Subject: DRS Email 11-037, Retiree Return to Work Update

  • Notice No.: 11-037
  • Date: December 2, 2011
  • Applies to: Non-Higher Educational Employers
  • Subject: DRS Email 11-037, Retiree Return to Work Update

Changes to the rules for Plan 1 retirees who return to work

Retiree return to work (RRTW) rules will change beginning January 2012, due to the passage of ESHB 1981 in the 2011 Legislature. Changes to work limits impact Plan 1 retirees of TRS and PERS.

Limit Reductions

The current law, which is in effect until December 31, 2011, allows some Plan 1 retirees to return to work for up to 1500 hours without stopping their benefit. Beginning January 1, the new law limits PERS Plan 1 retirees to 867 hours in a calendar year and TRS Plan 1 retirees to 867 hours in a fiscal year (July – June).

  • PERS Plan 1 retiree
    Through December 31, 2011, we will continue to monitor PERS Plan 1 retirees employed in a DRS eligible position and stop the retirement benefit of any who exceed their limit in the 2011 calendar year. Beginning in January 1, 2012, we will stop the retirement benefit of any PERS Plan 1 retiree employed in a DRS eligible position who returns to work and exceeds 867 hours in the 2012 calendar year and future calendar years.
  • TRS Plan 1 retiree
    The effective date of the new law falls in the middle of the fiscal year. Through December 31, 2011, we will continue to stop the retirement benefit of any TRS Plan 1 retiree who returns to work and exceeds their limit. Beginning January 1, 2012, we will stop the retirement benefit of any TRS Plan 1 retiree who returns to work for a public education employer and exceeds 867 hours for the entire 2011/2012 fiscal year (July 2011 – June 2012) and future fiscal years.

DRS sent letters to affected retirees regarding the change in limits. Employers will continue to receive emails and retirees will continue to receive letters as the limits are approached.

Employer Invoicing and Justifiable Need Documentation

Because the retirement benefit will be stopped at 867 hours; effective January 1, 2012, employers:

  • Will no longer be invoiced for employer contributions when Plan 1 retirees from TRS or PERS work more than 867 hours annually; but you could still receive an Employer Billing Invoice if the retiree exceeds 867 hours in 2011. You will not receive any new invoicing for work performed in 2012.
  • Will not be required to complete justifiable need paperwork.

Questions

If you have any questions regarding this DRS Notice, please contact Employer Support Services at 360-664-7200, option 2, or 800-547-6657, option 6, option 2 or email us.

George Pickett Assistant Director of Administrative Service

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