Retirement Benefits

So, You’ve Retired! Here Are 3 Things to Consider Before Returning to Work

Congratulations! You’ve made it to a major milestone, retirement. But if you’re missing the routine or find yourself needing extra funds, here’s what to consider before jumping back into the workforce.

1. Are you interested in returning to permanent part- or full-time CalPERS-covered employment?

If so, you must reinstate from retirement into active employment. This means:

  • You become an active CalPERS member.
  • You can retire again later.
  • You resume earning retirement service credit.
  • Your retirement benefits stop.
  • Your health benefits may change.

Also, keep in mind you can’t reinstate from retirement before you’ve been hired by a CalPERS employer. You must have a firm start date or hire date to reinstate from service retirement into active employment. Visit our Reinstatement from Retirement webpage for more information.

2. Not interested in reinstating? Consider being a CalPERS retired annuitant.

A retired annuitant is a CalPERS retiree who works for a CalPERS employer with certain restrictions to avoid risking their retirement allowance (pension payments). Restrictions include:

  • CalPERS disability retirees can’t be employed in the same position from which they retired or in a position which includes duties or activities they were restricted from performing at the time of disability retirement.
  • The hourly pay rate you receive can’t be less than the minimum or exceed the maximum paid to other employees performing comparable duties.
  • The hours you work can’t exceed 960 hours in a fiscal year (July 1 through June 30) for employment with all CalPERS employers combined.
  • As a retired annuitant, you do not accrue service credit or otherwise acquire any additional retirement benefits from the employment.

To read more on retired annuitant rules, see A Guide to CalPERS Employment After Retirement (PUB 33) (PDF).

3. You could go the private-sector route.

If you’re a service retiree, you can work for a private industry employer not associated with any CalPERS employer, without restrictions, and continue to receive your CalPERS retirement allowance. Keep in mind, if you’re a disability retiree, there are still restrictions on the type of work you do. Be sure to review the Disability Retirees – Additional Requirements and Restrictions (PDF) section beginning on page 16 of PUB 33, if this applies to you.

Do your homework.

While we’ve covered your options when it comes to working after retirement, it’s important for you to use the resources we’ve shared so you have a clear understanding of each one and follow the rules and regulations accordingly. In addition, we recommend checking out our Working After Retirement video from our CalPERS Quick Tip series.