Working After Retirement

You may return to work in a CalSTRS-covered position, but you cannot make contributions to a CalSTRS plan.

Separation-From-Service Requirement

If you receive your retirement benefit as a lump-sum payment, your benefit will not be payable until 180 calendar days after the date you terminate employment. If you return to work and perform retired member activities during this waiting period, your retirement will be canceled and you will not receive your benefit.

If you receive your retirement benefit as a annuity benefit, you’ll be subject to the separation-from-service requirement. If you return to work and perform retired member activities, including substitute teaching, as an employee of a California public school system, an employee of a third party, or an independent contractor, your annuity benefit will be reduced dollar for dollar by the amount you earn during the first 180 calendar days following your most recent retirement date, up to your benefit amount payable during that period. This requirement also applies to retired Defined Benefit members. See Working After Retirement for more information.

There is a very narrow exemption if you meet all of the following:

  • You have reached normal retirement age (age 60 or age 62 for a participant subject to the California Public Employee’s Pension Reform Act of 2013.
  • Your appointment is necessary to fill a critically needed position.
  • The governing body of your employer approved your appointment by resolution at a public meeting.
  • You did not receive any financial inducement to retire.
  • Your termination of service was not the cause of the need to acquire your services.

CalSTRS must receive the exemption request and required documentation from your employer before you can begin working.

See the Exemption to the Separation-From-Service Requirement employer information circular for more information. 

Reinstatement From Retirement

Cash Balance Benefit annuitants are not required to reinstate to perform CalSTRS-covered duties.

If you return to work and perform creditable service while receiving a Cash Balance Benefit annuity, you may voluntarily terminate your annuity and make contributions to CalSTRS. Your account will be credited with the actuarial equivalent balance as of the annuity termination date. 

To terminate your Cash Balance annuity, complete the Cash Balance Benefit Program Reinstatement After Retirement form (CB-1102), and submit it to CalSTRS within 60 days of employment and no earlier than six months before your annuity’s effective date of termination. 

When you are ready to retire again, you must reapply for retirement.