Returning to work hours

Some retirees can now work up to 1,040 hours and continue receiving benefits

In 2022, the Washington State Legislature approved ESHB 1699 which created an exemption to retiree return to work rules at school districts.

The exemption allows some retirees from the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS), the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS), and the School Employees’ Retirement System (SERS) to work up to 1,040 hours per year and maintain their pension benefits if they work at a school district and meet certain requirements. Review the charts below to see if you qualify.

The exception is in place from March 23, 2022 — July 1, 2025.

The term non-administrative, for this exception, refers to returning to work at a school district in a position that: (a) Does not require an administrative certification, as defined by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, (currently positions requiring the certification include: principal, vice principal, program administrator, conditional administrator, superintendent or program administrator certifications); or (b) Does not evaluate staff.

With the addition of this exception, return to work rules have grown quite complex for retirees and their employers. DRS is working hard to update our systems, website, letters and Washington Administrative Code to reflect those changes.

Review these charts to see if you qualify for the exception.

PERS Plan 1

Position you are returning toReturn-to-work wait periodTotal hours when benefits stops
SERS eligible - nonadministrative 100 days1040 hours
TRS eligible - nonadministrative100 days1040 hours

PERS Plan 2 or 3 – including those who retiree with 2008 ERF

Position you are returning toReturn-to-work wait periodTotal hours when benefits stops
SERS - nonadministrative 100 days1040 hours
TRS - nonadministrative100 days1040 hours

SERS – including those who retiree with 2008 ERF

Position you are returning toReturn-to-work wait periodTotal hours when benefits stops
SERS - nonadministrative 30 calendar days1040 hours
TRS - nonadministrative30 calendar days1040 hours

TRS Plan 1

Position you are returning toReturn-to-work wait periodTotal hours when benefits stops
SERS - nonadministrative30 days1040 hours
TRS - nonadministrative30 days1040 hours
TRS – district superintendent or in-school administrator in a second-class school district, retired before Jan. 1, 202230 days1040 hours

TRS Plan 2 or 3 – including those who retired with 2008 ERF

Position you are returning toReturn-to-work wait periodTotal hours when benefits stops
SERS eligible - nonadministrative30 days1040 hours
TRS eligible - nonadministrative30 days1040 hours
TRS eligible – district superintendent or in-school administrator in a second-class school district, retired before Jan. 1, 202230 days1040 hours

Second-class school districts (2021-22 school year)

This list is provided by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction
AdnaIncheliumPateros
AlmiraIndexPaterson
Asotin-AnatoneKahlotusPe Ell
BengeKalamaPioneer
BickletonKellerPomeroy
BoistfortKettle FallsPort Townsend
BrewsterKiona-BentonPrescott
BridgeportKittitasQueets-Clearwater
BrinnonKlickitatQuilcene
Cape FlatteryLa CenterRainier
CarbonadoLa ConnerRaymond
CascadeLaCrosse JointReardan
CashmereLake ChelanRepublic
Castle RockLake QuinaultRitzville
CentervilleLamontRiverside
ChewelahLibertyRoosevelt
ChimacumLindRosalia
Cle Elum-RoslynLoon LakeRoyal
ColfaxLopez IslandSan Juan
College PlaceLyleSatsop
ColtonMabtonSelkirk
Columbia (Stev)MansfieldShaw Island
Columbia (Walla)MansonSkamania
ColvilleMary M KnightSkykomish
ConcreteMary WalkerSoap Lake
ConwayMcClearySouth Bend
CosmopolisMedical LakeSouth Whidbey
Coulee-HartlineMeridianSouthside
CoupevilleMethow ValleySprague-Lamont
CrescentMill ASt. John
CrestonMontesanoStar
CurlewMortonStarbuck
CusickMossyrockStehekin
DammanMount AdamsSteptoe
DarringtonMount BakerStevenson-Carson
DavenportMount PleasantSummit Valley
DaytonNaches ValleyTaholah
DieringerNapavineTekoa
DixieNaselle-Grays RiverTenino
EastonNespelemThorp
EatonvilleNewportToledo
ElmaNine Mile FallsTonasket
EndicottNooksack ValleyTouchet
EntiatNorth BeachToutle Lake
EvalineNorth RiverTrout Lake
Evergreen (Stev)NorthportUnion Gap
FinleyOakesdaleValley
FreemanOakvilleVashon Island
GarfieldOcean BeachWahkiakum
GlenwoodOcostaWaitsburg
GoldendaleOdessaWarden
Grand Coulee DamOkanoganWashtucna
GrangerOmakWaterville
GrapeviewOnalaskaWellpinit
Great NorthernOnion CreekWhite Pass
Green MountainOrcasWhite Salmon
GriffinOrchard PrairieWilbur
HarringtonOrientWillapa Valley
HighlandOrondoWilson Creek
HockinsonOrovilleWinlock
Hood CanalPalisadesWishkah Valley
HoquiamPalouseWishram
Zillah
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