Retirement Benefits

Working After Retirement: Do You Know the Rules?

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If you’re a retiree considering post-retirement employment with a CalPERS-covered employer, you should be aware of the requirements—and the potential consequences if you violate those requirements.

CalPERS retirees can only work for CalPERS-covered employers as “retired annuitants.” There are two types of retired annuitant employment:

  • Extra help: You can only work in a designated retired annuitant position as extra help or for special project work. You cannot be employed in a regular staff position even if the position is part time.
  • Interim appointment: You can be appointed to a vacant position only if an open recruitment for that position is in process before you are hired. You can only be appointed to the vacant position one time.

For all retired annuitant appointments, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Separation from all CalPERS-covered employment: Prior to retirement, you must separate from all CalPERS-covered employment, even if that employment is not reported to CalPERS.
  • 180-day wait period: You cannot work for a CalPERS-covered employer for a period of 180 days after your retirement date. Certain exceptions may apply.
  • 960-hour limit: You can work 960 hours per fiscal year (July 1 to June 30) for all CalPERS-covered employers combined.
  • Compensation: You can only be paid the hourly pay rate on the CalPERS-covered employer’s publicly available pay schedule for employees doing comparable work. You cannot receive any other additional compensation or benefits (for example, sick pay, vacation pay, or bonuses).

Violating any of these post-retirement employment requirements may result in mandatory reinstatement. If reinstated, your retirement will be terminated, and you’ll be required to reimburse CalPERS the amount of retirement allowance received during the violation period.

Additionally, a law that went into effect January 1, 2018, requires CalPERS-covered employers to report all retired annuitant appointments, earnings, and hours to CalPERS.

Other conditions not covered in this article, such as working as a disability retiree or an independent contractor, are detailed on our Working After Retirement webpage and in our publication Employment After Retirement (PDF) (PUB 33). We encourage you to refer to our publication or call us at 888 CalPERS (or 888-225-7377) with any further questions you may have prior to working after retirement.