Earnings Limitations

There are limits on the amount of money a disability retiree may earn before benefits are reduced or eliminated. If you exceed your earnings limitation you will be required to reimburse MainePERS, and if you exceed your Substantial Gainful Activity* (SGA) amount, your benefits will be terminated.

*Substantial Gainful Activity Amount is the greater of $20,000 or 80% of your Average Final Compensation adjusted for Cost Of Living Adjustment (COLA) (if your plan has the provision for COLA). The limit depends on the type of employment.

Earnings for a calendar year in which you receive any disability retirement benefits are subject to earnings limitations. Even if you receive a disability benefit for only a portion of the year, MainePERS reviews all your earnings for the entire year and applies a pro-rated limitation to earnings for the period of time disability benefits were received. Actual earnings will be used for months while receiving disability benefits. The following are examples of when MainePERS would pro-rate earnings limitations.

  • Disability retirees who change over to service retirement during the year
  • New recipients granted benefits at any time during the year
  • Recipients that voluntarily terminate their disability benefit to return to work at any time during the year

Earnings from Employment that is not Part of MainePERS

For earnings with an employer that does not participate in MainePERS, you may earn the greater of:

  1. $20,000 adjusted by cost of living (COLA), or
  2. The difference between your disability benefit for that year and your Average Final Compensation* adjusted by COLA.

*Average Final Compensation is the average of your three highest years of pay before starting to receive a disability benefit.

Earnings from Employment that is Part of MainePERS

For earnings with an employer that participates in MainePERS, the total of your disability benefit and total earnable compensation cannot exceed your Adjusted Final Compensation*, adjusted by COLA.

*Adjusted Final Compensation is your rate of compensation immediately before starting to receive a disability retirement benefit.

When Earnings from Employment are Part of MainePERS
AND not of MainePERS

If you have earnings from both types of employment, MainePERS calculates earnings limitations based on the position from which you earn more; all earnings would apply to that limitation.

If you are receiving a Disability Retirement benefit and are contemplating returning to work or otherwise are receiving a new source of income, please contact the Disability Services Unit. MainePERS will review your current income information, the earnings limitations applicable to your scenario and inform you of any impacts to your benefit that could be anticipated.