Many retirees decide to return to work. However, this can affect your benefits. If you work for a non-Retirement System employer, there are no restrictions. If you work for a Retirement System employer, some rules apply to you.
Kansas law requires a 60-day waiting period for retiring KPERS members and a 30-day waiting period for retiring KP&F members before returning to work for any Retirement System employer. Your retirement date is not your last day at your employer. It is usually the first day of the month following your last
day on payroll.
To calculate the waiting period, count the day after your retirement date
as day one.
KPERS 60-Day Example
If your retirement date is July 1, July 2 is day one and you cannot begin employment with any Retirement System employer until September 1.
KP&F 30-Day Example
If your retirement date is July 1, July 2 is day one and you cannot begin employment with any Retirement System employer until August 1.
KPERS Earnings Limit
As a KPERS member, you have a $20,000-per-year earnings limit if:
- You retired on or after July 1, 1988, and
- You go to work for an employer you worked for during your last
two years of KPERS participation.
The State of Kansas is considered one employer.
KP&F Earnings Limit
As a KP&F member, you have a $15,000-per-year earnings limit if:
- You retired on or after July 1, 1994, and
- You go to work for an employer you worked for during your last two years of KP&F participation.
How the Limit Works
If you reach the earnings limit, you have two choices.
End employment for the rest of the calendar year.
Continue to receive your retirement benefits.
Continue working and your retirement benefits will stop for the rest of the calendar year.
Benefits will begin again in January the following year or if you end employment, whichever happens first.
Your employer notifies KPERS when
you reach the earnings limit. Complete KPERS Retiree Earnings Limitation form (KPERS-15S) or KP&F Retiree Earnings Limitation form (KP&F-15S)
to indicate your choice.
Working for a Different Employer
If you go back to work for a different employer - one you didn't work for during the last two years of your Retirement System participation - you do not have an earnings limit. Your employment does not affect your benefits.
Did You Really Change Employers?
The State of Kansas is considered one employer. State agencies, boards, commissions and Board of Regents institutions are all part of the State of Kansas. Going from one to another is not considered changing employers. Moving from a KPERS to a KP&F position, or vice versa, is considered a change and you would not have an earnings limit.
Every school district is a different employer. If you retired from a school district, you can go to work for a different school district with no earnings limit as long as you did not work there during your last two years of KPERS participation. (No earnings limit for "daily call" K-12 substitute teachers.)
Working for the Same KPERS Employer
Generally, if you go back to work for the same KPERS employer – one you worked for during the last two years of your KPERS participation – you have an earnings limit. The legislature has created some exceptions.
Retired judges have other options for returning to work.
Exceptions to the Earnings Limit
There are certain situations where you can return to work for the same employer and be exempt from the earnings limit. See your designated agent or contact the Retirement System for questions about your individual situation.
Retirees who return to work as licensed nurses at certain State institutions are exempt. Retirees who retired with early retirement (i.e. age 55 with ten years of service) after April 18, 2005, are not eligible and will continue to have the earnings limit.
Certain legislative positions are exempt from the earnings limit. Please see your designated agent.
Licensed School Personnel
Some KPERS retirees returning to a licensed school position are exempt. "Daily call" K-12 substitute teachers do not have an earnings limit. Daily-call subs are temporary and paid on a daily basis for their services. They are not required to report to work every day.
Until July 1, 2015, other school members returning to work in a licensed position may also be exempt. They need to retire with "full" retirement or have retired with early retirement before March 28, 2009. Full retirement includes the 85-point rule, age 62 with ten years of service and age 65 with one year of service. Licensed school employees retiring March 28, 2009, or after with early retirement are not eligible. An employee returning to work in an non-licensed position is not eligible.
Long-term substitutes are included in the exemption if they are under contract. Those contracting through a third-party entity with their previous employer are not exempt if they retire with "early" retirement after April 1, 2009.
Licensed school member exemptions are complex. We highly encourage you to see your designated agent or contact the Retirement System if you want to return to work in a licensed school position.