Working after Retirement
- Employment Emergency or Shortage of Personnel
- Extracurricular Employment
- Employment in a College
- Employment as an Independent Contractor or Consultant
- Employment at a Pennsylvania Charter School
- Frozen Annuity
According to the Retirement Code, you may not be employed by a Pennsylvania public school employer and receive a PSERS retirement benefit at the same time unless you meet certain exceptions.
If the exceptions do not apply to you when you return to work, then your monthly retirement benefit will be stopped and considered a “frozen annuity.”
You may return to Pennsylvania public school employment without the loss of your monthly benefit provided you meet one of the following criteria:
An employment emergency is described as an increase in workload which creates a serious impairment of service to the public. The Pennsylvania public school employer makes the initial determination that an emergency exists.
A public school employer may also hire a PSERS retiree if no other appropriate certified teachers or other personnel are available within the required subject or work area. The school employer is expected to make a “good faith” effort to secure non-retired personnel first before hiring a PSERS retiree.
Employment may continue throughout the school year so long as the emergency or shortage of personnel exists. PSERS reserves the right to review an employer’s determination that a qualifying emergency or shortage exists and that all appropriate efforts were made to hire an employee who is not a PSERS retiree.
A PSERS retiree may work for a Pennsylvania public school entity in an extracurricular position provided the employment:
- Is performed primarily outside regular instructional hours.
- Is not part of the mandated educational curriculum.
You must have a separate written contract with the school employer which must contain both:
- A waiver by you of any potential retirement benefits that could result from the post-retirement employment.
- A release of both the employer and PSERS from any liability for benefits related to the postretirement employment.
The rules which permit you to return to service for one of the state’s community colleges, Penn State University, or state-owned universities differ in that benefits are not suspended if you become a member of SERS (State Employees’ Retirement System), TIAA-CREF, or another approved retirement plan. Note that a 403 (b) plan is a supplemental plan and therefore not a valid option.
If you decide to work for a college, you should first contact the college or its retirement plan to inquire about the minimum eligibility requirements for joining the plan. Your employment must qualify you to elect and participate in the colleges offered retirement plan within your first year of employment. If this does not happen, your retirement benefits will be stopped and you will become an active contributing member of PSERS.
If you are a multiple service retiree, you will automatically be enrolled in SERS and your PSERS benefit will be stopped.
Additional information regarding returning to public school employment or any of these exceptions may be found in the PSERS publication “PSERS Return to Service Guidelines and Clarifications".