Normally, most NYSLRS retirees who return to work for a public employer face an earnings limit. Under Section 212 of the Retirement and Social Security Law, most NYSLRS retirees under age 65 who return to work for a public employer can earn up to $35,000 per calendar year without penalty. The limit includes all earnings for the calendar year, including money or retroactive payments earned in the calendar year but paid in a different calendar year. If a retiree exceeds the earnings limit and continues to work, their pension benefits are suspended for the remainder of the year.
However, executive orders and new legislation have temporarily suspended the earnings limit for retirees who returned to work during the COVID-19 emergency.
Earnings Limit Suspended through June 30, 2023 for School Districts and BOCES
The state budget for fiscal year 2022-2023 included legislation that temporarily suspends the earnings limit for retirees employed by school districts and Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES). Under this legislation, post-retirement earnings with a school district or BOCES will not count toward a retiree’s annual earnings limit through June 30, 2023.
The new law means that for retirees working for school districts or BOCES, the limit is eliminated through the end of the school year 2022-23. This extension does not apply to universities, colleges or charter schools.
Earnings Limit Suspended through May 30, 2022 for Other Public Employers
Since the start of the COVID-19 emergency, governors have issued executive orders temporarily suspending the retiree earnings limit. Under the executive orders, post-retirement earnings with a public employer will not count toward a retiree’s annual earnings limit during the following time periods:
- January 1, 2022 through May 30, 2022.
- January 1, 2021 through June 24, 2021, and September 27, 2021 through December 31, 2021.
- March 27, 2020 through December 31, 2020.
If the order is extended beyond May 30, 2022 we will update this blog post. For general information about post-retirement employment, please read What If I Work After Retirement.