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Frequently Asked Questions About Working After Retirement

  1. If I work in a position subject to the 550-hour limit, 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 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. If I receive a paid holiday, what do I count toward my limits?
  7. What counts toward my salary limit?
  8. If I exceed my working after retirement limit(s), when do my benefits stop?
  9. If I exceed my working after retirement limit(s), how much of my benefits will I lose?
  10. If I accept a coaching position at a covered K-12 school district, what is my working after retirement limit?
  11. Do working after retirement limits also apply to disability retirees?
  12. Can participating in a retirement incentive cause me to lose retirement benefits?
  13. If I work in a non-certificated position for one K-12 school district and also in a certificated position for another K-12 school district, what are my limits?
  14. Can I work in a non-certificated position for a PSRS-covered K-12 school district and also work at a covered school while employed by a third-party provider in a position that requires a DESE-issued certificate?
  15. If I work in both a certificated position and a non-certificated position concurrently for the same PSRS-covered K-12 school district, toward which of my salary limits is my employer-paid insurance counted?
  16. If I work in more than one non-certificated position subject to only a salary limit, is the salary limit still $15,000?
  17. What are some examples of non-certificated positions in which a PSRS retiree might be employed and be subject to the $15,000 per school year salary limit?

1. If I work in a position subject to the 550-hour limit, how many days in a school year can I work?
The law does not limit the number of days you can work as a retiree. If your work is subject to the 550-hour limit, the number of days you can work depends on your employer's method of counting the hours in a workday. The number of hours counted as a full day varies by employer. Talk to your employer to make sure you understand how your work is being tracked.


2. Who is responsible for tracking my hours and salary after retirement?
Both you and your employer 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 in a certificated position. 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 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. However, it is always a good idea to check with your employer to be sure you understand how your employer is tracking time.


6. 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.


7. What counts toward my salary limit?

For tracking purposes, your salary includes any employer-paid health, dental or vision insurance premiums for you, the member, payouts for unused leave, and any other payments or incentives received as a result of the employment, including such things as gift cards and conference registration fees.


8. If I exceed my working after retirement limit(s), when do my benefits stop?

Your benefits stop effective the month you exceed a limit. Benefits do not resume until the month after the employment ends or a new school year begins on July1. If you are also working in a post-retirement position(s) subject to a separate limit, that work does not need to stop. For example, if you exceed the 550-hour limit on employment in certificated positions on April 10, you forfeit your April benefit payment. If you end all of your employment in certificated positions in April, your benefit payments resume in May. If your employment in certificated positions continues, your benefit payments will resume the month following your employment end date or at the start of a new school year.


9. If I exceed my working after retirement limit(s), how much of my benefits will I lose?

The minimum you will forfeit is one monthly benefit payment The entire benefit for the month you exceed the limit is lost. If you end your employment that month, your benefits resume the following month. If you do not end your employment, your benefits resume the month following the end of your employment or on July 1, at the start of the new school year.


10. If I accept a coaching position at a covered K-12 school district, what is my working after retirement limit?

Post-retirement work as a coach (a non-certificated position) is subject to the $15,000 per school year salary limit and no limit on hours.


11. Do working after retirement 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. A livelihood is currently defined as earning in excess of the substantial gainful activity limit for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits (non-blind, disabled), which is set each year by the Social Security Administration. At or after age 60, you can work for a covered employer or third-party provider without affecting your benefit payments, but with the applicable limits.


12. Can participating in 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 a written or unwritten agreement 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 are under either a written or unwritten agreement for future employment, you are not considered to have properly terminated your employment and are not eligible to receive PSRS benefits.


13. If I work in a non-certificated position for one K-12 school district and also in a certificated position for another K-12 school district, what are my limits?

In this case, you would have separate limits for each position. Work in certificated positions for PSRS-covered K-12 school districts is subject to the 550-hour and 50% of salary limits, while work for PSRS-covered K-12 school districts in non-certificated positions is subject to a $15,000 salary limit with no limit on hours. The work at the two jobs must be tracked separately. The same holds true if you work for the same PSRS-covered K-12 school district in two positions, one certificated and one that is not. For example, a retired teacher works as a substitute teacher at a PSRS-covered K-12 school district, filling in for a full-time teacher. This is a certificated position. Her work is subject to a limit of 550 hours per school year and an annual salary limit of no more than 50% of the annual compensation payable under the employer's salary schedule for the position, given her level of work experience and education. She also drives a school bus for the same school district. This is a non-certificated position. For this work, she is subject to a separate salary limit of $15,000 per school year with no limit on her hours.


14. Can I work in a non-certificated position for a PSRS-covered K-12 school district and also work at a covered school while employed by a third-party provider in a position that requires a DESE-issued certificate?

Yes. For example, you could work as a substitute teacher (a certificated position) for a third-party provider at a PSRS-covered K-12 school district under the 550-hour/50% of salary limits, and also work directly for a PSRS-covered K-12 school district in a non-certificated position as a school bus driver with the separate $15,000 salary limit and no limit on hours worked in that position.


15. If I work in both a certificated position and a non-certificated position concurrently for the same PSRS-covered K-12 school district, toward which of my salary limits is my employer-paid insurance counted?

In this case, any employer-paid insurance premiums for you, the member, will count toward your 50% salary limit for work in the certificated position and not toward your $15,000 per school year salary limit for the non-certificated position.


16. If I work in more than one non-certificated position subject only to a salary limit, is the salary limit still $15,000?

Yes. No matter how many eligible positions are worked, the total, annual limit on salary is $15,000.


17. What are some examples of non-certificated positions in which a PSRS retiree might be employed and be subject to the $15,000 per school year salary limit?

Possible positions include the following. This is not a complete list. Please check with your employer to be sure you understand whether your position requires a DESE-issued certificate.

  • coach
  • school bus driver
  • paraprofessional/teacher aide
  • speech-language pathologist
  • school nurse
  • occupational therapist
  • interpreter for the deaf
  • language translator
  • school/home coordinator
  • career education teacher aide