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DRS Retiree Return to Work
Effective January 1, 2012


Post Retirement Employment Limits Effective January 1, 2012

ESHB 1981 (Chapter 47, Laws of 2011) passed during the 2011 legislative session includes new restrictions on employment of retirees from the Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) retirement plans in state government or higher education jobs. The law applies to all retirees, whether currently employed or not. For more information about post-retirement employment, see the DRS website.

Policy Statement

It is University policy to comply with Washington State law governing the reemployment of Department of Retirement System (DRS) retirees, and to require that all DRS retirees seeking UW employment follow the normal job application and referral procedures. It is a violation of state law and UW policy for there to be any pre-retirement oral or written agreement between a Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) plan member (PERS, TRS, SERS, LEOFF, or WSPRS) and an employer for employment into a UW position. Violation of the law results in nullification of the individual’s retirement. Criminal and monetary penalties may also apply.

Department of Retirement Systems Plans

State law limits the number of hours a retiree who is rehired into a position covered by a DRS plan ("DRS-plan retiree") can work for a state agency or higher education institution. These limits are specific to the retirement plan from which the retiree is receiving an income.

Work Hour Limits

Effective January 1, 2012, all PERS and TRS retirees are limited to 867 hours of employment per calendar year without loss of pension benefits. Retirees of other DRS retirement plans (LEOFF, SERS, WSPRS, etc.) should contact DRS directly to ensure they are familiar with any limitations on their employment.

You are solely responsible for determining whether or not you wish to continue working once the annual limit is reached. As such, we strongly encourage you to monitor your hours worked against allowed limits. If you have questions about limits, contact the DRS directly at 1-800-547-6657 (or 1-866-377-8895 for the hearing impaired).

Retiree Employment Process

Effective January 1, 2012, employed retirees are subject to the normal UW employment processes with no additional approvals or authorizations required. By law, retirees are required to notify their employer during the employment process that they are retired from a State of Washington retirement plan.

DRS Retirees in a Temporary Appointment

DRS plan retirees may be appointed to hourly/temporary positions by following the normal temporary employment process.


This page explains retiree reemployment requirements, however by state law there are no guarantees of post-retirement employment at the UW. The following information is provided for your benefit and to assist you in understanding the rules that apply to the reemployment of DRS plan retirees. If there is any discrepancy between this information and the current DRS rules, the DRS rules will prevail.