Determine if the employee is a TRS retiree during the hiring process (i.e. inquire via the employment application or during the interview process; check resumés closely for past TRS employment).
According to § 47-3-101 of Georgia law, employers must certify to the TRS Board of Trustees that no agreement exists, prior to retirement, to allow a TRS covered employee to return to work in a TRS covered position once retired. This includes service as an independent contractor.
Prior to hiring a TRS retiree in either a full-time, part-time or temporary position, you must verify eligibility via the online verification application on the Employer Desktop. Contact TRS if you have ANY questions!
Before returning to work in any capacity in a TRS-covered position, TRS retirees must have a break-in-service of at least one month (if the retirement date is July 1, the employee can begin working no earlier than August 1).
You must go online and complete the verification application at the beginning of each fiscal year (July 1) or any time there is a change in their employment status.
Part-time Salaried Positions-retirees collecting a TRS benefit may work in a TRS covered position up to 49% of full-time status AND up to 49% of what the position normally pays. Full-Time Temporary Positions-A TRS retiree may work full-time for three (3) months or less in a fiscal year (temporary position) in a TRS-covered position.
A TRS retiree may be hired as an independent contractor by a TRS-covered employer in a position that is normally covered by TRS. You are required to submit a copy of the contract to TRS prior to hiring the person (you are not required to verify employment eligibility via the online application). An independent contractor's compensation is limited to the higher of: 1) one-half of the average salary used to calculate his or her retirement benefit OR; 2) one-half of the final salary at retirement.
If a TRS retiree returns to work in any capacity other than that which TRS deems as acceptable employment, he or she may work one-half time or greater in a TRS-covered position and either suspend or terminate his or her retirement benefit. A retiree may choose to terminate instead of suspend retirement if it is to the retiree's advantage to accrue additional service credit and salary in an effort to increase his or her benefit upon re-retirement.
Your system is ultimately responsible for any funds paid to a retired TRS member who is improperly employed and not in compliance with Georgia law and TRS policy.