On March 31, 2020, Governor Jay Inslee issued a proclamation related to the COVID-19 outbreak which waives return-to-work restrictions for retirees in specific retirement systems and plans. Under the governor’s proclamation, retirees in the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS), the Public Safety Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS) and the Law Enforcement Officers’ and Fire Fighters’ Retirement System Plan 2 (LEOFF 2) may return to work without suspension of their pension benefits.
Current return-to-work laws restrict the number of hours retirees may work for a DRS-covered employer before their benefits are suspended. Individuals who retired under the 2008 Early Retirement Factors (ERF) may not return to work before age 65 without full suspension of benefits.
The governor’s proclamation waives those restrictions on both regular retirements and on the 2008 ERF retirements for the specified systems and plans. It applies both to retirees who have already returned to work and to those who may return to employment.
It is important to note that retirees still must have a 30-day break in service and no prior agreement with their employer to return to employment. This separation of service requirement is not waived by the proclamation.
Retirees who have questions about returning to work should consult with the employer or contact DRS.