Post-Retirement Employment Policy
The purpose of this policy is to clarify how Government Code section 7522.56 applies to
post-retirement employment of Sacramento County Employee’s Retirement System
(SCERS) retired members by or in service to participating SCERS employers.
This policy is applicable to all SCERS retired members returning to work for a SCERS
participating employer, including the following: an employee working through a private
third-party employer where that employee is providing direct services to a participating
employer, an independent contractor of a participating employer, or a direct employee of a
The phrase ”an employee working through a private third-party employer where that
employee is providing direct services to a participating employer” should be construed
broadly. That term includes, without limitation, a retired member who (a) works for a private
third-party company that has a contract with a participating employer, and (b) under that contract, performs work that involves serving and engaging with the participating
employer. However, the term does not include a retired member who (a) works for a private
third-party company that has a contract with a participating employer, but (b) performs work for
the private company that is unrelated to that contract or the participating employer.
Section 7522.56 defines how quickly the retiree can return to work, how much the retiree can be
paid, and how many hours the retiree can work annually. The SCERS Board further
determines that only hours actually worked or taken within the calendar year or fiscal
year, including overtime hours, will apply to the maximum limit of 960 hours as set forth in
subdivision (d) of section 7522.56. Earned credit for vacation, sick leave, or
compensatory time off (CTO) if not actually worked or taken, does not apply to the 960- hour
maximum in subdivision (d).
This policy does not apply to a retired SCERS member working in private industry or for any other
non-SCERS employer, so long as the employee is not providing direct services to a SCERS
SCERS approval is not required for a SCERS retired member to return to part-time work for a
participating employer under section 7522.56. However, subdivision c) of section 7522.56
states that a retired person can return to work only during an emergency to prevent a
stoppage of public business or because the retired person has the skills needed to perform work
of a limited duration [emphasis added]. This policy determines that the term limited
duration is a period of 36 continuous months.
This policy further determines that a participating employer may provide a retired
member with a 12-month extension on an annual basis up to two times, for a total of an
additional 24 months beyond the initial 36-month period, if each 12-month extension is
approved by the participating employer’s chief executive. Each 12-month extension does
not need to be contiguous to the initial 36-month period or other 12-month extension.
A participating employer’s chief executive may provide a retired member working in a
public safety capacity additional 12-month extensions on an annual basis to fulfill
public safety workforce needs.
For purposes of this policy, the County Executive can designate the Director of the
Department of Personnel Services to approve extensions to the limited-duration periods on
behalf of all Sacramento County departments.
It is the employer’s responsibility to determine the appropriate use of retired members to
meet public business needs in accordance with subdivision c) of Section 7522.56.
Participating employers shall establish an administrative process to monitor and track
SCERS retired members returning to part-time work, consistent with section 7522.56. The
limited-duration period starts when the retired member begins working actual hours, not
when the retired member is hired.
Participating employers shall provide SCERS a report, no less than semi-annually by
January 31 and July 31 of each year), disclosing the names of the retired members who have been
employed, their hours worked, their duration of retired annuitant service, and any
extensions to the 36-month period approved by the chief executive.
It is the participating employer’s responsibility to monitor and manage the retired member’s work
hours to ensure compliance with this policy and statute. Participating employers shall
notify SCERS when retired members have exceeded the maximum number of hours worked under
Government Code section 7522.56.
Any retired member who works more than the maximum number of hours provided in section
7522.56, or who works beyond the initial 36-month reemployment limited duration period with a
SCERS participating employer or third-party employer providing contract services to a
SCERS participating employer, other than approved extensions, may be reinstated into full
membership, and SCERS may suspend the retirement benefit to such retired members as provided
by section 7522.56.
Such reinstatement to active employment will suspend the retired member’s retirement
benefit until such time as he/she decides to re-retire. Upon reinstatement, the
employee and employer will both be required to pay contributions (including interest) for the
period of unlawful employment. Upon re-retirement, should the retiree wish to return as
a retired member to work for a SCERS participating employer, the return-to-work rules from
7522.56 will again apply.
This policy is effective July 1, 2019. On the effective date, members who are currently or
who will be serving as retired member shall have the limited-duration period applied prospectively.
