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BENEFITS


RETIREE RETURN TO WORK: 120-DAY RULE

120-DAY RULE

In situations where the County believes a LACERA retiree possesses special skills or knowledge, the law allows the County to hire that retiree on a temporary basis without suspending the retiree’s retirement allowance; however, restrictions apply.

An eligible retiree may return to work for the County for a period of up to 120 days (960 hours in any July 1-June 30 fiscal year) and continue to receive his/her retirement allowance. During this post-retirement employment, the member will not accrue any additional LACERA pension benefits, nor will the member or the employer pay contributions for this service.

Retired members must wait 180 days from their date of retirement before returning to work for the County on a temporary basis, except under the following conditions:*

  • If the employer can certify it is necessary to fill a critically needed position and the hiring has been approved by the Board of Supervisors (or the Board of Retirement, for LACERA positions) in an open meeting.
  • If the retiree is a public safety officer or firefighter.

*90-day waiting period applies to excepted members under the Normal Retirement Age; see below.

During his or her temporary employment, the retiree shall be paid at a rate not less than the minimum nor greater than the maximum rate paid by the County to other employees performing comparable duties.

Any retired person who, during the 12-month period prior to a temporary appointment described in this section, received unemployment insurance resulting from prior County employment, is not eligible to be employed and must wait 12 months before being eligible. Upon accepting an offer of employment, a retiree must certify in writing that he or she is in compliance with this requirement.

Members who received a retirement incentive, such as an Early Separation Program (ESP) payoff, are not eligible to return to work.

A retiree who is receiving LACERA benefits cannot be hired by the County as a contract employee.

Notwithstanding the Above Conditions

To comply with IRS regulations regarding in-service distributions and protect the retirement fund’s tax-qualified status, a member under the Normal Retirement Age may not return to temporary County service within 90 days of his or her retirement date. This is in accordance with a 2006 Board of Retirement resolution.

Normal Retirement Age for LACERA members:

  • Age 57 for general members of Plan A, B, C, D, or G
  • Age 65 for general members of Plan E
  • Age 55 for safety members

The 90-day break must be continuous and will be calculated from the date of the member's retirement to the date preceding the day of reemployment as a retiree.

A member who retires before reaching Normal Retirement Age cannot have a prearranged agreement to return to work for the employer.

  • Includes written and oral agreements
  • Applies regardless of the length of the member’s break in service after retirement

IRS penalties may apply to retirees under age 59.5 who have not had a “bona fide” separation from service and are engaged in post-retirement work with the County. For information pertaining to your individual situation, consult with a professional advisor; LACERA does not offer tax or legal advice.

These restrictions apply only to retired County employees who return to work for the County. Retired County employees are free to work anywhere else without loss of their LACERA retirement benefits.*

For questions on LACERA’s regulations regarding retirees returning to temporary County service, call 800-786-6464 to speak with a Retirement Benefits Specialist.

*Applies to service retirements only; certain restrictions apply to members who were granted disability retirements.

9/24/13