Changes to post-retirement return to work rules signed into law

Gov. Whitmer has signed a bill making important changes to the post-retirement employment window and earnings limits for school retirees who choose to return to work.

House Bill 4752 (now Public Act 147 of 2023), introduced by Rep. Matt Koleszar (D-Plymouth), shortens the waiting period for a retiree with a bona fide retirement to work at a school from nine months to six months.  It also allows them to work during the waiting period, so long as they earn less than $15,100 in a calendar year. Once six months have passed since member’s retirement date, retirees are no longer be subject to the calendar year earnings cap.

The bill was granted immediate effect, so these new rules are effective immediately. MEA supported the legislation, but it’s worth noting that retirees returning to work is a temporary and limited solution to the educator shortage – continued efforts to recruit and retain educators are still essential, especially improvements in pay and respect for the profession.

Read more about the changes in this story from Bridge Michigan.

Restoring quality retirement benefits for all school employees is a major legislative priority for MEA, with a good first step awaiting a vote on the House floor. HB 5021 (also sponsored by Koleszar, a former teacher and MEA member), will change the 75-day default retirement option from the defined contribution plan to Pension Plus 2. If there’s going to be a default, it should be to the plan that encourages retention in the education profession and provides more benefit to educators.

Contact your legislators today and urge them to take action on HB 5021 and other legislation to improve school employee retirement.

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MEA member Melissa Lambert, a librarian at Allen Park High School, with MEA Vice President Brett Smith (center) and Allen Park Education President Joel Burkey.

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