ACSA Affiliate Content

Working After Retirement

The Association of California School Administrators is the largest umbrella organization for school leaders in the United States, serving more than 17,000 California educators.

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Working After Retirement Know the rules You can continue to receive your full CalSTRS retirement benefit, with no earnings limitations, if you take a job outside the California public school system. This includes work in private industry, private schools, public schools outside of California, and the University of California or California State University system. If you return to work after service retirement and perform retired member activities in the California public school system (prekindergarten through community college), including substitute teaching, as an employee, an independent contractor or an employee of a third party, you're subject to restrictions under state and federal law, including a separation-from-service requirement and a postretirement earnings limit. In addition, you cannot work in a classified position except, under certain circumstances, as a teacher's aide. Separation-from-service requirement Your retirement benefit will be reduced dollar for dollar by any compensation earned for performing retired member activities during the first 180 calendar days following your most recent retirement effective date, up to your benefit payable during that period. There is a very narrow exemption from the separation-from-service requirement if you have reached normal retirement age, your appointment is required to fill a critically needed position, the governing body of your employer approved your appointment by resolution at a public meeting, you did not receive any financial inducement to retire, and your termination of service was not the cause of the need to acquire your services. Your employer must submit the required documentation to CalSTRS substantiating your eligibility for the exemption. CalSTRS must receive an exemption request and required documentation before you begin working. Cash Balance Benefit Program participants: The separation-from-service requirement also applies to you if you're a Cash Balance Benefit Program participant. • If you receive your retirement benefit as an annuity, your payments will be reduced dollar for dollar by any compensation earned from retired participant activities during the first 180 calendar days following your retirement. • If you receive your retirement benefit as a lump-sum payment, in most cases your benefit will not be payable until 180 calendar days after the date you terminated employment. If you perform creditable service during this waiting period, your retirement will be canceled, and you will not receive your benefit payment. The waiting period may vary for participants who are subject to IRS rules for required minimum distribution. Contact us to learn more. Please note, if you're a retired Defined Benefit Program member and return to work, you cannot contribute to the Cash Balance Benefit Program. If you belong to another California public retirement system, depending upon the specific circumstances, you may be subject to earnings or hourly limitations under that system.

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