If you return to work after retiring from NYSTRS, be aware it could impact your NYSTRS benefit.
Sections 211 and 212 of the Retirement and Social Security Law govern NYS public employment by service retirees under age 65. Working under Section 211 requires your employer to obtain a waiver.
The current Section 212 earnings limit, determined by the state Legislature, is $35,000 per calendar year.
The earnings limit has been temporarily suspended at times by New York State executive orders during the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in no earnings limit for pay earned:
- From March 27, 2020 through Dec. 31, 2020.
- From Jan. 1, 2021 through June 24, 2021. (The governor rescinded the executive order effective June 25, 2021; therefore pay earned from June 25, 2021 through Sept. 26, 2021 counts toward the annual $35,000 earnings limit.)
- From Sept. 27, 2021 through Jan. 25, 2022.
You can find more information about post-retirement earnings, including the rules governing work as a consultant, in the pamphlet Working in Retirement and in the Retired Members' Handbook.
Reporting Your Earnings
If you are under 65 and working for a New York State public employer, you are required to report your earnings to NYSTRS as soon as you reach the limit – even if you worked under a waiver or your public employer contracted with a private, third-party entity to hire you.
If you have a MyNYSTRS account, use the Earnings After Retirement feature to report your earnings. We recommend reporting monthly, even if you do not intend to exceed the limit. Timely self-reporting helps you track your earnings and avoid having to repay a portion of your retirement benefit.
Those without an account will need to complete and submit the Reporting Your New York State Public Employment Earnings (RMS-64.1) form as soon as they reach the limit.
If you work for a NYSTRS-participating employer (including New York State public school districts, qualifying charter schools, the state Education Department, SUNY or state community colleges), you must provide your NYSTRS EmplID to your employer. In addition to your own reporting, NYSTRS-participating employers must report your earnings to us on a monthly basis.
Please Note: If you are subject to an earnings limit and exceed the limit at any time during a calendar year, NYSTRS will suspend your pension for the remainder of the calendar year if you continue working in New York State public employment. You also will be required to repay NYSTRS either your retirement benefit for each day you exceeded the limit (applicable to those who worked without a waiver) or the dollar amount you earned in excess of the waiver limit (applicable to those who had a waiver with a specified earnings limit).