Working Beyond Retirement
There are currently three different bills designed to make positive changes to working after retirement. HB2268, SB21, and SB138 each approach the concerns of educators a little differently. HB2268 would allow KPERS retirees to continue working in the KBOR with no earnings limit or an additional contribution rate. It would also resolve the problem of KPERS retirees working as third-party employees with schools and local governments. The House Committee added an amendment that would allow an individual to retire at age 62 and return to work after a 60-day waiting period with no earnings limit.
SB21 is a companion bill to HB 2268 which addresses the issue of retirees working as certified or classified temporary and seasonal workers. This bill would set an earnings limit of $25,000 with no contribution rate. If the retiree would go beyond $25,000, the school district would then be expected to pay a 30% contribution rate. The hard-to-fill, hardship, and emergency positions would remain in place and retirees would only be allowed to work four years in a full-time position after retirement. To sum up the House activity on KPERS, they are only willing to try and fix the current problems, but have not proposed removing any of the limitations.
The Senate has been willing to take a simpler approach. SB138 lifts the earning limits on covered positions, and non-covered positions have a $25,000 earnings limit. The hardship, hard-to-fill, and emergency situations are eliminated and any retiree may return to work in any position for any length of time. The change for new retirees 61 or under is the waiting period is extended to 180 days from the current 60 days.
It is obvious both plans have advantages and disadvantages. The House plan maintains the 60-day waiting period, but it comes with limits and restrictions. The Senate bill removes the restrictions and limits, but pushes the waiting period to 180 days for those 61 and younger. Assuming both chambers pass their bills, both committees will end up in a conference committee next week to find middle ground.