Frequently Asked Questions About Working After Retirement

  1. If I work part-time or as a temporary-substitute for a PEERS-covered employer after retirement, how many days in a school year can I work?
  2. Who is responsible for tracking my hours after retirement?
  3. What hours do I count toward the 550-hour limit?
  4. Do I count my lunch period toward the 550-hour limit?
  5. If I receive a paid holiday, do I count the hours toward the 550-hour limit?
  6. Do hours worked as part of a retirement incentive count toward the 550-hour limit?
  7. Does the 550-hour limit also apply to disability retirees?
  8. How does volunteering after retirement affect my limit when working after retirement?
  9. If I exceed the working after retirement limit, when do my benefits stop?
  10. Can signing a contract as part of a retirement incentive cause me to lose retirement benefits?

1. If I work part-time or as a temporary-substitute for a PEERS-covered employer after retirement, how many days in a school year can I work?
The law limits the number of hours you can work as a retiree, not the number of days. The number of days you can work depends on your employer's method of counting the hours in a work day. The number of hours counted as a full day varies from employer to employer. You should discuss with your employer how to track your employment and make sure you both track consistently.


2. Who is responsible for tracking my hours after retirement?
You are responsible for tracking the number of hours you work. Record-keeping forms and your hourly limit will be sent to you each school year when you return to work after retirement for a PEERS-covered employer. It is important to check with your employer to make sure you both are tracking consistently and that your records agree. If a discrepancy exists between your record and your employer's, we consider your employer's record to be official.


3. What hours do I count toward the 550-hour limit?
You are required to count all your time necessary to complete the requirements of your position.


4. Do I count my lunch period toward the 550-hour limit?
If you are being paid for your lunch period and are required to remain at school during lunch, it counts toward the 550-hour limit. If you are not receiving pay for your lunch period and are able to leave for lunch, then you should not count the time toward the limit.


5. If I receive a paid holiday, do I count the hours toward the 550-hour limit?
The hours paid for that day do not count toward the 550-hour limit because you did not “work” the hours.


6. Do hours worked as part of a retirement incentive count toward the 550-hour limit?
Yes. Although sometimes mistakenly believed to be volunteer hours, hours you are required to work as part of a retirement incentive count toward the 550-hour limit.


7. Does the 550-hour limit also apply to disability retirees?
If you receive PEERS disability retirement benefits and are younger than age 60, you cannot be employed in any capacity by a PEERS-covered employer, or work for any non-covered employer and earn salary that is considered a livelihood by PEERS (more than $18,000 per year). After age 60, you can work part-time or as a temporary-substitute for a covered employer without affecting your benefit payments, but the 550-hour limit applies.


8. How does volunteering after retirement affect my limit when working after retirement?
You can be a volunteer for any PEERS-covered employer for an unlimited amount of time with no effect on your benefits as long as you are not being paid salary or benefits by the employer. If you are volunteering and working at the same school district and the duties for both are essentially the same function, then the volunteer time counts toward the 550-hour limit. If the volunteering and working duties are substantially different, then the hours you volunteer do not count toward the 550-hour limit.


9. If I exceed the working after retirement limit, when do my benefits stop?
You forfeit your benefits effective the month in which you exceed the 550-hour limit. Benefits do not resume until your employment ends or a new school year begins on July 1. For example, if you exceed the 550-hour limit on April 10, you forfeit your April benefit payment. If you end your employment in April, your benefits resume in May. If your employment continues, your benefits will resume the month following the termination of your employment or in July, at the start of a new school year.


10. Can signing a contract as part of a retirement incentive cause me to lose retirement benefits?
Yes. For a period of one month from your PEERS retirement date, you cannot be under contract for employment at a PEERS-covered employer in any capacity. This includes retirement incentives or separation agreements that require you to work or volunteer in any capacity after retirement in return for salary, including paid health insurance benefits. If you sign such a contract, you are not considered to have properly terminated your employment and are not eligible to receive PEERS benefits.