Working After Retirement
Berkshire County Retirement retirees working in the public sector in Massachusetts (state, county, municipal, city, town, districts or authorities) are limited to how much they can earn and how many hours they can work in a calendar year.
You are allowed to work up to 960 hours per year and earn the difference between the current salary of the position you retired from and your pension. After you have been retired a full calendar year (January – December), you can earn an additional $15,000 per calendar year. It is your responsibility to inform your employer that you are receiving a pension. You are also responsible for monitoring the hours you work and your earnings.
These limitations do not apply to you if you are working in the private sector, the federal government or in another state. The hours and earnings limitations apply to all retirees. They do not apply to survivors or beneficiaries.
Violations of the wage and hour limitations have financial consequences under MGL c32, s91c. All excess payments made in violation of the limitations must be returned to the employer or the retirement board in its fiduciary capacity will collect the excess wages.
Disability retirees have additional limitations and reporting requirements as they are required to submit a statement of earnings each year. PERAC mails disability retirees an annual statement of earned income each January, which must be returned by April 15th each year. Failure to file will jeopardize your continued receipt of retirement benefits.
Other options available to public pension retirees:
Stop taking your pension. You may temporarily stop your pension while you are working and start it again once you stop working. You do not receive any additional benefits from your work after retirement.
Reinstatement under section 105. You may un-retire by repaying the benefits you received while in retirement (plus buyback interest) either in a lump sum or a repayment agreement with BCRB. You need to work an additional 5 full time years before you are eligible for a recalculated pension benefit. If you do not work an additional 5 years, you would receive a refund of your repayment and you would receive your original retirement benefit.