Returning to Work

The rules for returning to work after retirement vary for each plan. It also depends on where you go to work and whether you retired on disability or service.

Refer to the information below for general return to work rules. Please contact ERS for specific details if you are thinking of returning to work and have questions.

Service Retirees

If you are a service retiree under ERS, JRS or LRS and you accept employment or render service, including service as or for an independent contractor*, for an agency covered under ERS or (in some cases) for the Board of Regents, you can only work 1,040 hours (roughly 6 months at full-time) during any calendar year. If you exceed that amount of hours, your monthly benefit will be suspended for the rest of the calendar year. You will begin receiving your monthly benefit in January and are allowed to work 1,040 hours before your monthly retirement benefit would again be suspended. Any return to employment with a covered employer cannot take place during the first month of retirement. For those who take “early retirement” you cannot return to employment during the first 2 months following retirement. There is no restriction for employment that is not with a covered employer.

A retired plan member returning to the service of a covered employer is required to inform the employer of his or her retirement status prior to accepting such position. Failure of the retired plan member to provide notice of retirement status can result in liability to the member in the event of a pension overpayment.

If you are a service retiree under PSERS and return to work for a PSERS employer before you have reached age 65, you must resume contributing membership in PSERS. Benefits will be suspended during employment or until attainment of age 65. At or after age 65 you have the option: 1) to continue contributing and accruing additional credits, or 2) to stop contributing and resume a recalculated retirement benefit based on all credits. Note: This restriction will not be applied to any retiree who entered the employment situation prior to May 11, 2009.

If you are a service retiree under PSERS and return to work for a PSERS employer after reaching age 65 you have the option: 1) to continue contributing and accruing additional credits, or 2) to stop contributing and resume a recalculated retirement benefit based on all credits. You must complete an election form indicating your selection regarding the above options Note: This restriction will not be applied to any retiree who entered the employment situation prior to May 24, 2010.

Disability Retirees

If you were a disability retiree under ERS, JRS or PSERS, there are earnings limitations on your retirement. You are limited to the difference between your monthly salary at the time of your retirement and your gross monthly retirement benefit. Earnings limitations are addressed in O.C.G.A. 47-2-125.

*Retirees Returning to Work as Contract Employees - Retirees who return to employment as an independent contractor are not subject to the 1,040 hour work limitation if the state agency/employer certifies the following: 1. The contracting entity has multiple employees, and 2. the contracting entity has multiple contracts and the contracts are not limited to State of Georgia employers, and 3. the contractual relationship with the State of Georgia employer(s) was not created to allow a retiree(s) to continue employment in a similar position after retirement. ERS retirees who were already in a contract situation as of May 11, 2009 are not subject to these new restrictions but will be subject to these restrictions once the current contract expires.