If you retired BEFORE July 1, 2010

If you’re eligible for full Social Security benefits and you retired before July 1, 2010, there are no limits on how much you can earn and still collect your pension. Your eligibility for full benefits from Social Security depends on the year you were born. (See the Social Security Administration's website for more information about the Social Security income limit. Search for “full retirement age.”)

If you are not yet the full Social Security age, the rules are slightly different depending on where you'll be returning to work. Click on the tab below that best describes the type of public school where you’ll be returning to work.


K-12, PSA, & Charter

  • K-12 Michigan Public Schools and Charter Schools/Public School Academies

    You may return to work directly for a Michigan K-12 public school or charter school/public school academy and earn the greater of the following limits:

    • One-third of your final average compensation (FAC) without affecting your pension. For this purpose, the salary average is increased by 5%, compounded for each calendar year you're retired, or
    • Up to the Social Security income limit for that specific year. If one-third of your FAC is lower than that year's Social Security income limit, you may make up to the higher amount. The Social Security income limit for those under the full retirement age in 2021 is $18,960. (Visit the Social Security Administration's website and search for the pamphlet How Work Affects Your Benefits for more information about the Social Security income limit. You can also download the Fact Sheet, 2021 Social Security Changes for a summary.)

    For every dollar you earn above the limit, you must return one dollar to the retirement system, up to your annual pension amount. If payment is not made, your pension will be suspended.

    Earnings limits are based on the gross amount paid in a calendar year (as reported on your W-2 or 1099-MISC). If you are paid in January for work performed in December, the payment would count toward the earnings limit in the new calendar year. You can track your reported earnings and compare against your earnings limit in miAccount.

    Important Note

    Be sure to talk to your employer to confirm you will be reported as working in a critical shortage position.

    You could have no earnings limit until July 1, 2025, if either one of these things apply:

    If you're working in a critical shortage position (as defined by the Michigan Department of Education) and all of the following apply:

    • You are employed by a reporting unit that has a situation, not including a situation caused by a labor dispute, that requires the reporting unit to hire you in an area that has been identified by the state superintendent of public instruction as a critical shortage discipline, and
    • You are retired and have been collecting your pension for at least one year, unless:
      • You have a bona fide termination and did not work in the month of your retirement effective date, and
      • You're employed at a reporting unit that provides instruction under an extended COVID-19 learning plan under Section 98a of the State School Aid Act of 1979.
      • The reporting unit shall pay 100% of the contribution rates for the unfunded actuarial accrued liability for both the retiree healthcare and the pension to the Michigan Office of Retirement Services.

     

    The critical shortage exemption will end July 1, 2025

    View the Michigan Department of Education memorandum containing a link to a list of critical shortage positions.

    Because you retired before July 1, 2010, if you return to work in a K-12 public school as an employee of a third-party contractor or as an independent contractor, there will be no earnings limits.



Comm. College

  • Tax-Supported Community Colleges in Michigan

    You may return to work directly for a Michigan public school reporting unit in a publicly supported community college in Michigan and earn the greater of the following limits:

    • One-third of your final average compensation (FAC) without affecting your pension. For this purpose, the salary average is increased by 5%, compounded for each calendar year you’re retired, or
    • Up to the Social Security income limit for that specific year. If one-third of your FAC is lower than that year’s Social Security income limit, you may make up to the higher amount. The Social Security income limit for those under the full retirement age in 2021 is $18,960. (Visit the Social Security Administration’s website and search for the pamphlet How Work Affects Your Benefits for more information about the Social Security income limit. You can also download the Fact Sheet, 2021 Social Security Changes for a summary.)

    For every dollar you earn above the limit, you must return one dollar to the retirement system, up to your annual pension amount. If payment is not made, your pension will be suspended.

    Earnings limits are based on the gross amount paid in a calendar year (as reported on your W-2 or 1099-MISC). If you are paid in January for work performed in December, the payment would count toward the earnings limit in the new calendar year. You can track your reported earnings and compare against your earnings limit in miAccount.



University

  • Universities Participating in MPSERS

    You may return to work directly for a Michigan public school reporting unit in one of the seven universities in Michigan that participate in the Michigan Public School Employees’ Retirement System and earn the greater of the following limits:

    • One-third of your final average compensation (FAC) without affecting your pension. For this purpose, the salary average is increased by 5% (compounded for each calendar year you’re retired), or
    • Up to the Social Security income limit for that specific year. If one-third of your FAC is lower than that year’s Social Security income limit, you may make up to the higher amount. The Social Security income limit for those under the full retirement age in 2021 is $18,960. (Visit the Social Security Administration’s website and search for the pamphlet How Work Affects Your Benefits for more information about the Social Security income limit. You can also download the Fact Sheet, 2021 Social Security Changes for a summary.)

    For every dollar you earn above the limit, you must return one dollar to the retirement system, up to your annual pension amount. If payment is not made, your pension will be suspended.

    Earnings limits are based on the gross amount paid in a calendar year (as reported on your W-2 or 1099-MISC). If you are paid in January for work performed in December, the payment would count toward the earnings limit in the new calendar year. You can track your reported earnings and compare against your earnings limit in miAccount.

    No earnings limit would apply in this situation:
    If you were a former teacher or administrator and you are employed in a teaching or research capacity in a university that is considered to be a reporting unit. These include Central, Eastern, Northern, and Western Michigan universities, Ferris State and Lake Superior State universities, and Michigan Technological University.