is welcome to attend monthly board meetings and is included on the monthly board agenda distribution list. The manager consults with the executive director to maintain and update the website as needed.


  1.  New officers and new members of the board of directors are elected by the membership at the annual meeting from a slate proposed by the Nominating Committee. They assume office at the end of the annual meeting at which they are elected.
  2. By design and precedent, the office of president-elect has rotated each year among faculty, academic staff, and university staff.
  3. By design and precedent, the selection of the three members-at-large each year for three-year terms on the board of directors has involved the nomination of one each from among faculty, academic staff, and university staff.  


  1. Basic premise:  The membership list of names and addresses is considered private information within the Association. It is never given out to another organization. It is given to board and committee members for matters related to the Association with that full understanding concerning privacy. The information contained in the online membership list is provided solely for the private use of, and to facilitate communication among, Association members. Any other use for personal or commercial gain is strictly prohibited. 
  2. Cooperation with Other Organizations:  With board (or executive committee) approval, the membership list can be used to mail, under the direct auspices, the materials of another organization at their expense and with full notification to the membership of the reasons for approving the particular mailing with the assurance of continued privacy of their membership information.


  1. At his/her discretion, the president may request past presidents to function as an informal advisory panel to try out or solicit ideas about the Association, which might then be brought before the board of directors for action. Ideas requiring board action shall not be implemented without formal board approval.
  2. The outgoing president assumes responsibility in the spring near the end of his/her term for inviting all current and previous officers and board members to a casual luncheon for the purpose of maintaining contacts and exchanging news of each other’s current activities.


  1. APPOINTMENT:  The executive director of the Association is a volunteer appointed by the board of directors. S/he serves as the public face of the Association. S/he sits on the board with a voice but no vote and presents reports to the board as appropriate.
    1. Maintaining membership and mailing lists
      1. Enter all data into the Access data base as new and renewal memberships come in. Ensure that data for new members is entered into the online membership directory.
      2. Enter address changes; Bulk Mail currently has a program to identify changes after each mailing.
      3. File paper copies of computerized data as backup.
      4. Forward checks to treasurer.
    2. Maintaining all nonfinancial records of the Association
    3. Coordinating the publication of The Sifter with the editor, layout designer, and printer
      1. Work with editor and printer as needed.  Proofread Sifter drafts.
      2. Send mailing lists to Extension Bulk Mail.
      3. Send electronic copies of The Sifter to members who request this format.
      4. Forward bills from printer and Bulk Mail to treasurer.
    4. Coordinating the payment of bills with the treasurer
    5. Communicating with the website manager as needed about such topics as the online membership directory, items to be posted on the website, and the needs of the Association
    6. Communicating with the membership
      1. Serve as first point of contact with members or potential members who have questions, wish to make reservations, or want information about the Association and its activities.
      2. Write and send electronic messages to members concerning updates, reminders, and new program information.
    7. Assisting committee chairs, e.g., with speaker gifts
    8. Performing other office work
      1. Order supplies: brochures, letterhead, envelopes, name tags, etc.
      2. Monitor Association’s voice mail and email at the office and respond as needed.
      3. Suggest items for inclusion on website.
      4. Compile list of suggestions offered by members when they respond on the application for renewal.
      5. Order gifts for speakers, about every two to three years.
      6. Prepare agenda for each board meeting and the annual meeting in consultation with the president.
      7. Back up all files daily, including the membership database, on a storage device that is kept off site.
    9. Miscellaneous
      1. Maintain contact with people who provide special help, e.g., staff at Extension Bulk Mail, Secretaries of the Faculty, Academic Staff, and University Staff, Benefits Services, Human Resources, and Division of Continuing Studies.
      2. Attend monthly meetings of the Wisconsin Coalition of Annuitants. Serve as the voting director.
      3. Convene auditors for periodic meetings to review state of finances and obtain advice for board.

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Copyright © UWRA  2018. All rights reserved.

For More Information Contact UWRA

Sandi Haase, Executive Director

UW-Madison Retirement Association

21 North Park Street, Room 7205

Madison, WI 53715-1218


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