DRSN e07-013, New Legislation – Retirees Returning To Work

DRS E-MAIL

  • E-mail No.: E07-013
  • To: Non-Education Employers
  • Sent: June 28, 2007
  • Subject: New Legislation – Retirees Returning To Work

Substitute House Bill 1262 affects employers and Plan 1 retirees of both the Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS) and the Teachers' Retirement System (TRS). This bill becomes effective July 22, 2007 and does not change any rules for retirees of other systems.

Hiring Retirees

To prevent pensions for Plan 1 retirees from being suspended after working 867 hours, several criteria must be met by employers – they include:

  • Having a written policy relating to hiring retirees
  • Hiring a retiree through an established process for the position with the approval of the highest decision making authority
  • Documenting the need to hire a retiree, the process used and the decisions made during that process, retaining that documentation and making it available in the event of an audit

Choosing to follow these processes allows eligible Plan 1 retirees to work up to 1,500 hours before their pension is suspended. Most of the criteria above have been law since 2003 for employers who hire PERS Plan 1 retirees, but the legislature added pursuant to a written policy to PERS statute effective July 22, 2007. All the requirements for TRS Plan 1 are also effective on that date. Note: For eligible retirees that work for more than one employer, each employer must follow the process described above or the retiree's pension will be suspended after 867 hours.

Other Changes

  • PERS and TRS separation definitions have been updated to clarify that, "mere expressions or inquires about post-retirement employment by an employer or employee that do not constitute a commitment to reemploy the employee after retirement are not an agreement under this subsection."
  • Updates the TRS definition of separation, to prohibit prior re-employment agreements. Refer to RCW 41.32.010 (48) and 41.32.055 (gross misdemeanor).
  • Refer to reporting charts, specifically the TRS Plan 1 for information regarding the longer break in service and the new lifetime hourly limit that applies to TRS Plan 1 retirees

Resources

Refer to PERS Plan 1 Retiree Return to Work brochure for additional information that describes differences between retirees prior to August 1, 2003 and from August 2003 forward.

Use the New Hire Pyramid - Retirees to access information you need to correctly report retirees and for past information provided to you on this topic.

Retiree Reporting Charts – TRS Plan 1 chart has been revised per the new legislation.

Questions?

Should you have questions, please reply to this message or call Employer Support Services at 360-664-7200 (press option 2) or l-800-547-6657 (press option 6 then option 2).

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