A "retired annuitant" is a CalPERS retiree who, without applying for Reinstatement From Retirement, returns to work with a CalPERS employer in a designated retired annuitant position. You don't need CalPERS' approval to work as a retired annuitant, however, you and your employer have equal responsibility to ensure your potential employment is lawful by meeting all of the requirements outlined in Employment After Retirement (PUB 33) (PDF).

The requirements are based on California Public Employees' Retirement Law (PERL) and federal tax law. If you work in violation of these laws, CalPERS must terminate your retirement and collect all the retirement allowance paid to you during the period of unlawful employment.

Basic requirements include:

  • Your position must be designated as a retired annuitant position (not any other full- or part-time position).
  • If you retire prior to your "normal retirement age" (i.e., age 55 for the 2% at 55 formula, age 60 for the 3% at 60 formula), there must be a termination of employment for 60 days between your retirement date and the date your employment as a retired annuitant will begin. In addition, there can’t be a verbal or written agreement to return to work as a retired annuitant between you and any CalPERS employer before you retire. If you have multiple retirement benefit formula ages, the highest benefit formula age applies, up to the maximum normal retirement age of 62 (i.e., age 62 for the 1.25% at 65 formula).
  • You must wait 180 days after your retirement date before you can return to work for a CalPERS employer. Exceptions to the 180-day wait period can be found in Employment After Retirement (PUB 33) (PDF).
  • Your salary must be an hourly pay rate that falls within the regular salary schedule for that position.
  • You can't be paid any other compensation or benefits in addition to the hourly pay rate.
  • Without exception, a maximum of 960 hours can be worked within a fiscal year (July 1 to June 30). Nonpaid or volunteer hours can't be used to exceed 960 hours in a fiscal year.
  • You will not accrue service credit or any additional retirement rights or benefits.

If you're on a disability or industrial disability retirement there are additional restrictions related to age, the type of work you can do, and a limit may be placed on your retirement allowance relative to your post-retirement earnings.

As a disability retiree, the law prohibits you from being employed without reinstatement in the same position from which you retired or in a position which includes duties or activities you were restricted from performing at the time of your disability retirement.

Independent Contractor, Consultant, or Employee of a Third-Party Employer

Employment with a CalPERS employer as an independent contractor, consultant, contract employee, or employee of a third-party employer will still be subject to the retired annuitant requirements if the employment constitutes a common law employer-employee relationship.

We recommend you contact us to request an independent contractor determination before you sign any such agreement and/or begin this type of work.