WRS News Online

Going Back to Work After Retirement

Are you thinking of going back to work for a Wisconsin Retirement System employer after retirement? Be sure to understand the laws involving your break in service period so that you don’t jeopardize your monthly annuity. When you can take a position covered by the WRS depends on when you last terminated WRS employment. Your “break-in-service” requirement begins the day you terminate employment or the day the Department of Employee Trust Funds receives your retirement application, whichever is later.

If you last terminated WRS employment on or after July 2, 2013, the earliest day you may return to WRS employment is the latest of the following dates:

  • The day after the effective date of your annuity.
  • The 76th day after you terminated your WRS participating employment.
  • The 76th day after ETF received your benefit application.

If you last terminated WRS employment before July 2, 2013, you have a different break in service requirement. It is as follows, whichever is latest:

  • The day after the effective date of your annuity.
  • The 31st day after you terminated your WRS-participating employment.
  • The 31st day after ETF received your benefit application.

However, do not focus only on the last day you will work. If you wait to submit your retirement application until after your last day of work, your break in service requirement begins the day after ETF receives your retirement application – not on the last day you work. If you return to work more than 75 days after your last day, but fewer than 75 days after ETF received your application, you will not have met your break-in-service – and you will have to pay back the annuity payments you received. 

Here are a few more key things to keep in mind:

  1. A new state law requires the termination of your monthly annuity if you are expected to work at least two-thirds of full-time. This law will only affect you if you last terminated WRS employment on or after July 1, 2013.
     
  2. If you expect to work less than two-thirds time but more than one-third time, you can chose between terminating your monthly annuity and electing coverage with the WRS, or continuing to receive your monthly annuity and electing to not be covered under the WRS.
     
  3. Once the break in service is established, you must complete the Rehired Annuitant Form (ET-2319) regardless of your decision to participate (or not participate) in the WRS.  Obtain the form from your employer.

To learn more about returning to work after retirement:

  • Sign up for one of our webinars on this topic.
  • Review our brochure, Information for Retirees (ET-4116); see the section titled, “Work After Retirement”.
  • Talk with a customer service representative toll free at 1-877-533-5020 or send us a secure email.