Working After Retirement - Frequently Asked Questions

  1. If I work part-time or as a temporary-substitute for a PSRS-covered employer after retirement, how many days in a school year can I work?
  2. Who is responsible for tracking my hours and salary after retirement?
  3. What hours do I count toward the 550-hour limit?
  4. The class I teach is only 50 minutes long. Do I count that as an hour (60 minutes) toward the 550-hour limit?
  5. Do I count my lunch period toward the 550-hour limit?
  6. How is the 50% salary limit calculated?
  7. How is the 50% salary limit calculated if my employer is also paying for my health insurance?
  8. How is the 50% salary limit calculated if I am working in multiple positions?
  9. If I receive a paid holiday, what do I count toward the 550-hour and 50% salary limits?
  10. Do hours worked as part of a retirement incentive count toward the 550-hour and 50% salary limits?
  11. Do the 550-hour and 50% salary limits also apply to disability retirees?
  12. How does volunteering after retirement affect my limits when working after retirement?
  13. If I exceed the working after retirement limits, when do my benefits stop?
  14. 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 PSRS-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 district to district. 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 and salary after retirement?
You are responsible for tracking the number of hours you work and your salary. Record-keeping forms indicating your hourly and salary limits will be sent to you each school year when you return to work after retirement for a PSRS-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, including if you are:

  • Required to have a planning period
  • Given a lunch break and must remain at the school
  • Required to grade papers
  • Responsible for supervising students between events and when traveling

4. The class I teach is only 50 minutes long. Do I count that as an hour (60 minutes) toward the 550-hour limit?
If you are only required to work 50 minutes, and you only work 50 minutes, then it is appropriate to count 50 minutes toward your 550-hour limit. However, it is always a good idea to check with your employer to be sure you understand how your employer is tracking time.


5. 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.


6. How is the 50% salary limit calculated?
The 50% salary limit is based on the full-time, annual salary of the position you are serving in after retirement, given your employer's salary schedule, your work experience and education. For example, if your employer determines your full-time annual salary as $50,000, your salary limit is $25,000.


7. How is the 50% salary limit calculated if my employer is also paying for my health insurance?
The amount the employer pays toward health insurance premiums for an active, full-time employee must be added to your full-time annual base salary. In addition, the amount the employer pays toward your health insurance must be counted as part of your salary.

For example, your full-time annual salary is $40,000. The employer pays $3,000 toward the annual health insurance premiums of active, full-time employees, and the annual value of the health insurance your employer is providing you, as a retiree, is $2,000.
$40,000 + $3,000 = $43,000
50% x $43,000 = $21,500
$21,500 - $2,000 = $19,500

Therefore, you can earn up to $19,500 for the school year before reaching your salary limit.


8. How is the 50% salary limit calculated if I am working in multiple positions?
The 50% salary limit is based on your highest paid position in which you are working at least 20% of your total hours.

Example 1

George fills a teaching position on a temporary basis and is expected to work 250 hours. He also drives a school bus part-time and will work 300 hours in that position. His full-time annual base salary for the teaching position is $40,000, and his full-time annual base salary as a bus driver is $16,000. George's salary limit is $20,000 based on the teaching position, because it is the highest paid position and he is expected to work 45% (250 ÷ 550) of his total hours in that position.

Example 2
Susan is hired for 12 weeks to fill in for a teacher who is on leave of absence. She expects to work 420 hours, and her full time annual base salary for this position is $40,000. She is also hired to complete a special project for the district which requires her to work 60 hours. Her full-time annual base salary for this position is $50,000. Her 50% salary limit is $20,000 ($40,000 x 50%). She may not use the full-time annual base salary of $50,000 to determine the 50% salary limit because 60 hours is only 12.5% (60 ÷ 480) of her total expected hours.


9. If I receive a paid holiday, what do I count toward the 550-hour and 50% salary limits?
The pay you receive for a paid holiday counts toward the 50% salary limit. But the hours paid for that day do not count toward the 550-hour limit because you did not “work” the hours.


10. Do hours worked as part of a retirement incentive count toward the 550-hour and 50% salary limits?
Yes. Although sometimes mistakenly believed to be volunteer hours, salary you receive and hours you are required to work as part of a retirement incentive count toward the 550-hour and 50% salary limits.


11. Do the 550-hour and 50% salary limits also apply to disability retirees?
If you receive PSRS disability retirement benefits and are younger than age 60, you cannot be employed in any capacity by a PSRS/PEERS-covered employer, or work for any non-covered employer and earn a salary that is considered a livelihood by PSRS (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 and 50% salary limits apply.


12. How does volunteering after retirement affect my limits when working after retirement?
You can be a volunteer for any PSRS-covered employer for an unlimited amount of time with no effect on your benefits as long as you are not being paid a 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.


13. If I exceed the working after retirement limits, when do my benefits stop?
You forfeit your benefits effective the month in which you exceed either the 550-hour or 50% salary limit, whichever is exceeded first. 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 benefit payments resume in May. If your employment continues, your benefit payments will resume the month following your employment end date or at the start of a new school year.


14. 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 PSRS retirement date, you cannot be under contract for employment at a PSRS-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 PSRS benefits.