Returning to Work


Post-Retirement Employment

After you retire, the law imposes certain restrictions on post-retirement employment with the County or a participating district. Both you and your employer are responsible for ensuring your employment complies with the law. 


Pursuant to CalPEPRA section 7522.56 and IRC section 401(a), retirees are required to have a separation from service (“sit-out period”) between retiring and returning to work for a VCERA-participating employer. The number of days of separation depend on your age and membership type:

Membership Type at Retirement Position Returning To Required Days of Separation
General Any position 180 days
Safety General position 180 days
Safety Safety position

60 days if under age 50.
No waiting period if age 50+.



The days of separation above do not apply if:

  • The employer considers your appointment necessary to fill a critically needed position; and
  • Your appointment is approved by the employer’s governing body at a public meeting; and
  • If you are under Normal Retirement Age (age 50 for Safety members, age 62 for General members):

- You must have been separated from service for at least 60 days, or

- Your appointment is made under conditions considered an “emergency,” as defined in Government Code section 8558.

Extra-Help and Contract Employment

If the conditions above are met, you can work in the following capacities without affecting your monthly VCERA benefit:

  • Service as a juror, election officer, Board of Retirement member, or temporary judge assigned by the Chairman of the Judicial Council; or
  • Employment in a position requiring special skills or knowledge for a period of time not to exceed the greater of 120 days or 960 hours in a fiscal year.

Reinstatement to Active Membership

Alternatively, you can return to work as a regular employee of the County or a participating district. If so, please be aware of the following:

  • You must still comply with the “separation from service” time frames listed above.
  • You must petition the Board of Retirement to be reinstated as an active member in VCERA before beginning your new job. If approved, your monthly VCERA benefit will be suspended until you have been separated from service for the number of days indicated above or until you reach Normal Retirement Age.
  • As a new active member, you will accrue service credit in your most recent benefit tier or the applicable tier in effect on December 31, 2012.
  • When you retire again, VCERA will calculate a new monthly benefit based on your new period of service, combine it with your previously earned benefit (adjusted by any COLAs, if applicable), and pay you a single benefit going forward.

The laws governing post-retirement employment are complex. Please contact VCERA before committing to work for a County or district employer as a retiree. Click here to view a flowchart of the options listed above.