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Rules for working after retirement

New York Teacher
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Following a long career as a city public school educator, many new retirees think about part-time work, whether to keep active, explore a new field of interest, pursue a lifelong dream or supplement their income.

If you are considering returning to work, you must adhere to some important rules to avoid jeopardizing your pension or Social Security benefits.


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

But if your post-retirement employer is the city DOE or another public employer in New York State, there are restrictions on your earnings as a retiree until you reach age 65.

Under Section 212 of the Retirement and Social Security Law, service retirees under age 65 who work for New York State or any of its subdivisions may earn up to a designated limit without any consequences for their retirement benefits. The earnings limit for 2022 is $35,000 — unless you are working in a public school. Under the new state budget, that $35,000 limit has been waived through June 30, 2023, for any retiree working in a public school.

You must file a Certificate of Employment under Section 212 form (code RP76) with your pension system to report your post-retirement earnings for the previous year. This form must be filed each year until the calendar year in which you reach age 65. Failure to file the required paperwork could result in the suspension of your pension payments.

You do not earn additional pension credit for post-retirement work for the DOE.

If you receive an annuity under the Tax-Deferred Annuity (TDA) Program, your monthly TDA annuity payments will not be affected by the amount of your post-retirement income.

For more information, please read the TRS Earnings After Retirement brochure on the TRS website. Members of the Board of Education Retirement System may call 929-305-3800 or visit the BERS website. If you have any questions, you may call the UFT at 212-331-6311 and ask to speak to a UFT pension consultant.

Please note: Most of this information pertains specifically to service retirees, not to those who retire with disability pensions.

Social Security

A retiree from age 62 to full retirement age (which varies depending on your date of birth) who is drawing Social Security benefits may earn up to $19,560 in 2022 without affecting those benefits. If you earn more than this amount, you will lose $1 in Social Security benefits for every $2 you earn.

In the year you reach full retirement age, Social Security deducts $1 in benefits for every $3 you earn above a different limit. In 2022, this limit on your earnings is $51,960. Social Security only counts your earnings up to the month before you reach your full retirement age, not your earnings for the entire year.

You can earn as much as you want without affecting your Social Security benefit beginning in the month you reach full retirement age.

The maximum earning figure changes periodically, and it is up to you to keep informed of any changes. Check with the Social Security Office by calling 800-772-1213.