For Immediate Release: August 17, 2020
Contact: Mark F. Cavanaugh, Esq., Associate Counsel and Compliance Officer, [email protected]; (603) 410-3592
CONCORD, NH – The New Hampshire Retirement System (NHRS, the retirement system) recently received an inquiry from a School Administrative Unit (SAU) regarding the membership eligibility of retired teachers who are willing to sign contracts to teach as long-term, full-time substitutes for the 2020-21 school year.
Specifically, the SAU asked whether the fact that retiree work hours performed during the Governor’s state of emergency do not count toward the annual limits on retiree work hours would allow a retiree to sign a contract to work full-time for the school year.
The retirement system’s position is that if a retiree signs a contract to work full-time, by definition, he or she is not working part-time; and, therefore, the working after retirement provisions are not applicable. Instead, the relevant analysis is whether the retiree meets the minimum participation standards under NHRS Administrative Rule Ret 302.05(b)(2).
For teachers, Ret 305.02(b) requires enrollment if a teacher works 30 hours per week “on a regularly scheduled basis or, if not regularly scheduled, for a cumulative minimum of 18 weeks during a school year.”
Pursuant to this rule, any person – whether or not he or she is a retiree – who signs a contract for a teacher position that requires at least 30 work hours per week, and it is for a period of time of greater than 18 weeks, should be enrolled as an active member as of the first day of employment. In addition, regardless of any contract, if an individual actually works at least 30 hours a week for 18 cumulative weeks in a school year, he or she should be enrolled prospectively beginning in the 19th week.
Impact of Restoration to Service on Retirees
If a retiree returns to work in an NHRS-covered position, his or her pension will stop pursuant to RSA 100-A:7. Upon subsequent retirement the pension will be recalculated.
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