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Returning to Work After Retirement

If you have retired from the University of California and are considering returning to the University for employment, please read these guidelines.  If you are a manager who is considering hiring a UC Retiree, please contact the Staff Employment Office at 209-228-2968.

The new policy for re-employment of UC Retirees has been effective since January 1, 2009.  The policy was revised in order to ensure compliance with the Internal Revenue Service.  For more detailed information view the UC Policy 2.325 Reemployment of UC Retired Employees Into Senior Management Group and Staff Positions

Conditions of Re-employment
In all cases, requirements of post-retirement re-employment include:

  • Re-employment must result from University need
  • Re-employment must not occur until there has been a break in service of at least 30 days, and preferably 90 days.
  • Re-employment cannot be discussed with or by retirees under the age of 60 until after the latest of these events has occurred:
    • The first retirement check is received
    • The lump-sum cash-out payment is received
    • A post-separation period of 30 days
  • Approval by the executive officer (chancellor or designee). (Regents approve senior management positions.)
  • Retiree has signed the Rehired Retiree Election form

How This Policy Affects Retirees Who Receive Monthly Payments
If you elected to receive monthly retirement payments, you have two options for returning to work:

  • Option 1: You return in a limited appointment (up to 43% time in a 12-month period).
  • Option 2: You return in a career appointment (50% time or more for 1 year or more). In this case you:
    • Must complete the UCRP Retired Employee Election Form to suspend income and also return any overpayment that might occur prior to beginning the career appointment
    • Must make any required contributions to the Defined Contribution Plan (DCP) and/or the UC Retirement Plan
    • Must suspend health and welfare benefits you received as a retiree
    • May contribute to 403(b), 457(b) and/or After Tax DCP

When your career appointment ends and you leave the university again, you:

  • Must re-retire the day after separation from UC employment
  • Will receive a calculation of the retirement income you earned during your re-employment period
  • Can name a new contingent annuitant for the re-employment portion of your retirement benefits

How This Policy Affects Retirees Who Took Lump-Sum Cash Outs
If you elected to receive a lump-sum cash out when you retired, you have just one option available: returning to work in a limited appointment (up to 43% time in a 12-month period). 

Returning to Work and Your Medical Benefits
Your medical benefits will be affected in one of these ways:

  • If you or family members are eligible for Medicare and you become eligible for medical benefits by the rehire appointment, Federal law requires that Medicare is no longer the primary payer.  You can:
    • Suspend retiree coverage and enroll as an employee, keeping Medicare as a secondary payer
    • Opt out of all UC medical coverage and keep Medicare only
  • If you enroll in medical coverage when you return to work, your retiree medical coverage is suspended.  The new healthcare premiums (most likely higher) are deducted from your earnings, and you must retain Medicare Part B enrollment and the premium.  UC will not reimburse Medicare Part B.
  • If you’re not eligible for employee medical benefits when you return to work, your retiree benefits continue with Medicare (if eligible and enrolled) as the primary payer.

Other Considerations When You Return to Work

  • Plan distribution rules apply for 403(b), 457(b) and/or DCP.
  • If you retired and elected monthly income, your sick leave was converted to service credit, so upon re-employment your sick leave hours would begin at zero.
  • If you took a lump-sum cash out, you may be eligible to have some or all sick leave re-instated (based on personnel policy/collective bargaining agreement that applies).

More Information and Resources

Returning to UC Employment After Retirement fact sheet (PDF)

Social Security Administration