Hampshire County Retirement System


Post-Retirement Earnings

Employment Restrictions

As a Massachusetts Public Employment Retiree, there are restrictions on post-retirement employment for any and all Massachusetts Public Employers (including all cities, towns, public schools, fire/water or health districts, housing authorities, state agencies, state colleges and universities). Restrictions also apply to federal grant funded positions with any Massachusetts Public Employer.

If you return to Massachusetts public sector employment after retirement - Keep track of all of your hours and earnings!

Public sector employment for retirees is limited to both aggregate hours and earnings per calendar year. Hours of compensated work are limited to an aggregate of 960 hours per calendar year. Earnings are limited to the difference between your retirement allowance and the compensation paid for the position you retired from. For example, if the position you retired from currently pays $30,000 and your retirement allowance is $20,000, you are limited to the difference - $10,000 of earnings from public sector employment in a calendar year.

The rationale – as a public sector retiree, you cannot be compensated (from public funds) more than you would have received had you continued working in the position(s) from which you retired. You, the retiree, are responsible for monitoring your aggregate hours and compensation from all public sector employment. When either limit is reached...You must cease all public employment or you must waive receipt of your retirement allowance for the period of overearnings. If you exceed either limitation, your pension benefits are subject to suspension and/or required reimbursement in the amount earned in excess of the limitations.

Post-Retirement Restrictions are calculated on a calendar year basis beginning each January 1st and ending December 31st. Post-Retirement Restrictions applies to all post-retirement Massachusetts public employment including independent contractors and consultants. Post-Retirement Restrictions applies in the aggregate (i.e. combining hours and compensation from all Massachusetts public employers).

Change effective 4/2/2012: Chapter 176 of the Acts of 2012 ... In the calendar years after you have been retired for at least one year, the post-retirement earnings limitation is raised an additional $15,000 (e.g. if you retire on or before June 30, 2018, $15,000 can be added to your earnings limitation beginning January 1, 2020). For calendar years after one full calendar year in retirement...The Post-Retirement Public Employment Limitation is 960 hours and a earnings limitation = Current Salary (position retired from) minus Retirement Allowance plus $15,000.

For regular “Superannuation” retirees (i.e. regular age/service based retirements) post-retirement employment in the private sector is not subject to restrictions.

For “Disability” retirees, because you are receiving a earlier and higher benefit than you would normally be entitled to based on age and service, ALL post-retirement earnings from any source (private and/or public sector) are subject to Earnings Limitation. But only Public sector employment has the restriction of 960 hours. The Earnings Limitation for Disability Retirees = Salary (you would have earned had you continued working in same position) minus Your Retirement Allowance plus $15,000.

Post Retirement Earnings Restrictions during Governor's State of Emergency

Pursuant to Chapter 53 of the Acts of 2020, earnings and hours restrictions for retired public
employees working in the public sector have been temporarily adjusted for the period of
the Governor’s State of Emergency, which began on March 10, 2020.

During the Commonwealth’s State of Emergency, the hours and earnings of retired public employees working in the public sector shall not be included in the calendar year 2020 restrictions found in Section 91 of Chapter 32 of the Massachusetts General Laws.

It is important to note that this accommodation to the demands on the public work force applies regardless of whether the individual is involved in CV-19 related employment.

Further, note that the provisions do not apply to disability retirees working in the public sector; restrictions on their employment are unchanged.