Retired teachers chapter news

What you need to know about working after retirement

Senior working at home   Retired UFT members who plan to re-enter the workforce on a full- or part-time basis must adhere to some important rules to avoid jeopardizing their retirement allowance.

New York State public employee retirees, including UFT members who retired with a service benefit from the city Department of Education, can earn unlimited income if they are self-employed, work for a private employer, work for another state or its political subdivisions, or work for the federal government.

But if your post-retirement employer is a public employer in New York State, including the city Department of Education, there are certain restrictions on your post-retirement earnings.

Section 212 of New York State’s Retirement and Social Security Law provides that public employee retirees under age 65 may earn up to the annual amount set by law, currently $30,000, and continue to receive full pension benefits. These retirees, however, must file a Form 212 statement with their retirement system to report their earnings for the previous year. If you return to work for a public employer and earn more than the Section 212 limit, your pension will be suspended unless your employer has requested and received a Section 211 waiver of this earnings limit for you.

Your earnings are generally not limited in the year you reach age 65 and thereafter.

State law prohibits New York State public employee retirees from returning to work under Section 211 in the same or a similar position for a period of one year following retirement. If you wish to return to work for the city Department of Education after that, Section 211 also requires your employer to prepare a detailed recruitment plan and show either that there is an urgent need — as a result of an unplanned, unpredictable and unexpected vacancy — where sufficient time is not available to recruit, or that the employer has undertaken extensive recruitment efforts and did not find any available, qualified person who is not retired to fill the role. The hiring must also be deemed to be temporary, not a permanent filling of the position.

If a public employee retiree is approved for public employment under a Section 211 waiver, the retiree may earn the difference between their maximum retirement allowance and the salary that could be earned on the job had the individual not retired, with that difference raised to the next higher multiple of $500.

No pension credit will be granted for post-retirement work for a public employer.

How Social Security benefits are affected

A retiree from age 62 to full retirement age (age 66 and six months in 2019) may earn up to $17,640 in 2019 without affecting Social Security benefits. If retirees earn more than this amount, they will lose $1 in Social Security benefits for every $2 they earn.

Retirees at full retirement age face no limitations on earnings beginning in the month they reach full retirement age. But there is a special earnings test in the year that a person reaches full retirement age. For 2019, the earnings limit is $46,920 a year — or $3,910 a month. Social Security benefits will be deducted $1 for every $3 earned above the limit until the month the person reaches full retirement age.

Since these figures increase periodically, it is up to you to keep informed of any changes. Check with the U.S. Social Security Office by calling 800-772-1213 from anywhere in the United States.

F-status note

If you are F-status, please be aware that the vacation pay you earn will be counted as part of your allowable earnings.

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