|Pension Plan||Investment Plan|
You are considered retired when you have terminated employment with all FRS-participating employers, established an effective retirement date through the application process, and cashed or deposited a benefit payment. If you participate in DROP, your retirement is completed when you terminate employment.
There are termination requirements that affect your retirement benefit if you are employed with FRS-participating employers during the first 12 calendar months after your effective retirement date without DROP participation or after your DROP termination date.
You must meet the definition of termination by remaining unemployed by FRS-participating employers for the first six calendar months of your retirement or the first six months after your DROP termination date. You will void your retirement and must repay all benefits received, including a DROP payout, if you return to work during this six calendar month period. Voiding your retirement applies even if the particular position you hold is not covered by the FRS. This restriction also applies to employment with the same employer if your agency withdrew from the FRS effective Jan. 1, 1996, for newly hired employees.
After you meet the definition of termination, you may not receive both a salary and a retirement benefit in the same month during the seventh through twelfth calendar months of your retirement or after your DROP termination date. There are no exceptions to this reemployment limitation during this period. This restriction applies even if the particular position you hold is not covered by the FRS.
You must inform the Division if you work for an FRS employer during the reemployment limitation period. You cannot receive retirement benefits for the months you are employed by an FRS employer during the reemployment limitation period. You and your employing agency are jointly and severally liable for repaying any retirement benefits you receive while working during this period.
After 1 Year
There are no limitations on receiving your retirement benefit while working for an FRS employer after you have been retired for 12 calendar months.
Renewed membership in the FRS is not available for retired members who are initially reemployed in a regularly established position on or after July 1, 2010. Different termination requirements and reemployment limitations apply if you retired and were initially reemployed prior to July 1, 2010.
You are considered retired once you terminate employment with an FRS-participating employer and request a distribution (including a rollover) from your Investment Plan
account. A distribution may not be issued until you have been terminated for 3 calendar months (except that if you have met the normal retirement requirements of the
Investment Plan you may receive a one-time distribution of up to 10% of your account balance after 1 calendar month). So, if you are reemployed with an FRS-participating employer
prior to receiving a distribution of your benefits, you will not be considered to have terminated.
You may not be reemployed with an FRS-participating employer for the first 12 calendar months after a distribution without suspending your retirement benefits. Suspension of benefits, in this case, refers to your inability to take additional distributions from your Investment Plan account balance until certain requirements have been met. If you are reemployed with an FRS-participating employer prior to taking a distribution of your benefits, you will not be considered retired.
You cannot return to employment with an FRS-participating employer until you have been retired for 6 calendar months (i.e., 6 calendar months following the month in which a distribution was taken). If you are reemployed by an FRS-participating employer within the 6 calendar month period after taking a distribution (retiring), your retirement will be voided. You and your employer will be required to repay any benefits received; and your FRS membership will then be reinstated. An alternative to repaying these benefits is for you to terminate employment for an additional period to satisfy the 6 calendar month termination requirement.
If you've been retired for 6 calendar months, and you return to employment with an FRS-participating employer during the 7 to 12 calendar months after retirement, no additional Investment Plan distributions are permitted until you either terminate employment or complete a total of 12 calendar months of retirement. There are no reemployment exceptions.
After 1 Year
Once 12 calendar months have passed since retirement, you can receive further Investment Plan distributions even if you are reemployed by an FRS-participating employer.
Effective July 1, 2017, retirees of the Investment Plan, State University System Optional Retirement Program (SUSORP), Senior Management Service Optional Annuity Program (SMSOAP), and State Community College System Optional Retirement Program (SCCSORP) are eligible for renewed membership in the Investment Plan, SUSORP, or SCCSORP. You must be employed in an FRS-covered position on or after July 1, 2017 in order to gain renewed membership. It is important to note this new provision does not afford renewed membership retroactively for the period of July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2017, nor does it grant disability benefits for renewed members.
Different termination requirements and reemployment limitations apply if you retired prior to July 1, 2010.