Extension of Post-Retirement Work Waiver Before Senate

Mass Retirees Seeks Extension Through Year-End 

June 9, 2021 – On Thursday the state Senate is poised to debate legislation aimed at addressing various public policies related to the COVID-19 pandemic that are set to expire next week when Governor Baker’s Public Health Emergency Order ends on June 15th. Of direct concern to our Association is the expiration of the post retirement work waiver that has been in place since March 2020.

The waiver was put in place to allow public retirees to return to the public workforce, to assist with the government’s pandemic response, without restrictions on hours worked or wages earned. Like many other provisions that have been in place for the past 14 months, the work waiver expires on June 15th.

Working with legislative leaders, Mass Retirees has proposed an extension of the waiver through the end of this year. State Senator Mike Brady (D-Brockton) has filed amendment #3 to S.2467, which extends the waiver through December 31, 2021. Brady is the Senate chairman of the Joint Committee on Public Service.

“While the State of Emergency has thankfully ended, the pandemic and the need for additional public services will continue for the foreseeable future. Many of the jobs that retirees have helped fill over the past fourteen months will still be needed after June 15th,” said Mass Retirees President Frank Valeri. “We have members now working at all levels of state and local government helping to provide essential public services that remain critical to the COVID-19 response. This does not magically change on June 15th.

“Extending the work waiver through the end of the year not only makes sense from a public service standpoint, but also for the retirees now working in these roles and their public employers. Abruptly ending the waiver in mid-June also creates an administration problem. Sunsetting the waiver at the end of the year gives everyone time to plan, as well as allows for a clean transition back to part-time employment for those retirees who will remain within the public workforce.”

Once the waiver expires, state retirement law will once again restrict public retirees who return to active public employment to working only 960 hours a year. Earnings are restricted to the difference between a retiree’s public pension benefit and the annual salary their former job currently pays, plus an additional $15,000.

Retirees who are currently subject to the waiver should contact their local State Senator and ask that they please support Amendment #3 to S.2467: Public Retiree Work Waiver Extension. To find your local Senator, click here.