In 2013, the California Legislature instituted broad pension reforms with the enactment of the
Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act (PEPRA). These reforms impose additional
restrictions on retired members looking to return to work without reinstatement.
Executive Owner: Chief Benefits Officer
|03-15-2023||Board re-affirmed policy|
|03-18-2020||Board approved revised policy|
|05-15-2019||Board approved policy|
|03-20-2019||Staff presented Board discussion draft of revised policy for dissemination to stakeholders|
|08-01-2018||Renumbered from 025|
|12-20-2017||Board affirmed in revised policy format|
|06-17-2015||Board amended policy|
|05-06-2015||Board approved policy|
SCERS Policy No. 011
FAQs – May 2019
1.Q. Who does this effect?
Retired SCERS members who return to work for a SCERS participating employer (i.e. Sacramento County, Sacramento Superior Court, and other special districts).
2.Q. Why is the policy being amended?
SCERS is clarifying several provisions of the current policy to ensure more consistent application with the law.
3.Q. Does SCERS decide who can be a retired annuitant?
No. It is the employer’s responsibility to determine who should work as a retired annuitant to meet public business needs. SCERS’ role is to ensure proper oversight of the retired annuitant process.
4.Q. What is being changed?
Major amendments to the policy include the following:
- Clarifying that retired annuitant limits apply to all types of contractors. The current policy exempts “Independent Contractor” from the retired annuitant restrictions. However, the governing statute does not differentiate between independent contractors or third-party contractors. Subdivision (b) of Section 7522.56 of the Government Code states that the return-to-work rules apply to retired members who are “employed through a contract directly by” the employer. SCERS advises retired employers and members to adhere to the 180-day wait period before returning to work and to the 960-hour cap on hours, regardless of a member’s designation as a contractor.
- Clarifying which hours apply toward the 960-hour annual cap. This policy clarifies that hours worked or taken, including overtime hours, are counted towards the maximum annual limit of 960 hours. However, earned credit for vacation, sick leave, or compensatory time off (CTO) if not actually worked or taken, do not apply to the 960-hour maximum limit. SCERS does not consider the hour equivalent of leave balances that are paid out upon termination as part of the 960-hour cap.
- Defining limited duration. Retired members can return to work only during an emergency to prevent a stoppage of public business or because the retired person has the skills needed to perform work of a limited duration. However, section 7522.56 does not define the term limited duration. This policy defines limited duration as a 36-month period.
- Establishing a process to extend the duration of retired annuitant service. This policy directs participating employers to establish an administrative approval process to grant 12-month extensions to the 36-month limited duration period. However, the policy limits the extensions to a total of an additional 24-months beyond the original 36-month period.
The policy allows the employer to provide additional 12-month extensions on an annual basis to retired annuitants working in a public safety capacity, upon approval of the employer’s chief executive.
- Requiring semi-annual reports from employers. This policy requires participating employers to provide SCERS a report no less than semi-annually (by January 31 and July 31 of each year) disclosing the names of the retired annuitants who have been employed, their hours worked, their duration of retired annuitant service, and any extension to the 36-month period approved by their chief executive.
5.Q. When is the policy effective?
The policy is effective July 1, 2019.
6.Q. What happens if I am currently working as a retired annuitant?
The limited-duration period applies prospectively to members who were serving as retired annuitants on July 1, 2019, or who previously served as retired annuitants before July 1, 2019. The time spent previously working as a retired annuitant will not count against the limited-duration period.
6.Q. Is the 36-month limited-duration period continuous?
Yes. The 36-month period starts when the retired annuitant begins working actual hours, not when hired. However, the 12-month extensions do not need to be contiguous to the 36-month period.
For example, if a retired annuitant begins working actual hours on March 1, 2019, the 36-month clock begins on March 1, 2019 and ends 36 months later, on February 28, 2022. To continue working beyond the 36 months, the employer needs to approve a 12-month extension for the retired annuitant. The extension can be granted for a 12-month period at any time; it does not need to be for worked performed immediately after the initial 36 months.
June 15, 2021 Update: New Executive Orders Issued for Post-Retirement Employment