Few Retirees Seek Return To Work Under New Law

JULY 2005
- Last year, a new law (Section 105 of Chapter 32) was enacted that
allowed retirees, on a regular (not disability) pension, to resume
full-time public service and be reinstated as an active member of a
retirement system. They could then retire later with an enhanced
pension benefit.

In order to accomplish
this, a retiree would have to pay back, with interest, whatever pension
benefits they had been paid. According to the law, they also had to
work a minimum of 5 years; otherwise, their original pension would not
be recalculated.

"When we first
reported on Section 105, we forecast that few retirees would take
advantage because of the cost," comments Legislative Chairman Bill
Hill. "Our prediction appears to be holding true.

"After
reviewing state (retirement) board records, during the law's first year
of implementation, we found that only a handful of retirees - five in
number - have requested to be reinstated. And, when we called a
sampling of some of the larger boards, we discovered much the same.

"In
fact, some boards, including Boston, Essex Regional, as well as Norfolk
and Plymouth Counties, have had no one apply. It's a safe assumption
that the experience of these boards is indicative of limited or no
participation throughout the Commonwealth."

Those,
who have been reinstated, each have their own story that prompted them
to pursue it. "After I retired from Mental Retardation in '02, I found
that I missed my work. About a year later, I started working
part-time," recalls Christine Oliviera.

"And,
then all the pieces fell in place for me. When an excellent job
opportunity presented itself and the new law was passed, it became a
easy decision for me to be reinstated and resume my work." Oliveira
went on to say jokingly, "But, I guess this puts my Association
membership on hold, at least for the time being."

Tags: