Working After Retirement (Employer): Colorado PERA

Working After Retirement (Employer): Colorado PERA


Hello, I’m Derek Dye, the Compliance Manager
in the Benefits Department at Colorado PERA. As a PERA employer, you know that retirees
can return to work for 110 days per calendar year. But, did you also know state law has two different
provisions to allow retirees to work beyond this limit? The first provision is available to school
districts and institutions of higher education and allows retirees to work up to 140 days
per calendar year. If you are a charter school that’s chartered
through a school district your chartering district must designate any retiree you hire
to work the 140 days for you. Only 10 retirees can be designated per school
district or campus of higher education for each calendar year. Once a retiree is designated, he or she cannot
be removed or replaced for that calendar year. The second provision is the critical shortage
designation which is available to rural school districts, as defined by the Colorado Department
of Education. This provision allows certain retirees to
work an unlimited amount of days per calendar year without penalty. You must hire the retiree only as a teacher,
bus driver, or food services cook after declaring a critical shortage for the specified position. And you must provide the retiree access to
the health care plan offered by the district. If you have retirees returning to work in
a critical shortage position, they must not work for you or for any other employer on
the first business day during the effective month of retirement. The retirees must also pay the working retiree
contribution. This contribution does not earn additional
service credit or increase Highest Average Salary. Furthermore, critical shortage retirees are
limited to working for six consecutive years without a reduction in benefits, starting
the year they become a critical shortage retiree. Additionally, if the member retired with a
reduced service retirement benefit, he or she must wait two years after retirement to
return to work as a critical shortage retiree for the school district from which he or she
retired. PERA can provide you with information regarding
a retiree’s eligibility to return to work in a critical shortage position. In all cases, critical shortage retirees are
eligible to participate in the PERACare program; however, no subsidy will be applied toward
payment of PERACare premiums. Once a retiree is no longer employed in a
critical shortage position, please submit a termination form. This notifies PERA that the retiree is now
subject to normal working after retirement provisions and alerts us to reactivate the
retiree’s PERACare subsidy, if applicable. For retirees working under either provision,
your responsibilities as an employer include submitting a form to PERA listing each individual
you would like to designate by January 1 of the applicable calendar year, and as new retirees
are hired over the course of the year through December 31. This means to designate a retiree for the
2018-2019 academic year, you must submit a 2018 designation in 2018 when the retiree
is hired and submit an additional form for the 2019 designation in January 2019. Retroactive designations are not accepted. You also must remit contributions as required
by PERA law. Both the 140 day and critical shortage designation
forms are available to complete through STARS. Please remember a form must be submitted in
January of every calendar year for each designated retiree. Failure to do so will result in the retiree
receiving penalties for working over the standard 110 day working limit. As a reminder, the critical shortage provision
is not available to all school districts. The school district must be defined as a rural
school district by the Colorado Department of Education in order to be eligible. We hope this information has been helpful. If you need additional assistance, please
contact PERA’s Compliance Team at 303-863-3737.

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