Return to Work

Thinking of Going Back to Work?

Certain restrictions apply to MainePERS members who retire and then return to work for a MainePERS employer. For more information the Rules of the Road handout provides an overview of plan requirements when retiring and returning to work.

Additionally, an IRS early distribution tax may affect those who retire before age 59 ½ and return to work for the same employer without a bona fide termination.  Please review these Frequently Asked Questions about the IRS early distribution tax.

Are you retiring before Normal Retirement Age?

If you retired before your Normal Retirement Age, certain requirements apply to returning to work for any employer in the same MainePERS plan from which you retired.*

  • At retirement, you must certify that you have not discussed, or negotiated, a return to work with your employer prior to terminating your employment.
  • You may not return to work for at least 30 days after terminating or before the effective date of your retirement, whichever is later.
  • You may work for up to 90 days in one year (work-year).

If you are below normal retirement age when you return to work and you don’t follow the above requirements, it could mean suspension of your benefit until you reach normal retirement age or you stop post-retirement employment, whichever is sooner. Additionally, you may be required to repay, with interest, any benefits paid during a period when you did not comply with the requirements.

To help make sure you avoid suspension of benefits or the need to repay benefits, give us a call or come in and talk to us before making plans to return to work for your same employer.

* This means for:

State or Teacher retirees: Employment in any position covered under the State/Teacher Program.

Participating Local District (PLD) retirees who retire from a PLD in the Consolidated Plan: Employment with any employer participating in the Consolidated Plan.

Participating Local District (PLD) retirees who retire from a PLD that does not participate in the Consolidated Plan: Employment with the same PLD employer

Retiring at Normal Retirement Age and Member of State/Teacher Program?

If you return to work in any position covered by the State/Teacher Plan after you reach your normal retirement age (generally age 60, 62 or 65), you must wait 30 days after ending your position before returning to work and may not return to work before the effective date of your retirement. 

Retiring at Normal Retirement Age and Member of Participating Local District (PLD) Plan?

There are no restrictions under the PLD plan on retiring and returning to work for the same employer; you must, however, file a Service Retirement Application with MainePERS in order to be considered a retiree returned to work.

PLD Consolidated Plan Retiree Payment

If a retiree of the PLD Consolidated Plan (Plan) returns to work for a PLD employer in a position covered by the Plan then payment during the period that the retiree is re-employed is due. The rate of the payment is equal to the greater of:

  • 5% or
  • the aggregate unfunded actuarial liability (UAL) rate of the Plan.

This rate is applied to the retiree’s gross earnable compensation.