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Working After Retirement

View pdf version of Working After Retirement

After you retire, you may return to TFFR covered employment under employment limitations. The limits apply to TFFR covered employment which includes teaching, supervisory, and administrative services except for extra-curricular duties and professional development. The limits do not apply to:

  • Teaching in public colleges and universities
  • Teaching in private schools
  • Employment outside of education
  • Employment outside of ND

Non contracted substitute teaching does not apply to the annual hour limit. However, in-staff substitute teaching performed during an existing contracted period will apply to the annual hour limit.

To help you determine which return to work option best suits your needs, you should consider the following questions:

  • How long have I been retired?
  • How long do I plan to work?
  • Do I plan to work full or part time?

Please also keep in mind that under both federal and state law, a teacher must terminate employment in order to be eligible to retire and receive retirement benefits. Therefore, at the time of retirement, there can be no written pre-existing agreement indicating re-employment after retirement. After the applicable waiting period (if any), should you decide to return to work, both you and your employer must complete a “TFFR Retired Member Employment Notification” form within 30 days of your employment. This form must be completed each year you return to teach.

Failure to notify TFFR that you have returned to TFFR covered employment will result in the loss of annuity benefits.

Because of the impact returning to work could have on your TFFR retirement benefits, we strongly encourage you to contact our office to discuss all of your options.

General Rule - Annual Hour Limit

After 30 days from your retirement date, you may return to TFFR covered employment for a maximum number of hours in a fiscal year (July 1 - June 30). You will continue to receive retirement benefits and employer and employee contributions will be paid on all retirement salary paid to the retiree including in-staff subbing, extra curricular and professional development pay based on the employer payment model. The additional employee contributions will be included in the retiree's account value but the monthly benefit will not be affected. The annual hour limit is based on the length of employment.

9-month contract = 700 hours
10-month contract = 800 hours
11-month contract = 900 hours
12-month contract = 1,000 hours

Example: Jane retires July 1, 2013, and begins TFFR retirement benefits. On August 1, she signs a 9-month contract with a ND school district to work for 600 hours which allows her 100 hours for in-staff subbing. With the exception of extra-curricular duty and professional development, all compensated hours count toward the 700-hour limit. Jane and her employer submit a TFFR Retired Member Employment Notification form. Jane receives salary and employer and employee contributions are paid to TFFR on the teaching salary as well as any in-staff subbing, extra-curricular or professional development pay. Jane continues to receive her retirement benefit while teaching part time. The additional employee contributions are added to the retiree's account balance but the monthly benefit is not affected.

Exception A - Critical Shortage Area

You may return to TFFR covered employment in an approved critical shortage area and exceed the annual hour limitation without losing your retirement benefits. If you retired on or prior to January 1, 2001, no waiting period is required. However, if your retirement date is after January 1, 2001, a one-year waiting period is required. You may perform non-contracted substitute teaching during the one-year waiting period. Critical shortage areas will be determined each year by the Education Standards and Practices Board (ESPB). Each year, you must re-apply for this exception. Like the General Rule, you will continue to receive retirement benefits, employer and employee contributions will be paid on all retirement salary based on the employer payment model. The additional employee contributions will be included in the retiree's account value but the monthly benefit will not be affected.

Example: John retires July 1, 2012 and begins TFFR retirement benefits. He does substitute teaching in 2012-13, then returns as a full time teacher on July 1, 2013, in an approved critical shortage area. John and his employer submit a TFFR Retired Member Employment Notification form. John receives salary and employer and employee contributions are paid to TFFR on all retirement salary. John continues to receive his retirement benefit while working full time in a critical shortage area. The additional employee contributions are added to the retiree's account value but the monthly benefit is not affected.

Exception B - Benefit Suspension and Recalculation

After 30 days from your retirement date, you may return to TFFR covered employment and exceed the annual hour limitation. Under this option, employer and employee contributions will be paid on all retirement salary before and after the benefit suspension based on the employer's payment model. Your TFFR benefits will be suspended the first of the month following the month you reach the annual hour limit. Upon re-retirement, your benefits may be recalculated. If you re-retire with:

  • Less than 2 years of additional earned service credit – you will receive the discontinued benefit plus benefit increases granted during the benefit suspension and a refund of employee contributions paid after the benefit suspension plus interest. The employee contributions paid prior to the benefit suspension will be added to the retiree's account value.
  • 2-5 years – you will receive the greater of the discontinued annuity, plus additional years at the current multiplier, plus benefit increases granted during the suspension, OR all the years recalculated at the current multiplier, less an actuarial offset for the amount of benefits already paid. All employee contributions will be added to the retiree's account value.
  • 5 or more years – you will receive the greater of the calculation above or the retirement benefit recalculated using all the years at the current multiplier with no actuarial offset. All employee contributions will be added to the retiree's account value.
Retiree Return to Work Options at a Glance
Retiree Return to Work Limitation Waiting Period Required
(Break in Service)
Length of Employment TFFR Benefit Continued TFFR Employee & Employer Contributions Paid TFFR Benefit Amount Recalculated
General Rule -
Annual hour limit
30 days from  TFFR retirement date Unlimited Yes

Yes

No
Exception A:
Critical shortage areas determined by ESPB
 
Over annual hour limit
One Year - if your retirement date is after 1/1/2001
 
None - if your retirement date is on or before 1/1/2001
Dependent upon annual approval and verification of critical shortage area Yes

Yes

No
Exception B: 
Benefit suspension and recalculation
 
Over annual hour limit
30 days from TFFR retirement date Unlimited No
 
Benefit suspended after annual hour limit is reached

Yes

Yes
 
Recalculation based on the number of additional years of service
 

This brochure is a summary of NDCC 15-39.1-19.1 and is not intended to provide total information concerning employment after retirement. More detailed information may be obtained by contacting:

ND Retirement and Investment Office
1930 Burnt Boat Drive
P.O. Box 7100
Bismarck, ND 58507-7100

Phone: 1-701-328-9885
Toll free: 1-800-952-2970
www.nd.gov/rio

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, this document can be provided in alternate formats. Contact the administrative office to request an alternate format.

Effective 7/2013

 
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