Eligible retired teachers can return to work under new order
November 1, 2021
CalSTRS is reminding educators about flexibilities that allow retired teachers to return to work within 180 days of retirement without affecting their benefit.
An Aug. 27 “Ask the CEO” blog post on the CalSTRS website explained that Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Executive Order N-12-21 issued on Aug. 16, 2021 provides additional flexibility to hire retired teachers during the Governor’s COVID-19 State of Emergency. Specifically, among other provisions, the executive order streamlines CalSTRS’ exemption process to allow eligible retired CalSTRS members to return to work within 180 calendar days of their retirement.
Retirees receiving a defined benefit pension from CalSTRS are subject to a 180-calendar-day separation-from-service requirement, during which time they may not receive compensation for any CalSTRS-covered activities (Education Code section 24214.5) without a reduction in their benefit.
An exemption exists for critically needed positions, if certain criteria are met and, under normal circumstances, if the appointment is approved by the school board.
Executive Order N-12-21 maintains the 180-calendar-day separation-from-service rule but suspends the requirement for school board approval. The retiree must still meet all other post-retirement requirements outlined in Education Code section 24214.5 including:
  • Meet the normal retirement age (age 60 for 2 percent at 60 members and age 62 for 2 percent at 62 members);
  • Have not received a retirement incentive;
  • Fill a critically needed position; and
  • Not backfill the job from which they retired.
Additionally, to obtain exemption status, CalSTRS will need all documentation from an employer prior to commencing work.
Within 30 days, CalSTRS will notify teachers and their employers whether the exemption will apply or not.
Executive Order N-12-21 did not amend the annual post-retirement earnings limit for CalSTRS — it remains in place at $48,428 for fiscal year 2021–22.
CalSTRS has additional information about working after retirement posted online at https://www.calstrs.com/sites/main/files/file-attachments/workingafterretirement2021.pdf.
Contact Us
© 2021 Association of California School Administrators