Total Talent Management

Retiree rehire

Last updated: July 1, 2022

State law, University policy, and a retiree’s retirement plan govern a retired state employee’s reemployment eligibility and any limits on how much time the retiree can work.

If you are considering hiring a state retiree, become familiar with the retirement program’s reemployment eligibility requirements, as there can be serious consequences if the requirements are not adhered to.

Employing a UWRP retiree

University of Washington Retirement Plan (UWRP) participation includes faculty, librarians, and professional staff originally employed at least 50% for six or more consecutive months.

  • UWRP retirees cannot work greater than 40% of full time in the 12-month calendar year beginning January 1 through the following December 31. This applies to any and all positions worked.
  • Positions at 40% or less may be a direct hire or an open recruitment.
  • One of the following job class codes must be used when rehiring a UWRP retiree:
Position type  Required job code
Faculty 10186 to 10203
Librarians 10204 or 10410
Professional Staff 11850

Tenured faculty have specific re-employment rights. Questions about re-employment of retired faculty, academic staff and librarians should be directed to Academic HR.

To rehire a UWRP retiree into a staff or professional staff temporary position, follow the PSTP recruitment process.

Employing a DRS retiree

Post-retirement employment limits for DRS Plan retirees

State law limits the number of hours during a calendar year that a retiree from a Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) plan can work in a state government or state higher education job before the employee’s pension payments are suspended for the remainder of the year. Retirees must wait at least 30 consecutive days after their effective retirement date before returning to work; otherwise, their benefit will be reduced while working post-retirement. For more information about post-retirement employment, see the DRS website.

Retirees are solely responsible for tracking the hours they work and determining the effect on their pension payments if they work beyond their post-retirement employment limit.

Policy statement

It is University policy to comply with Washington State law governing the reemployment of Department of Retirement System (DRS) retirees, and to require that all DRS retirees seeking UW employment follow the normal job application and referral procedures. It is a violation of state law and UW policy for there to be any pre-retirement oral or written agreement between individuals of a DRS plan (PERS, TRS, SERS, LEOFF, or WSPRS) and any state employer which results in the individual being hired into a UW position. Violation of the law results in nullification of the individual’s retirement. Criminal and monetary penalties may also apply.

Hiring a DRS retiree

DRS retirees may apply for any open position at the UW. Employing units are not required to obtain approval to hire a DRS retiree. Departments follow normal hiring practices for the type of position available.

Hiring a DRS retiree into a nonpermanent or temporary position

DRS plan retirees may be hired to nonpermanent positions by following the standard nonpermanent employment process or to temporary positions by following the standard temporary employment process.

This page explains retiree reemployment requirement and is provided to assist you in understanding the rules that apply to the post-retirement employment of DRS plan retirees. However, if there is any discrepancy between this information and the current DRS rules, the DRS rules will prevail.

Temporary retiree rehire policy due to the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19)

From February 29, 2020 until July 1, 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 867 hour limit of post-retirement Washington state employment and the employment restrictions for those who use the 2008 ERF were partially waived and suspended by proclamation. This allowed retirees the option to return to work without suspension of their pension benefits. As of July 2, 2020 retirees are again restricted in the number of hours they may work for a DRS-covered employer before their benefits are suspended. Hours worked while the proclamation was in place will not count toward yearly hourly limits.