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Wednesday, October 01, 2014
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Law on rehiring retired teachers has changed

Last Modified: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 12:41 PM

By Andrew Perzo / American Press

School system employees used to be allowed to retire one day and go back to work the next — receiving full retirement and full work pay. Is this policy still in effect?

The law has since been changed, but what the reader describes was never the case, said Lisa Honore, a spokeswoman for the Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana.

“Prior to a law change in 2010, a TRSL member could be rehired back after one day of retirement and earn a salary. But this person would not collect retirement benefits from TRSL until 12 months after the date of his or her retirement,” Honore wrote in an email.
 
“After the law changed in 2010, the 12-month waiting period was still in place. The law just put restrictions on who would be considered a ‘retired teacher’ eligible to receive retirement benefits after the 12-month waiting period.”

The law sets up two categories for rehired workers — “retired teachers” and “retired members.” The first may receive retirement benefits after 12 months; benefits for the second are suspended during the re-employment period.

Additionally, retired teachers may be subject to earnings limits, restricting what they make to no more than a fourth of their yearly retirement benefit.

“If earnings exceed 25 percent of the retirement benefit, the retiree’s benefit will be reduced by the excess amount,” reads a Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana pamphlet.

“If a retiree returns to active service in more than one position that is subject to the 25 percent earnings limit in any fiscal year, the limit applies to the total earnings for all such positions in that fiscal year.”

To be considered a “retired teacher,” a TRSL member must meet one of the following criteria, according to the pamphlet:

Rehired on or before June 30, 2010; no earnings limit applies.

Rehired as a part-time or full-time K-12 “classroom teacher” in a critical shortage area; no earnings limit applies.

Rehired as a full-time certified speech therapist, speech pathologist or audiologist whose position requires a valid Louisiana ancillary certificate and whose district is short of people to fill such positions; no earnings limit applies.

Those who retired between May 1, 2009, and June 30, 2010, and are rehired in a position requiring a valid Louisiana teaching or ancillary certificate; no earnings limit applies.

Rehired as a substitute classroom teacher who teaches any student in grades Pre-K-12; earnings limit applies.

Rehired as an instructor whose position requires a valid Louisiana teaching certificate in an adult education or literacy program run by a public institution of elementary or secondary education; earnings limit applies.

Rehired retiree who holds an advanced degree in speech therapy, speech pathology or audiology; no earnings limit applies.

Rehired as an adjunct professor; earnings limit applies.

“In order to be eligible to return to work, retired teachers must have a break in service of at least one weekday (Monday through Friday),” reads the TRSL pamphlet.

“Example: If your last day of work is a Friday, your retirement date would be a Saturday. You could return to work on Tuesday. Monday would be the one weekday break in service.”

Online: http://trsl.org/uploads/File/Brochures/rtw.pdf.

The Informer answers questions from readers each Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. It is researched and written by Andrew Perzo, an American Press staff writer. To ask a question, call 494-4098, press 5 and leave voice mail, or email informer@americanpress.com.

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