Reprinted from PEBA Update, January 9, 2018


Understanding the Retiree Earnings Limitation

Learn how to tell if the retiree earnings limitation applies to you:


It's important to understand how the service retirement earnings limitation works and if it applies to you. This limitation applies to retired South Carolina Retirement System (SCRS) and Police Officers Retirement System (PORS) members who return to work for a covered employer, unless they meet an exception. For earnings limitation purposes, members participating in the Teacher and Employee Retention Incentive (TERI) program are subject to the normal rules for service retirees once their TERI period ends.


If you are subject to the earnings limitation, it does not prohibit you from accepting covered employment or receiving compensation from that employment. You can still receive your full compensation from any covered employment. However, the limitation affects your receipt of retirement benefits. Under the limitation, once you earn more than $10,000 in a calendar year from covered employment, your retirement benefit payment will be suspended for the remainder of the year and benefits will be reinstated in January of the next year.


Here's how to tell if the earnings limitation applies to you:


You retired before January 2, 2013
The earnings limitation does not apply to you if you retired before January 2, 2013, regardless of your age at retirement. If you participated in the TERI program, the date you entered the program is your date of retirement.
You retired on or after January 2, 2013
The earnings limitation applies to you if you return to work for a covered employer unless you met certain age requirements at retirement. SCRS members who were age 62 or older and PORS members age 57 or older at retirement are exempt from the earnings limitation. You must have been the required age or older on your date of retirement to meet this exception.
Critical needs exception for teachers
In addition to the general exceptions, under certain conditions, certified teachers may return to covered employment in critical academic need areas or critical geographic need areas without affecting their monthly benefit. There is an approval process through the Department of Education for this exception. See Page 20 of the SCRS Member Handbook for more information.
For more information about the service retirement earnings limitation, see Page 20 of the SCRS Member Handbook or Page 18 of the PORS Member Handbook. Keep in mind, there are other rules that might affect returning to work such as satisfying a 30-day break in service rule. Information is available in the respective