Return-to-work rules have changed for TRS and SERS retirees who use the 2008 Early Retirement Factor

Posted 09-Sep-2019

Effective May, 8, 2019, the rules for using the 2008 Early Retirement Factors (ERF) have changed. If you’re a retiree of Plan 2 or 3 of the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) or School Employees’ Retirement System (SERS) who used the 2008 ERF, you can now return to work in a nonadministrative position for up to 867 hours without impacting your benefit.

Keep the following rules in mind so you can continue to receive your monthly pension benefit while working:

  • You must be a retiree of Plan 2 or 3 of the Teachers’ Retirement System or School Employees’ Retirement System
  • You must retire under the 2008 ERF
  • You can only return to work in a nonadministrative position (please see the definition below)
  • You must have reentered employment on or after May 8, 2019
  • You must wait at least 30 calendar days after your retirement date1 before returning to work
  • Training, orientation and classroom preparation time all count as returning to work

Nonadministrative positions with certain employers are the only ones that qualify. To determine your eligibility, refer to this definition:

For 2008 ERF retirees returning to work in a nonadministrative position or nonadministrative capacity means a position at a school district, charter school, educational service district, state school for the deaf, state school for the blind, or tribal school

which:

a. does not require an Administrative Certification, as defined by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, which currently includes

  • Principal, 
  • Vice Principal, 
  • Program Administrator, 
  • Conditional Administrator, 
  • Superintendent or 
  • Program Administrator Certifications or

b. does not evaluate staff.

If you retire under a disability retirement, please contact DRS to discuss eligibility before accepting employment.

For more information, read the brochure Thinking About Working After Retirement? and these frequently asked questions:

 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a nonadministrative position or nonadministrative capacity?

For TRS and SERS 2008 ERF retirees, returning to work a nonadministrative position or nonadministrative capacity means a position at a

  • school district,
  • charter school,
  • educational service district,
  • state school for the deaf,
  • state school for the blind, or
  • tribal school

which:

a. does not require an Administrative Certification, as defined by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, which currently includes

  • Principal,
  • Vice Principal,
  • Program Administrator,
  • Conditional Administrator,
  • Superintendent or
  • Program Administrator Certifications or

b. does not evaluate staff.

 

2. If I retired from TRS or SERS using the 2008 ERF, and I want to return to work in a nonadministrative position, what do I need to do to ensure my monthly benefit isn’t suspended?

  • Reenter employment on or after May 8, 2019
  • Return to work more than 30 calendar days after your retirement date
  • Confirm with your employer that the position you are accepting is nonadministrative
  • Tell your employer you retired using 2008 ERF
  • Don’t work more than 867 hours in a calendar year

 

3. I retired from PERS using the 2008 Early Retirement Factors. Can I return to work, before age 65, without having my benefit suspended?

No. The new law applies to retirees of TRS and SERS only.

 

4. I retired from TRS using the 2008 Early Retirement Factors. Can I return to work as a principal, before age 65, without having my benefit suspended?

No. The new law applies to nonadministrative positions only, as defined in question one of this FAQ. A principal’s position is administrative.

 

5. I retired from TRS using the 2008 Early Retirement Factors. Can I return to work, before age 65, as a coach or office-support person?

Yes, as long as you do not evaluate staff.

 

6. I retired as a dual member from TRS or SERS and another system such as PERS. How will each of my benefits be affected if I return to work?

Each benefit will have the rules for that system applied independently.

For example, if you retired from PERS and SERS, and chose the 2008 ERF for both benefits, the SERS benefits would continue up to 867 hours in a calendar year; while the PERS benefit would be suspended for any month you work.

 

7. I am a 2008 ERF retiree. Can I return to work as an independent contractor without losing my benefit?

No. You cannot earn compensation from a DRS-covered employer for services performed as an independent contractor and continue to receive a monthly benefit.

 

8. I retired from PERS using the 2008 ERFs. This new change isn’t fair to me. What can I do?

DRS doesn’t create retirement law. But you can contact your state legislators to express your concerns.

 

9. How are my hours counted if I work in nonadministrative and administrative positions in the same year?

All hours you work in a nonadministrative position count toward your limit of 867 hours. For example, if a TRS 2008 ERF retiree, returned to work:

  • as a substitute teacher in August 2019 and then
  • substituted for two weeks as principal in October 2019

The hours for substitute teaching will count toward the 867 hours. The hours for substitute principal will not count toward the hours and your benefit would be suspended for the month of October. 

 

10. How long are the new 2019 RRTW rules in effect?

The new rules are permanent unless changed by law.


1 If you retire from active employment and are eligible to retire when you separate from service, your retirement date is the first day of the month following the month when you terminated employment. If you are not eligible to retire when you separate from service, your retirement date is the first day of the month following the month you became eligible for retirement.


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