After retiring, many people re-enter the workforce to make extra money, pursue different interests, or keep busy. As a retiree of an Ohio public pension system, the type of job you take after retirement and the timing of your start date can affect your pension benefits.

The original pension you receive is not affected during reemployment unless you do not wait two months before returning to a public sector job. Even then, you only forfeit your pension for two months. Otherwise, you continue to receive the full amount of your pension.

As a reemployed retiree, there are no membership benefits available to you. You do not accrue any additional service credit for the period of reemployment. If you did not previously qualify for health care coverage, coverage cannot be earned with the time spent working as a reemployed retiree. No service credit can be purchased, and reemployed retirees cannot apply for disability benefits.

Reemployment in a Private Sector Job

If you return to work in a private sector job covered by Social Security, it does not affect your SERS pension but could affect your SERS health care coverage. please review the “How Reemployment Affects Health Care Coverage” section below for more information.

Reemployment in a Public Sector Job

If you return to work in a position covered by SERS, State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio (STRS), Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS), Ohio Police & Fire (OP&F), or Highway Patrol Retirement System (HPRS), you must wait two months from your effective date of retirement before being reemployed. There is no limitation on the number of days you can work or the amount you can earn. The only restriction is when you can return to work.

If you start a job covered by one of these systems before you have received your SERS pension for two months, you will forfeit your pension amount for each of those two months. Your SERS pension will not otherwise be affected after these two months. The only exception is if you hold multiple positions prior to retirement. You may then continue working in the lesser-paying position(s) without forfeiting two months of pension payments.

If you become reemployed in a SERS-covered position, you must contribute to SERS the same as you did as a member. However, because your pension amount is set, you will accumulate a new benefit that will be paid back to you as a single life annuity. You may choose to receive the amount as a lump sum payment or in fixed monthly payments for the rest of your life.

There are no restrictions on the number of days a service retiree can be reemployed in a SERS-covered position or the amount earned.

How Reemployment Affects Health Care Coverage

If you retire and then take a new job or go back to work for a public or private employer, you temporarily may lose eligibility for SERS’ health care coverage while you are reemployed. Once reemployment ends, your eligibility will be restored.

Individuals affected are those:

  • under age 65 not yet eligible for Medicare
  • eligible for Medicare but not enrolled in Part B

Individuals not affected are those:

  • enrolled in Medicare Part A and B
  • enrolled in Medicare Part B only

SERS’ health care eligibility is lost when:

  • You are eligible for medical and prescription coverage through your new employer
  • You are not eligible for medical and prescription coverage through your new employer but other employees in comparable positions are eligible for coverage

The coverage available to employees in comparable positions must be at the same cost as full-time employees. You will not lose your eligibility for SERS’ coverage if you do not have access to the employer coverage or if it costs employees in comparable positions more than full-time employees pay.

Regaining Eligibility:

Your SERS eligibility is restored after you stop working. You have 31 days after you lose employer coverage to enroll in SERS’ coverage.

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