Skip to main content
Payment calendarCheck mailed July 29Direct deposit August 1

Law temporarily changes rules for CalSTRS retirees returning to work

Pension Sense blog | June 20, 2024 | Melissa Jones-Ferguson

Woman in yellow shirt smiling, children in classroom background.

Thinking about going back to work?

Maybe you miss working with students or spending time with colleagues. Perhaps you decided to renovate the kitchen or take that dream vacation.

Whatever the reason, know that there are rules for CalSTRS retired members who return to work in the California public school system.

A new law, Senate Bill 765, will temporarily change the annual postretirement earnings limit and exemption process for the separation-from-service requirement.

CalSTRS retired members who return to work in the California public school system are subject to an annual postretirement earnings limit. If you exceed this limit, CalSTRS collects back the excess earnings from your retirement benefit, up to the annual benefit payable. The limit for 2024–25 is $74,733.

In addition, if a member returns to work within 180 calendar days of their most recent retirement date, their CalSTRS retirement benefit is reduced dollar for dollar by any compensation they earn, up to the benefit payable during that period.

Under SB 765, from July 1, 2024, through June 30, 2026, a school district can submit an exemption request from the separation-from-service requirement to CalSTRS that must certify the:

  • Nature of employment.
  • Appointment is necessary to fill a critically needed position before 180 calendar days have passed.
  • Member is at or above normal retirement age (age 60 for CalSTRS 2% at 60 members and age 62 for CalSTRS 2% at 62 members) when they return to work.
  • Member’s retirement did not create the need to acquire their services.
  • Member did not receive any financial incentive to retire.
  • School district did not have reduction-in-force layoffs within the prior 18 months.

If you’re eligible for an exemption, your school district must provide CalSTRS all required documentation before you begin work.

CalSTRS will send written notice of whether you’ll be subject to, or exempt from, the separation-from-service requirement within 30 days of receiving all required documentation from your employer. If you have not received this notice, check with your school district, or contact CalSTRS, before returning to work to ensure the exemption request has been submitted and approved.

SB 765 also requires school districts to provide copies of the completed documentation submitted to CalSTRS to the union representing employees of the school district.

Remember, these changes will only be effective through June 30, 2026. You can find more information on the working after retirement webpage and the Working After Retirement fact sheet.

Contact us if you have questions about working after retirement.