The Critical Shortage Full-Time Employment Exception

The Critical Shortage Full-Time Employment Exception is a legal provision which allows covered employers who meet certain requirements to employ PSRS/PEERS retirees full-time without affecting the payment of their retirement benefits.

How the Critical Shortage Works

If your district declares a critical shortage of either certificated or non-certificated employees, you can hire up to 10% of the certificated (or non-certificated) staff, not to exceed five individual PSRS retirees to teach, or five individual PEERS retirees to work, for up to two years under this provision.

The two years of employment do not have to be consecutive - there can be breaks in the employment. However, the total time worked by each retiree cannot exceed two years at all employers.

The retired members employed under this provision continue to receive benefits, but do not contribute to PSRS/PEERS or earn service.

By law, districts cannot use the Critical Shortage Full-Time Employment Exception to fill the position of superintendent.

PSRS/PEERS requires employers to certify in writing that they have met the requirements to hire a specific individual under the Critical Shortage Full-Time Employment Exception.

During the two years of Critical Shortage employment, employer contributions must be made on all salary earned, including employer-paid medical insurance premiums and pay for additional duties.

In order to employ retirees full-time under this provision, the employer must:

  • Not have offered early retirement incentives for either of the previous two school years
  • Post the vacancy or vacancies for at least one month
  • Solicit applications through the local newspaper, other media, or teacher education programs
  • Make a good faith effort to fill positions with non-retired employees
  • Determine that there is an insufficient number of eligible applicants for the advertised position(s)
  • Declare a shortage of certificated or non-certificated employees