Return to Work at OU

Based on the needs of the university, retirees may be appointed without affecting their university retired status. The university requires a 60-day waiting period before a retiree can accept another university appointment. However, these individuals should familiarize themselves with the earnings limitations of both the Social Security Administration and the Oklahoma Teachers’ Retirement System (OTRS), which could adversely impact monetary benefits payable from these authorities.

Those who elect to return to university employment will be provided one of two options:

  1. Be eligible for those benefits that are provided to other similarly or classified employees of the university and such benefits will be determined in accordance with the terms of the applicable benefits plans, programs, and arrangements;
  2. Enjoy only those benefits which accrue from university retirement to include the following:
  • Any supplement awarded
  • Paid health and dental insurance
  • Any other benefits set forth in the University of Oklahoma Retirement Plan

This election by the retiree is irrevocable and must be made in writing prior to commencement of reemployment with the university. Use the election form linked below.

Your salary earned in the fiscal year should not exceed the Social Security limits. The Social Security limits are administered differently during the first year an individual is entitled to draw Social Security benefits. If your employment earnings exceed the limits in the first year of your retirement, which Social Security calls the “year of entitlement,” you must meet a monthly earnings limit for the remainder of the year. For additional information regarding your annual Social Security earnings limits, please visit www.ssa.gov.

Your Social Security benefits will be reduced by $1 for every $3 you earn over the limit if you are under 65 years old.

If you are receiving OTRS retirement benefits, you may not return to work in Oklahoma public education during the first 60 days after your retirement. For OTRS purposes, your effective date of retirement is the day following your last day at work.

OTRS has certain limitations if you work in public education in Oklahoma. Please note that the OTRS provisions do not apply if you return to work in a field other than Oklahoma public education; however, the Social Security limits apply if you are receiving Social Security benefits.

If you have questions, call OTRS before starting back to work.

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