County Service After Retirement
Returning to Work
It is possible to return to work for the County after you retire, subject to certain conditions.
Special Service Positions
Retired members may be paid for service to the County and continue to receive their retirement allowances, under the following circumstances:
- As a juror, election officer, field deputy for registration of voters, or temporarily as a judge when assigned by the Chairman of the Judicial Council
- As a member of the Board of Retirement or Board of Investments
- As an elected County official
Members who received an Early Separation Program package are ineligible for rehire.
Temporary Work Under the 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, waiting periods and limitations may apply.
Eligible retirees may return to work for the County for a period of up to 120 days (960 hours during any July 1–June 30 fiscal year) and continue to receive their 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.
During their 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.
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:
- 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.
- The retiree is a public safety officer or firefighter.
For members under the normal retirement age (see below), a 90-day waiting period applies.
- Any retired person who received unemployment insurance from prior County employment during the 12-month period prior to a temporary appointment as described in this section is not eligible to be employed. They must wait 12 months before being eligible. Upon accepting an offer of employment, the retiree must certify in writing that they are in compliance with this requirement.
- Members who received a retirement incentive, such as an Early Separation Program (ESP) package, are not eligible to return to work.
- A retiree who is receiving LACERA benefits cannot be hired by the County as a contract employee.
- Disability retirees are not eligible to return to work as a 120- day employee in their previous job classification.
Normal Retirement Age
Plan G members under the normal retirement age of 57 may return to temporary County service after being retired for 90 days. 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 the normal retirement age cannot have a prearranged agreement to return to work for the employer. This includes written and oral agreements and 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 postretirement work with the County or any LACERA-plan sponsor. 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. Members with service retirements are free to work anywhere else without loss of their LACERA retirement benefits, while certain restrictions apply to members who were granted disability retirements.
If you have questions about returning to temporary County service, contact your HR department.
Visit this page for more information on Returning to Work.
Permanent County Reemployment and Active Membership Reinstatement
If you want to return to work on a permanent basis with the County, your request for reemployment will need to be approved by the Boards of Supervisors and Retirement before returning to work. You will need both boards’ approvals to return to active LACERA membership to receive service credit.
Please note that you are required by law (SB 134) to get approval from the Board of Supervisors and Board of Retirement. If you have already restarted working with the County, please submit the required documents listed below. By law, you must inform LACERA about your employment status (PEPRA 7522.56(f)). Members are prohibited from receiving a retirement benefit while working in a permanent capacity with the County. Working in this capacity will impact the retirement benefits you have already received.
You may return to active membership in LACERA, if you:
- Are rehired by the County
- Are eligible for LACERA membership (must be a permanent employee working three-quarter time or more)
- Apply for reinstatement with the Board of Retirement and provide required documentation (see more below)
- Are determined by the Board of Retirement not to be incapacitated for the duties assigned, based on medical examination (as required by CERL §31680.4)
If you meet all the requirements above, the Board of Retirement will cancel your retirement allowance and reinstate you to active LACERA membership. You will become a member of Plan G and subject to the Plan G retirement rules. Your retirement allowance will be resumed only upon your subsequent termination from County employment.
Required Documentation for Membership Reinstatement
LACERA needs the following documents as part of your reinstatement process:
- A letter from your department to LACERA requesting your return to work and the position to which you will return
- A copy of the job description for the position to which you will return
- Proof of your approval by the Board of Supervisors (BOS) for reemployment, provided by the County CEO. (Note: This does not apply to Superior Court employees.) There are two options for receiving this approval. Once the County CEO sends the request for reemployment to the Board of Supervisors:
- If there are no issues of concern and the Board of Supervisors (BOS) does not agendize the request within 10 days, under BOS Policy 9.150 the CEO can send a letter to LACERA confirming there is indirect approval of the request.
- If agendized, the CEO can send a copy of the stamped BOS resolution approving reemployment.
- Your letter to LACERA requesting suspension of your retirement benefit and a return to active membership
- A Medical Evaluation Report confirming you are not incapacitated to work in the return position
LACERA’s Benefits Division must receive and validate the required documents before submitting your request for the next scheduled Board of Retirement (BOR) meeting. The BOR will then take action on the request.
- If you are not approved to return to work, LACERA will notify you and your department.
- If you are approved, LACERA will work with your department to determine your return-to-work date, calculate your last prorated benefit amount, and suspend your retirement account, and set up a new retirement account once your department sends your new sworn statement.
Please note that you cannot return to work without completing this process and receiving the appropriate approval from LACERA without impacting your retirement benefits paid while working permanently.
Calculations for Combined Allowance:
1. The allowance the member received prior to reemployment will be resumed. The allowance will include all COLAs the member would have received had they not returned to active service.*
2. At that time, the member will also receive an allowance calculated on the basis of credited service accrued after re-employment, based on:
- Final compensation
- Years in the post-retirement position
- Age at the time of (this) retirement
Service credited prior to re-employment is included in the second calculation solely for the purpose of determining eligibility for a service retirement under the post-retirement plan.
*A member who returned to active membership prior to age 62 and whose allowance included the Pension Advance Option must have the age 62 reduction amount recalculated by LACERA’s actuary. The recalculated amount will equal the actuarial value of the increase in the allowance from the date of retirement to the date of reinstatement to active membership.