Working as an Independent Contractor or Consultant after Retirement

If you work after retirement as an independent contractor for a PSRS-covered employer in a position that does not normally require a certificate issued by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), your work does not count toward the PSRS working after retirement limits.

However, effective August 28, 2017, if, as an independent contractor, you work for a PSRS-covered employer in a substitute teacher role or any other position normally requiring a certificate from DESE, your work does count toward the PSRS working after retirement limits.

Corporations Working as Independent Contractors

  • Whether or not an individual is incorporated does not, by itself, ensure that an individual is considered an independent contractor with respect to post-retirement employment.
  • If an individual is merely performing a role that ordinarily would be considered an employee, the corporation will likely be considered an alter ego of the person, and the PSRS working after retirement limits will apply.

What is the difference between an employee and an independent contractor?

In general, the common law standard dictates that if your employer has the right to control the manner and means of accomplishing the work you are responsible for performing, then you are an employee, not an independent contractor.

Working as a Consultant

Whether a position is referred to as “consulting” does not determine whether PSRS covers that person. The critical distinction between being an employee and being an independent contractor is based on IRS definitions.

Determining Your Status

If you have questions about how to tell if your post-retirement work status is one of an employee or an independent contractor, you can find IRS guidance on the subject by visiting the IRS website,, by calling your local IRS office, or calling the IRS toll free at (800) 829-1040. You may also refer to IRS Publication 15-A, Employer’s Supplemental Tax Guide.

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