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How Does It Affect Me?
 
NOTE: The return-to-work (RTW) law was changed in the 2017 legislative session to add school nurses and school psychologists to the retired teacher criteria. A 36-month waiting period was also established for certain retired teachers. For more information, please see Act 15 and Act 120.

Retired teacher or retired member?
TRSL retirees who return to work in positions eligible for TRSL membership are categorized as either retired teachers or retired members. Payment of retirement contributions and receipt of retirement benefits are determined by the category to which the return-to-work retiree belongs.

If you meet any of the criteria below (as outlined in state law), you are considered a retired teacher. TRSL encourages you to contact your potential employer's personnel office to find out which retired teacher criteria they may use to re-employ you.

Re-employment eligible retiree:

  • Retired on or before June 30, 2010.
  • Retiree with an advanced degree in speech therapy, speech pathology, or audiology.
Re-employment eligible position (subject to a 25% earnings limit):
  • Returning to work as a substitute, PreK-12 “classroom teacher” or proctor for admissions, evaluation, or assessment testing.
  • Returning to work instructing adults in an adult education or literacy program administered through a public institution of elementary and secondary education. Retiree must hold a valid Louisiana teaching certificate.
  • Returning to work as an adjunct professor, as defined in return to work law.
  • Returning to work as a school nurse, as defined in R.S. 17:28.
Re-employment eligible critical shortage position
  • Returning to work (full- or part-time) as a K-12 “classroom teacher” in a declared critical shortage area. For full-time positions, retiree must be certified in the subject area of the critical shortage. For part-time positions, retiree must be a certified teacher.
  • Returning to work as a full-time certified speech therapist, speech pathologist, audiologist, educational diagnostician, school social worker, school counselor, or school psychologist in a school district where a shortage exists. The position of employment must require a valid Louisiana ancillary certificate approved and issued by the Louisiana Department of Education.
If you do not meet any of the criteria above, you are considered a retired member.

NOTE: A "classroom teacher" is any employee (1) whose position of employment requires a valid Louisiana teaching certification, and (2) who is assigned the professional activities of instructing pupils in courses in classroom situations which daily pupil attendance figures for the school system are kept; or is assigned to proctor admissions, evaluation, or assessment testing.

Retired Teachers

These retirees are re-employed under one of the retired teacher criteria listed above. 

Payment of TRSL benefits: Retired teachers who are re-employed in a position eligible for TRSL membership can receive their TRSL retirement benefits after fulfilling a 12- or 36-month waiting period. Refer to the chart below for information on the applicable waiting period.

Required waiting period
 12 months
 
  
Individuals who retired before July 1, 2017.
Individuals who retired on or after July 1, 2017 and have advanced degrees in speech therapy, speech pathology, and audiology.
Individuals who retired on or after July 1, 2017 and whose retirement benefit was not actuarially reduced or was not calculated at an accrual rate of less than 2.5%.
  36 months Individuals who retired on or after July 1, 2017 and whose retirement benefit was actuarially reduced or was calculated at an accrual rate of less than 2.5%.

Re-employment within the applicable waiting period will result in the suspension of TRSL benefits until completion of the waiting period or the end of re-employment, whichever occurs first.

Payment of contributions: Employee and employer contributions are required on compensation received as a re-employed retired teacher, even if such service is by contract or corporate contract. Upon terminating re-employment, retirees can apply for a refund of employee contributions that they made.

Earnings limitations: Some retired teachers are subject to earnings limits upon re-employment. 

  • Applies to PreK-12 substitute "classroom teachers," adult education and literacy teachers, adjunct professors, and school nurses.
  • Restricts any earnings from such a position in a fiscal year to no more than 25% of the retiree’s annual retirement benefit.
  • If earnings exceed 25% of the retirement benefit, the retiree’s benefit will be reduced by the excess amount.
  • If a retiree returns to active service in more than one position that is subject to the 25% earnings limit in any fiscal year, the limit applies to the total earnings for all such positions in that fiscal year.

Critical shortage: A critical shortage must exist for certain retirees to be classified as a retired teacher. 

  • Applies to full- or part-time classroom teachers and full-time certified speech therapists, speech pathologists, audiologists, educational diagnosticians, school social workers, school counselors, or school psychologists.
  • Requires that an employing district complete certain advertisement requirements before declaring a critical shortage and certify the critical shortage to TRSL and BESE.
  • Qualified retiree can be hired as a retired teacher under the critical shortage RTW provision, if fewer than three qualified applicants apply.

Retired Members

Re-employed retirees who do not meet the definition of a retired teacher as described above are categorized as retired members. This includes, but is not limited to, retirees returning to work as teachers in non-critical shortage areas, administrators, and secretaries.

Payment of TRSL benefits: Retired members
 will have their TRSL benefits suspended for the duration of their re-employment. Suspension of benefits includes retired members who are re-employed by contract or corporate contract.

Payment of contributions: Employee and employer contributions are not required during re-employment.