DRS Email 20-004, Reporting LEOFF 2 Retirees Returning to Work Under the Governor’s COVID-19 Waiver

Notice No: 20-004 
Date:  April 1, 2020
Applies to: LEOFF Employers
Subject: DRS Email 20-004, Reporting LEOFF 2 Retirees Returning to Work Under the Governor’s COVID-19 Waiver

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.

For LEOFF2 retirees returning to LEOFF-eligible positions, employers are asked not to report eligible hours through the Employer Reporting Application (ERA). Instead, employers should provide a written monthly report to DRS for each LEOFF retiree who worked in that month listing the number of hours worked, the member’s full name and the last four numbers of their Social Security number so DRS can record the information in the member’s file. These reports should be emailed to drs.rrtw@drs.wa.gov. DRS will ensure that pension benefit payments for these retirees are not interrupted while the waiver is in effect.

Important things to know:

  • The proclamation applies prospectively both to retirees who have already returned to work and to those who may return to employment.
  • The proclamation waives restrictions for LEOFF members returning to LEOFF-eligible positions.
  • The retiree may still choose to rejoin LEOFF membership and suspend their retirement benefit while this waiver is in effect. In this circumstance, the employer should report the hours as usual through ERA.
  • 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.

As described in Employer Notice 20-003, employers should continue to report PERS and PSERS retirees returning to work as they always have. DRS will ensure that pension benefit payments for these retirees are not interrupted while the waiver is in effect.

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

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