Can I return to teaching after retirement? If so, what actions can I take to make this happen?

Ask Jack Jack Ehnes

Yes, you can return to teaching after retirement. If you return to work after service retirement while still collecting a CalSTRS benefit in a position with the California public school system as an employee, an employee of a third party, or an independent contractor, there are restrictions. Those restrictions include a 180-day separation from service, or zero dollar earnings limit, following your most recent retirement, and an annual earnings limit. If you return to work during this period, your benefit will be reduced dollar for dollar by the amount you earn up to your benefit amount payable during that period. There is no action you are required to take in order to notify CalSTRS of your postretirement employment.

You can continue to receive your full CalSTRS retirement benefit, with no earnings limit, if you take a job outside of CalSTRS-covered employment. This includes work in private industry outside the California public school system, private schools, public schools outside of California and work with the University of California or California State University system.

You may also reinstate your active CalSTRS member status, in which case your retirement benefit is terminated. Instructions for reinstatement can be found on the Reinstatement After Retirement form you are required to submit. However, making an appointment with a CalSTRS benefits counselor will help ensure that you discuss important considerations, including how your future benefits may be affected.

Your reinstatement date can be no earlier than the first day of the month in which CalSTRS receives your form. CalSTRS must receive your reinstatement form no earlier than six months before your requested reinstatement date and no later than the last day of the month in which your reinstatement becomes effective. After your request is received, your retirement benefit will end.

Learn more about working after retirement.