Returning to Work

Overview

Returning to Work after Retirement

A CTPF retiree may decide to return to work on a part- or full-time basis. But there are some rules to be aware of to keep your pension from being jeopardized.

A retiree is restricted as to how many days, during each fiscal/school year (July 1-June 30) they can work in a Chicago Public School, in a Chicago charter school, or for another Employer contributing to CTPF without affecting their pension and, if applicable, health insurance subsidy for that fiscal/school year. The restrictions below apply to employment in Chicago Public Schools, in a Chicago charter school, or with another Employer contributing to CTPF, either directly or indirectly, regardless of whether the employment is through a third-party contractor, an employment agency, or any other vendor.

Retirees must adhere to post-retirement employment limitations and restrictions if returning to work, either directly or indirectly, in Chicago Public Schools, in a Chicago charter school, or for another employer contributing to CTPF. Serious financial consequences can occur (including the loss and/or required repayment of your pension and, if applicable, health insurance subsidy for that fiscal/school year) when limitations are exceeded. You must notify CTPF in writing before beginning employment in Chicago Public Schools, in a Chicago charter school, or for another Employer contributing to CTPF (Employer).

Definition of Day

Starting with the 2018-2019 School Year, going forward, a retiree will be considered to have worked a “day” for return to work purposes (i.e. for purposes of determining whether the retiree has exceeded the 100-day return to work limitation, detailed below), if the employer reports the retiree as having worked for one hour or more during a calendar day. (Note: This definition of a “day” does not affect the accumulation and tracking of hours worked teaching only driver education courses—i.e. any portion of an hour worked counts toward the “no more than 900 hours” limitation.)

Permanent or Annual Re-Employment

A retiree who is re-employed in Chicago Public Schools, in a Chicago charter school, or for another employer contributing to CTPF in a permanent or annual instructional position (teacher) will have their retirement benefits cancelled. The retirement benefit will be cancelled on the date the re-employment begins, or on the first day of a payroll period for which service credit is validated, whichever is earlier. For permanent or annual re-employment, the retiree will have to end that permanent or annual re-employment and apply to re-retire in order to collect a pension again. The terms of a pension, based on re-retirement, are determined by 40 ILCS 5/17-149(c), other Illinois Pension Code provisions, and CTPF’s administrative rules. 

Temporary and Non-Annual Re-Employment

A retiree who is re-employed in Chicago Public Schools, in a Chicago charter school, or for another employer contributing to CTPF in a temporary or non-annual instructional position (teacher) is subject to both employment and compensation limits.

Who is Impacted

A “teacher” is defined as any educational, administrative, professional, paraprofessional (charter schools only) or other staff member whose position requires certification or licensure by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). The limits also apply to retirees who are re-employed indirectly in Chicago Public Schools, in a Chicago charter school, or for another employer contributing to CTPF through a third-party contractor, an employment agency, or any other vendor.

The chart below defines the temporary and non-annual re-employment limitations. A retiree who exceeds either the Employment Limit or the Compensation Limit exceeds the statutory return to work limitations:

Retiree Type

Employment Limit

Compensation Limit

CTPF retirees who only teach Drivers Education courses in the school year

900 hours

$30,000

or

$50,000 for individuals who retired with 5 years of service as Administrator

All other CTPF retirees

100 days

(for the 2018-2019 school year, going forward, a day is defined as an hour or more)

$30,000

or

$50,000 for individuals who retired with 5 years of service as Administrator

Notifying CTPF of Re-Employment

You must notify CTPF if you return to work after retirement. If you are returning to work, you must fill out and return one of the forms below to CTPF:

Tracking

You must independently track your own days (or for driver education only, hours) worked and compensation received. No matter which employer system you use to register for re-employment, you are responsible for keeping track of your days worked (such as in a document, spreadsheet, or calendar you maintain). Employers use various systems to register hours worked and those systems are not connected to each other. Therefore, there is no single place you can go to find out how many days or hours you have worked in a fiscal/school year.

No Warning

You will not receive a warning if you are getting close to the maximum Employment or Compensation Limit. You are responsible for tracking your days, hours (if applicable), and compensation.

Retirement Benefit Cancelled Due to Re-Employment

If you have received notice that your retirement benefit was cancelled relating to re-employment and need further information, please visit Pension Cancellation.

Impact of Return to Work Retirement Benefit Cancellations on Reciprocal Retirement Benefits

CTPF will notify the Reciprocal Systems from which the retiree is receiving reciprocal retirement benefits when the CTPF retirement benefit is suspended or cancelled due to re-employment. The Reciprocal Systems will take action, if any, regarding pension and any other affected benefits, according to their own statutes and administrative rules.

Return to Work Policy

CTPF Return to Work Policy