The question of whether outside employment will impact your retirement benefits under the Public School Employees’ Retirement Code (“Retirement Code”) is one to consider carefully when reporting retirement contributions to the Public School Employees’ Retirement System (“PSERS”). Typically, teachers, administrators and other personnel employed in the Pennsylvania Public School System are eligible for membership in PSERS, and thereby entitled to receive benefits. Membership in PSERS is limited by the Retirement Code to “school employees” which is defined as “[a]ny person engaged in work relating to a public school for any governmental entity and for which work he is receiving regular remuneration as an officer, administrator or employee excluding, however, any independent contractor or a person compensated on a fee basis.”
There are also requirements as to the minimum number of hours a school employee must work to maintain his or her membership in PSERS. By contrast however, there is no law or regulation that limits the number of outside full time jobs or overall work or hours as a consultant or employee that can be held by anyone paying into PSERS. Thus, one would think that reporting the number of hours worked as a “school employee” would be sufficient to protect and secure the retirement benefits earned as a member of PSERS. Members should be aware, however, that PSERS may require additional information to support reported contributions if PSERS receives information that a member has earned income outside of the member’s employment in the Public School System. Members should maintain all appropriate records of outside employment as well as employment in PSERS in the event that supplemental information is required to prevent revocation or adjustment of retirement benefits.
For more information about how this issue may impact you, please contact our office.