State Board of Retirement
Post-Retirement Earnings Policy
(M.G.L. c.32, §91(b))
Massachusetts General Law, c.32, §91(b) authorizes retired members of the State Employees’ Retirement System to be employed by a public entity post-retirement subject to a number of hours worked and earnings limitations per calendar year. That section specifically states that a retiree can work no more than 960 hours in a calendar year and his post-retirement earnings, when added to his retirement allowance, can be no more than the “salary that is being paid for the position from which he retired.” Additionally, members can earn an additional $15,000 per year after first 12 months immediately following retirement pursuant to G.L. c. 32, §91(b), as amended by the Acts of 2011, chapter 176, section 50.
The following governs the administration of determining a retired member’s “salary that is being paid for the position from which he retired,” when they are covered or not covered by collective bargaining agreements. Specifically for members not covered by collective bargaining agreements, it addresses the determination of the Salary Being Paid when: (1) the member’s place of employment and/or position from which they retired no longer exists or, (2) their successor/replacement earns less than the member did when he/she retired. (*Please note this policy does not apply to judges who are recalled in that capacity.)
Members Covered By Collective Bargaining Agreements
For members who retired from a position covered by a collective bargaining agreement, the Board shall determine their Salary Being Paid by using the salary schedule in that agreement. The Board shall also take into account the step increases and/or COLA’s according to that schedule as if he/she had continued working in that same position from which he retired.
Members Not Covered By Collective Bargaining Agreements
For members who are not covered by collective bargaining agreements and thus not covered by salary schedules, it is often difficult to determine with certainty what such member would have earned in a given year after his/her retirement.
When determining the Salary Being Paid for a member not covered by a collective bargaining agreement, and unless the member provides sufficient evidence for Board staff to satisfactorily determine what the member would have earned in a year , the Board staff in their discretion shall calculate that member’s post-retirement earnings limit using :
- The salary being paid to the member’s successor/replacement where the position is substantially similar in its purpose, duties and responsibilities to the member’s position; or
- The salary that the retired member received during his/her last year of employment, indexed each year according to the Consumer Price Index, as certified by the Commissioner of Social Security.
The Board staff may review any request related to the determination of post-retirement earnings on a case by case basis, pursuant to M.G.L. c. 32, §91(b) and this policy.