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If I’m 62 or older, can I continue to work in the UM System (UM) after retirement?

If you are at least age 62 at retirement, you may be eligible to return to work after retirement. Please note:

  • You must complete all the necessary paperwork to apply for and initiate your retirement.
  • You may only return to work on a part-time basis. In other words, you may work at less than 75% full-time equivalency (FTE) at department and University discretion.
  • The “less than 75% FTE” threshold is measured by including all appointments you may hold at any given time.
  • The decision of whether you will be offered continued employment is at the discretion of the department and the University.

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I won’t be 62 when I retire; can I continue to work for the university after retirement?

Those who retire before age 62 must execute a “bona fide” termination, consistent with IRS standards. If you are younger than age 62 at retirement, you must complete all the necessary paperwork to apply for and initiate your retirement. You are not eligible to return to work unless certain criteria are met.

The following measures are in place to ensure a “bona fide” termination took place:

  • The employee and the employer did not engage in discussions regarding reemployment before the employee’s effective date of retirement/separation from service (i.e., your official retirement date). Therefore, for employees who have not reached 62, discussions about reemployment are prohibited.
  • The break in service before reemployment is at least 90 days from the effective date of retirement/separation, unless the rehire is part of a competitive hiring process, which generally includes posting of the position, receipt of applications, and interviewing candidates.
  • In order to ensure that there is not an understanding or agreement to rehire prior to effective date of retirement, the employee may not apply for a position until after the effective date of the employee’s retirement/separation.

If these criteria are met, then at the discretion of the department and University, you may return to work. However, in order to continue receiving pension benefits, you may only work on a non-benefit eligible basis (less than 75% FTE). Please note, the “less than 75% FTE” threshold measurement includes all appointments you may hold at any given time.

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Does the “90-day break” apply to retirees moving from one appointment to another?

No. If an employee has been rehired after retirement in a manner consistent with the standards discussed on the Retiree Rehire Requirements webpage, there is no requirement for a break in service before moving from one appointment to another.

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Can retirees be rehired as independent contractors/consultants since they’re not UM employees?

Yes, if the retiree meets all of the IRS and UM criteria required to be an independent contractor or consultant. The retiree may be hired as such since contractors are not considered UM employees. However, this mechanism must not be utilized in order to circumvent the policy of reemploying retirees. Contractor and consultant appointments must be approved in advance by campus business services.

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Does the ‘90-day break’ apply to employees under age 62 moving from one appointment to another?

The 90-day break in service requirement only applies when an employee under age 62 separates from the University and elects to take their retirement benefit. If an employee is simply moving from one appointment to another without electing to take their retirement benefit, there is no requirement for termination or a 90-day break in service. However, if an employee under age 62 elects to take a retirement benefit, then that employee must make a bona fide termination of employment and meet the 90-day break in service before moving to another appointment with the University.

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Is there a limit to the length of term for which a retiree can be rehired?

Not at this time, provided that the retiree meets the guidelines to be eligible for rehire.

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How will laid-off employees who retire within/at the end of layoff leave of absence be treated?

If eligible, employees may choose to retire and receive retiree pension benefits and health and welfare benefits available to them, even if they wish to continue working in the future. Pursuant to UM layoff policy, applicable individuals are entitled to the right to recall and preference for reemployment, and may return to work in a career position if a recall or reemployment opportunity arises. However, these individuals must agree to suspend their monthly retirement payments at the time of rehire. If the retiree is under age 62, then they must meet the guidelines to be eligible for rehire.

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