Returning to Work After Retirement

University Policy for Returning to Work

Retirees may return to work without affecting their university retirement status. The university requires a 60-day waiting period before a retiree can accept another appointment at OU. 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. Review the next two tabs to learn more.

Insurance Benefits:
If you return to work at OU, you have the option to stay enrolled in your retiree insurance plans or enroll in the active employee plans. Discuss your options with your retirement coordinator to find out how this would impact your benefits. This election by the retiree is irrevocable and must be made in writing prior to commencement of reemployment with the university. To make your election, complete the Retiree Benefit Election Form and turn it in to HR. 

Retirees who gain employment outside of the University of Oklahoma and become eligible for other coverage will have the option to remain in the OU medical insurance plan or to opt out while preserving the option to return in the future. To opt out, complete the Opt Out Form with HR. Learn more about opting out of medical insurance on the Insurance Benefits in Retirement page.

Social Security Limitations

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.

Oklahoma Teachers' Retirement System (OTRS) Limitations

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 at (405) 521-2387 before starting back to work.