Employment After Retirement

The rules for returning to work are different for TRS and ORP retirees, as well as retirees from The University of Texas System or other state institutions and agencies. In addition, how your health benefits coordinate with Medicare will differ.

If you retire from the university through TRS or ORP and then return to work, you'll continue receiving benefits as a retiree, but will never be eligible again to enroll in benefits as an active employee. You cannot contribute to TRS or ORP programs due to your retired status, but you are still eligible to contribute to the UTSaver Voluntary Retirement Programs.

TRS Retirees

If you are a TRS participant who plans to work in Texas public education after retiring, you should carefully review all requirements that apply to your situation to ensure that you do not revoke your retirement or lose monthly annuity payments by virtue of working in excess of allowable limits set by TRS. Human Resouces strongly encourges TRS retirees to review the TRS Employment After Retirement Brochure (PDF) provided by TRS and to contact TRS directly if considering returning to work.

ORP Retirees

Texas ORP retirees may return to work at any time without restrictions on employment.

ERS and Texas A&M Retirees

If you retired from ERS and participate in the ERS group insurance program or retired from Texas A&M and participate in the Texas A&M group insurance program and subsequently become employed by The University of Texas at Austin in a benefits-eligible position, you are considered an active employee and are eligible to enroll in the university group insurance program. Please note that you cannot simultaneously receive premium sharing for both the ERS or Texas A&M insurance and the UT Austin insurance. If applicable, you must do one of the following:

  • Drop the ERS or Texas A&M insurance and elect the UT Austin insurance
  • Decline the UT Austin insurance and remain enrolled in the ERS or Texas A&M insurance

Dual coverage between multiple state plans is permitted if you pay the full premium for insurance under one of the plans and are not receiving premium sharing.

If you are an ERS retiree working in a benefits-eligible position with the university, you must participate in TRS or ORP (if eligible to elect). If the vesting requirement is later met for either plan, you will become eligible for retirement benefits under that plan.

Longevity

Longevity pay is provided to full-time employees, excluding academic employees, of institutions of higher education and temporary workers. For return-to-work retirees, certain exemptions apply. The information in the following table explains the eligibility requirements.

Exceptions for Return-to-Work Retirees

If retired from state employment... and the retiree returned to state employment... then, effective September 1, 2005, the employee...
on or after June 1, 2005, at any time, is ineligible for longevity pay.
before June 1, 2005, before September 1, 2005, will be eligible for longevity pay, but that longevity pay is then limited to the amount of longevity pay the employee was entitled to receive immediately before September 1, 2005.
before June 1, 2005, on or after September 1, 2005, is ineligible for longevity pay.
before June 1, 2005, before September 1, 2005, but later terminates employment and returns a second time, is no longer eligible for longevity pay.
Source: Comptroller of Public Accounts, Fiscal management, Legislative Changes Affecting Salary Administration, 79th Legislature, Regular Session

Paid Vacation Time Off

Paid vacation time off is provided to return-to-work retirees assigned to work at least 20 hours per week for at least 4.5 months. This excludes faculty and students employed in positions that require student status. Paid vacation time off accruals for return-to-work retirees are based on retirement and rehire dates. An employee who retired from state employment on or after June 1, 2005 accrues annual leave based only on state service earned after retirement. The employee’s state service earned before retirement is not taken into account. Return-to-work retirees are not required to re-establish the six months continuous service in order to take paid vacation time off.

Exceptions for Return-to-Work Retirees

If retired from state employment... and the retiree returned to state employment... then, effective September 1, 2005, the employee...

on or after June 1, 2005,

at any time

will accrue paid vacation time off based on months of service AFTER retirement.

before June 1, 2005,

before September 1, 2005,

will accrue paid vacation time off based on total of state service.

before June 1, 2005,

on or after September 1, 2005,

will accrue paid vacation time off based on months of service AFTER retirement.