Gov. Scott Walker on Friday sought to address fears he was considering tinkering with the state's retirement system - a fully funded program that is among the best of its kind in the country.
In the past few weeks, emails circulating among state workers and retirees have warned that the governor planned to convert the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) to a 401(k)-style retirement savings account.
On Friday, Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie said the governor has "zero plans" to change the system, which has more than 261,000 participants and which he said was one of the best in the world.
"We just thought it was prudent to take a look at it, see where we are at, and compare it to other states," Werwie said.
The study, which was included in Walker's two-year budget passed last summer, is due June 30.
Wisconsin Education Association Council, the state's largest teachers union, has scheduled a meeting next week to discuss the issue.
"Now we have every reason to believe that Walker and his allies are planning to fundamentally alter and seriously undermine our WRS pension system," an email promoting the meeting reads. "Please come to the event on March 1st detailed below to learn about the threat to your retirement security and what you can do about it."
Werwie said such groups are "ginning" up fear for political reasons.
The governor sent an email refuting such claims to his cabinet secretaries, asking they pass it along to employees to allay their fears.