Employment After Retirement

As a retiree of the Worcester Regional Retirement System, may I work and receive a retirement allowance?
Yes, but there are two strict limitations of further public employment with any public agency, city, town, county, or any political sub-division of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts following your retirement from a public service position. Your employment must cease when either limitation is reached.

  1. You will be limited to 960 hours in a calendar year.
  2. Your earnings in a calendar year, when added to your retirement allowance, cannot be greater than the salary currently being paid for the position from which you retired plus $15,000. However, the additional $15,000 is not utilized in the calculation for the first full calendar year following the retirement date but each calendar year thereafter.
  3. You must be off the payroll for 2 full weeks. (IRS Regulation )

Example: If the current salary of the position you retired from is paying $30,000 per year, and your pension is $20,000 per year, you would be able to earn $10,000 for the first calendar year and $25,000 after the first complete calendar year.

How Do I find out the current salary, and what should be included in that amount?
You must contact your former employer; from where you retired and find out what the position from which you retired is paying. Any compensation that was considered pensionable at retirement, such as longevity and education incentives, should be included in the current salary amount.

Who is responsible for keeping track of the hours and earnings amount?
The responsibility of monitoring both the hours and the earnings amount lays with you the member.

If I exceed these restrictions, what are my options?
If you think that you might exceed the hour and earning restrictions you should contact the Retirement office to fully discuss the options available.

Your options include the following:

  1. You can waive your retirement allowance for the time period in which you are re-employed.
  2. You can scale back the hours of your outside public employment.

    You must reimburse the Worcester Regional Retirement System for any earnings that exceed the yearly limits.

If I am re-employed doing “details” do these restrictions apply?
Yes, the law is clear that any employment in the public sector is covered. Paid details, consultant, and contractor work all are covered.

Will I resume making contributions to the retirement system if I re-enter public employment?
No. You are not eligible to become a member-in-service and no deductions will be taken, and you will not earn any additional creditable service.

Do these restrictions apply to disability retirees?
Yes, with two exceptions. First, the salary you earn combined with your disability allowance cannot exceed the current salary you would have earned had you stayed in the position you retired from plus $15,000. Second, this applies to both public and private sector employment.