Updated April 2014
If you are receiving a service or disability retirement benefit from the Washington State Law Enforcement Officers' and Fire Fighters' Retirement System (LEOFF) Plan 2, there are things you may want to consider before returning to the work force.
It's important to remember that you must retire before you can be covered under return to work law. To retire you must:
Separating from service means that you've completed the necessary actions of leaving employment. For example, you've returned any employer issued items, your computer access has been shut off and your employment has been ended through the payroll system.
You have not terminated all employment with your employer if you accept a verbal or written offer of employment with the same employer before you separate from your LEOFF position. You must complete the necessary actions of leaving employment before you accept a new job with the same employer, even if your new job is within a different department or division of that employer, or the new job is not LEOFF eligible.
If you're eligible to retire when you separate from service, your effective retirement date is the first day of the following month. If you are not eligible to retire when you separate from service, your effective retirement date is the first of the month following the date you meet the age and service requirements.
Your benefit will be stopped if you work in a full-time, fully compensated LEOFF position.
As a service retiree, your benefits will be suspended if you work in a position that is eligible for the Washington State Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS), Public Safety Employees' Retirement System (PSERS), School Employees' Retirement System (SERS) or Teachers' Retirement System (TRS), and you choose to become a member of that system.
However, you will continue to receive retirement benefits if:
Tell your employer you're retired. If your position is eligible, you must complete a LEOFF Plan 2 Retiree Re-employment form indicating whether or not you want to become an active member in a DRS-covered retirement system. If you return to work in a full-time, fully compensated LEOFF position, you will complete an enrollment form and will be required to re-enter membership in LEOFF.
As a disability retiree, your benefits will be suspended if:
Your benefit will be canceled if:
If you are receiving a monthly disability benefit, you may be required to have periodic medical examinations, whether or not you are working. If examinations show that you are no longer totally disabled, your disability benefits will be canceled and you will have the right to be restored to duty.
For more information, read the LEOFF Plan 2 Disability Benefits brochure.
If your retirement benefits were suspended because you returned to work in DRS-covered employment, your benefits will be reinstated retroactively — back to the date your benefit was suspended.
If you are eligible for retroactive benefits, you can choose to receive a lump sum, or increased monthly benefits.
For information about how working after retirement affects your Social Security benefits, contact the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213.