By statute, a Tier One or Tier Two retired member who returns to PERS-covered employment may continue to receive their retirement benefits so long as they work less than 1,040 hours in a calendar year. However, hour limits are not imposed on retired members who qualify for certain exceptions provided in statute.
During the 2015 and 2016 legislative sessions, three bills were adopted regarding the statutory exceptions to the hourly limit. Two bills amended existing statutory exceptions to extend the sunset dates, and one bill created a new exception for retired members employed as a teacher of career and technical education. A summary of those bills is provided below:
House Bill 2684 (2015) extended return-to-work exceptions for Tier One and Tier Two retired members who are employed by public employers as nursing instructors or as trainers for the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST). The exception was scheduled to expire January 2, 2016, but was extended to January 2, 2026.
House Bill 3058 (2015) established a new exception to the hourly limitation for retired Tier One and Tier Two retired members who are re-employed by school districts or education service districts as teachers of career and technical education (CTE). Retired members must be certified by the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) as teachers of CTE. The exception is effective from June 18, 2015, through June 30, 2018.
House Bill 4022 (2016) reinstated the exemption that had expired for Tier One or Tier Two retired members who are employed by school districts or education service districts to provide services as speech-language pathologists or speech-language pathologist assistants. The bill applies to hours worked by retired members on or after January 1, 2016, and is set to expire January 2, 2026.
In addition, staff added the existing exception provided in Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 238.088, which had been inadvertently omitted. This exception allows certain appointed public officials to work unlimited hours if they are elected or appointed in a county with a population of fewer than 75,000 inhabitants, under certain conditions.
Finally, staff updated the federal Social Security annual compensation limits on earnings for 2017, which were recently published in October 2016. Under ORS 238.082(3), retired members receiving benefits under the Social Security Act may be employed for up to the number of hours for which their salary equals the annual Social Security compensation limit, or up to 1040, whichever is greater.
This rule will be filed in the office of the Secretary of State on January 1, 2017, the date the new Social Security annual compensation limits go into effect. The rule is effective upon filing as set forth in ORS 183.355.