5001 Policy – Hiring of Retired School Employees

Bellingham Public Schools will recruit, select and employ the best-qualified individuals as employees. The district may employ persons retired from the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS), the School Employees’ Retirement System (SERS) or the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS). A retired employee will only be hired pursuant to this district policy.

Until August 1, 2020, the district may employ teachers in TRS Plan 2 or 3 who have retired under the alternate early retirement provisions of RCW 41.32.765(3)(b) or RCW 41.32.875(3)(b).  Such employment is subject to the following conditions:  1) One calendar month must have elapsed since the retiree’s accrual date; 2) the retiree must be employed exclusively as either a substitute teacher as defined in RCW 41.32.010(48)(a) or in an instructional capacity (as opposed to an administrative or supervisory capacity); and 3) the district must compensate its substitute teachers at a rate that is at least 85% of the full daily amount allocated by the state to the district for substitute teacher compensation.

All retirees of TRS, SERS or PERS may work eight hundred sixty-seven (867) hours per year while receiving retirement benefits. The annual limit for TRS Plan 1 retirees is calculated per fiscal year. All other plans are calculated per calendar year. Qualified hours are determined by whether the retiree works in an eligible position as defined by RCW 41.32.010(48)(a) or by the Department of Retirement Systems (DRS).

District Responsibilities

The district will abide by the following process when considering a retiree for employment:

  1. Applicant(s) will be evaluated and considered equally, selecting the candidate who best meets the needs of the district;
  2. There will be no prearranged employment agreement or commitment to rehire an employee after retirement. Mere inquiries about post-retirement employment do not constitute an agreement;
  3. The district will provide the retiree with the same terms and conditions of employment as other appointees or employees in comparable positions with the exception of sick-leave cash-out; and
  4. The district will report the number of hours worked by the retiree to DRS.

Retired Employee Responsibilities

The following conditions of employment will apply to retirees that are re-employed:

  1. Retired applicants will disclose to the district whether they are retired from a Washington state retirement plan.
  2. Retirees are subject to the same collective bargaining membership as other one-year
    temporary employees.
  3. Retirees are responsible for tracking service hours during post-retirement employment among

multiple employers.

Approved By: Greg Baker
Adopted/Previous Revisions: 02/13/03; 08/25/15
Updated: 10/18/17
Superintendent or Board Approved: Superintendent Approved
Cross References: Content

Policy 5610 – Substitute Employment

Policy 5050 – Contracts

Legal References: Content

RCW 41.32  Teachers’ Retirement

RCW 41.40  Washington Public Employees’ Retirement System

Management Resources: Content

Policy News, July 2016

Policy News, August 2011

Policy News, June 2007 Revisions to Retire/Rehire Law