Post Retirement Employment / Rehired Retiree Policy
The Wyoming Retirement Act (Act) recognizes that circumstances
arise in which it may be advantageous or necessary for a participating employer
to hire a retiree of the System into a position of an otherwise contributing
employee. Generally, a retired member of the System who returns to work for a
participating employer must have their retirement benefit cancelled and be
reenrolled into the plan to continue earning service credit. The “rehired
retiree” provision of the Act applies to retirees of the Public Employee, Law
Enforcement, and Guard Firefighter plans only and enables a retired member of
these plans who meets certain criteria to elect to continue drawing their
retirement benefit while working for a participating employer.
A member must actually be “retired” in order to be eligible to become a
“rehired retiree.” There are several factors that determine whether a
member is, in fact, “retired.” Wyoming law and Internal Revenue Service code provisions
require a "bona-fide" break in service between a retiree’s retirement
date and the date of reemployment in the System. Current Wyoming law requires a
break in service of at least 30 days. Additionally, a member is not considered
to be retired until the System has received termination notice and final
contributions from the employer. Therefore, it may, in fact, take longer than
30 days for a retired member to become eligible to be a “rehired retiree.” Importantly,
a member is not considered to be "retired" if a pre-existing
arrangement to return to work, or any promise of future employment, exists with
a participating WRS employer at the time of the member’s retirement.
employer that hires a retiree who elects to continue receiving retirement
benefits in accordance with applicable rehired retiree provisions shall pay
into the System an amount equal to both the member’s and employer’s
contributions required by law. The purpose of this provision is to prevent an
unfunded liability from being created by an employer that has hired a retiree
into a position for which the System would otherwise be expecting
contributions. The Rehired Retiree Payment keeps the System whole.
All rehired retirees must submit a completed Rehired Retiree Form WRS-9 to the Wyoming Retirement System, regardless of whether or not the Rehired Retiree Payment is being paid for the individual. This form allows retirees to either:
- Continue receiving a retirement allowance and not be reinstated as contributing members of the WRS.
- A retiree who is hired into a vacant, full-time position of a regularly
contributing employee and who chooses this alternative shall receive no additional
credit for services performed.
- For purposes of the rehired retiree
provisions, a vacant, full-time position is one for which a full month of
service credit would be earned by a participating employee (a participating
employee who works at least 86 hours per month earns a full service credit).
- The employer shall deliver monthly to WRS the
Rehired Retiree Payment equal to the employee’s and employer’s contributions.
- Discontinue their monthly benefit and be reinstated as contributing members of the WRS.
- A retiree who chooses this alternative shall
have their retirement benefit recalculated upon their second retirement to
include all additional contributions from the additional service. The new
benefit shall also be adjusted to reflect any retirement benefits received
prior to reemployment. The new benefit shall be based on the same
option and survivor (if applicable) used in the original retirement calculation.
The decision to come out of retirement and
return to work for a participating employer of the System is complex and may
have significant implications for a member’s overall tax and economic
situation. WRS recommends the retiree contact one of our representatives for
one-on-one counseling prior to making all decisions relevant to retirement.
While WRS strives to have a broad policy, different situations arise for
both employers and employees. WRS’ rehired retiree rule and policy are
designed to address these different situations fairly and in accordance with
both Wyoming and federal law in order to protect the actuarial integrity of the
System and its status as a federally qualified pension plan. If you have
questions or comments, please send an email to email@example.com.
Download WRS' Full Rehired Retiree Rule (pdf)...