DRS Email 20-003 Governor’s Waiver of Certain Retiree Return-to-Work Restrictions

Notice No: 20-003 
Date:  April 1, 2020
Applies to: All Employers
Subject: DRS Email 20-003, Governor’s Waiver of Certain Retiree Return-to-Work Restrictions

Governor Jay Inslee issued a proclamation related to the COVID-19 outbreak which waives return-to-work restrictions for retirees in specific retirement systems and plans. Under the governor’s proclamation, retirees in the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS), the Public Safety Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS) and the Law Enforcement Officers’ and Fire Fighters’ Retirement System Plan 2 (LEOFF 2) may return to work without suspension of their pension benefits.

Employers should continue to report PERS and PSERS retirees returning to work as they always have. The Department of Retirement Systems will ensure that pension benefit payments for these retirees are not interrupted while the waiver is in effect.

For LEOFF 2 retirees returning to work in LEOFF-eligible positions, DRS will provide guidance on reporting in a separate Employer Notice.

Important things to know:

  • The proclamation applies prospectively to retirees who have already returned to work and to those who may return to employment.
  • The proclamation waives restrictions on regular retirements and on 2008 Early Retirement Factor (ERF) retirements.
  • Retirees still must have a 30-day break in service and no prior agreement with their employer to return to employment. This separation of service requirement is not waived by the proclamation.

Retirees who have questions about returning to work should consult with the employer or contact DRS.

Employers who have additional questions regarding this notice should contact DRS Employer Support Services at 360-664-7200, option 2, or 800-547-6657, option 6, option 2, or email us.

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