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Returning to Work: Employment After Retirement

Overview

The rules for returning to work are different for TRS and ORP retirees, as well as retirees from The University of Texas System or other state institutions and agencies. In addition, how your health benefits coordinate with Medicare will differ.

If you retire from the university through TRS or ORP and then return to work, you'll continue receiving benefits as a retiree but will never be eligible again to enroll in benefits as an active employee. You can't contribute to TRS or ORP programs due to your retired status, but you're eligible to contribute to the UTSaver Supplemental Retirement Programs.

TRS Retirees

If you're a TRS retiree who plans to work in Texas public education after retirement, you should carefully review all requirements that apply so you don't revoke your retirement or lose monthly annuity payments for work that exceeds the allowable amount. Review the TRS Employment After Retirement Brochure [PDF] to understand these requirements. Please contact TRS if you're considering returning to work in Texas public education after retirement and are unsure whether your employment will affect your retirement or your monthly annuity payment.

ORP Retirees

If you're an ORP retiree, you may return to work at any time with no restrictions on your employment.

Medicare Coordination of Benefits

If you're 65 years old or older and appointed in a position that's at least 20 hours a week for at least 4.5 months, the university medical insurance will be your primary insurance and Medicare will be your secondary insurance during that period. The following table illustrates this for faculty positions by semester. 

Work Primary Secondary
Fall Semester Only University insurance Medicare
Off Spring and Summer Medicare University insurance
     
Spring Semester Only University insurance Medicare
Off Summer University insurance Medicare
     
Fall & Spring Semester University insurance Medicare
Off Summer University insurance Medicare

ERS and Texas A&M Retirees

If you retired from ERS and participate in the ERS group insurance program or retired from Texas A&M and participate in the Texas A&M group insurance program and subsequently become employed by The University of Texas at Austin in a benefits-eligible position, you're considered an active employee and are eligible to enroll in university employee insurance. 

However, you can't simultaneously receive premium sharing for both the ERS or Texas A&M insurance and the university insurance. You must do either of the following:

You may not have dual state coverage because you can't receive duplicate premium sharing. Dual coverage is permitted if you pay the full premium for insurance programs, such as the optional insurances available from the university.

If you're an ERS retiree working in a benefits-eligible position with the university, you're eligible for and must participate in TRS or ORP.  You may vest with TRS or ORP and become eligible for those retirement benefits.

Longevity

Longevity pay is provided to full-time employees, excluding academic employees, of institutions of higher education and temporary workers. For return-to-work retirees, certain exemptions apply. The information in the following table explains these eligibility requirements.

Exceptions for Return-to-Work Retirees

If retired from state employment... and the retiree returned to state employment... then, effective September 1, 2005, the employee...
on or after June 1, 2005, at any time, is ineligible for longevity pay.
before June 1, 2005, before September 1, 2005, will be eligible for longevity pay, but that longevity pay is then limited to the amount of longevity pay the employee was entitled to receive immediately before September 1, 2005.
before June 1, 2005, on or after September 1, 2005, is ineligible for longevity pay.
before June 1, 2005, before September 1, 2005, but later terminates employment and returns a second time, is no longer eligible for longevity pay.
Source: Comptroller of Public Accounts, Fiscal management, Legislative Changes Affecting Salary Administration, 79th Legislature, Regular Session

Annual Leave (Vacation)

Annual leave is provided to employees assigned to work at least 20 hours per week for at least 4.5 months, excluding faculty and students employed in positions that require student status.  Annual leave accruals for return-to-work retirees are based on retirement and rehire dates. An employee who retired from state employment on or after June 1, 2005 accrues annual leave based only on state service earned after retirement. The employee’s state service earned before retirement is not taken into account. Return-to-work retirees are not required to re-establish the six months continuous service in order to take annual leave with pay.

Exceptions for Return-to-Work Retirees

If retired from state employment...

and the retiree returned to state employment...

then, effective September 1, 2005, the employee...

on or after June 1, 2005,

at any time

will accrue annual leave based on months of service AFTER retirement.

before June 1, 2005,

before September 1, 2005,

will accrue annual leave based on total of state service.

before June 1, 2005,

on or after September 1, 2005,

will accrue annual leave based on months of service AFTER retirement.