Ask Jack Jack Ehnes

If passed, would the Governor’s 12-point proposal eliminate postretirement employment and would it include college instructors?

Currently the Teacher’s Retirement Law restricts the amount you can earn in a CalSTRS-covered position after you retire without it affecting your retirement benefit. For example, if you return to work in a CalSTRS-covered position, you are subject to an earnings limitation of $31,020 per school year for 2011-12 unless you have an exemption from the earnings limit. However, the exemptions will expire June 30, 2012.

Under the Governor’s 12-point proposal, anyone who retires from a California public employer, including K-12 schools and community colleges, after the effective date of the legislation would be prohibited from working either as an employee or contractor for any California public employer unless they reinstate from retirement. An exception would apply in the event that the retiree is hired either during an emergency to prevent stoppage of public business or because the retiree has skills needed to perform work of limited duration. Work by a retiree under this exception is limited to 960 hours or 120 full-time days in a consecutive 12-month period.

Again, the Governor’s 12-point proposal must work its way through the legislative process and the earliest it would take effect, if adopted as written, would not be until after June 2013. Until that time all members are subject to requirements under the Teacher’s Retirement Law mentioned above.

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