Critical Shortage Employment

Critical Shortage Employment is a legal provision that allows PSRS retirees to return to work for covered employers while continuing to receive PSRS service retirement benefits. The work may be part-time or full-time, and can be in a certificated or non-certificated position. To be employed under this provision, your employer must certify with PSRS that there is a critical shortage of qualified applicants for the position, and that they have met the necessary requirements to declare a critical shortage.

If you work after retirement for a covered employer that has declared a critical shortage, you can work for up to 24 months without losing your PSRS benefits. The 24 months of employment do not have to be consecutive – there can be breaks in the employment. However, you cannot work more than 24 months total under this provision throughout your retirement. You do not pay PSRS contributions or earn service while working under this provision.

If you work under this provision and also work in an additional position(s) that is not covered by the Critical Shortage as certified by your employer, the additional position(s) is subject to the separate working after retirement limit(s) that apply, based on whether that position requires a DESE-issued certificate.

Example

Gary is retired and returns to work for a PSRS-covered school district as a physics teacher under Critical Shortage employment. In addition, he will coach volleyball.

Under the Critical Shortage provision, Gary is limited to working a maximum of 24 months as a physics teacher.

His additional duty as a coach is subject to an annual salary limit of $15,000 per school year, since it is a non-certificated position and not part of his Critical Shortage employment.

An employer can hire up to 10% of the certificated staff, not to exceed five individual PSRS retirees, to work under this provision. Employers must meet certain requirements and cannot use the Critical Shortage provision to fill the position of superintendent.

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