Retirement Benefits

Thinking About Working After Retirement?

mature woman small business owner outside her restaurant with menus

Does the start of a second career sound enticing? Want to supplement your retirement income? You might consider working part-time or full-time during your retirement years. But first there are some basic rules that you should be aware of, so that you can protect your CalPERS retirement benefits.

(This information is limited to those of you working after service retirement. The laws regarding working after a retirement for a disability or an industrial disability are more complex and aren’t covered here. Read Employment After Retirement (PUB 33) (PDF) for important details.)

Working for a Non-CalPERS Employer

Do you want to work part-time at a local hardware store, or maybe go back to work full-time in a new career? CalPERS retirees can work for a private industry employer (not associated with a CalPERS employer), or for an employer in another public pension system without reinstating from retirement.

There are no limitations if you decide to work for a non-CalPERS agency, and you do not need permission from CalPERS. However, if you’re drawing Social Security benefits, you should contact the Social Security Administration at (800) 772-1213 to ask how working after retirement may affect your Social Security benefits.

Working for a CalPERS Employer Full-Time

If you plan to return to permanent full-time employment for a CalPERS-covered agency, the retirement law requires you to first reinstate from retirement. Reinstatement involves completing the appropriate paperwork and getting prior approval from CalPERS.

Working for a CalPERS Employer Part-Time

In certain instances, you may work for a CalPERS-covered employer without reinstatement; however, you must meet the following conditions when you return to work as a retired annuitant:

  • Your employment is limited duration and must be either during an emergency to prevent stoppage of public business or because you have skills needed in performing work of limited duration;
  • Your pay rate for your employment may not be less than the minimum, nor more than the maximum, paid to other employees performing comparable duties;
  • The combined amount of time you may work for all employers may not exceed 960 hours per fiscal year July 1 through June 30); and
  • You cannot be employed as a retired annuitant for a period of 180 days after your retirement date unless you qualify for an exception. See PUB 33 for a list of exceptions.

If you’re considering returning to work and have questions, see Employment After Retirement (PUB 33) and Reinstatement From Retirement (PUB 37), which provides additional information about working after retirement. You can also find more information on our website under Working After Retirement.