URS Attorney Explains Retiree Options

Utah Retirement System (URS) members who are eligible to retire have a number of options as they plan for their next phase of life, Dee Larsen, general counsel for URS told the Legislature’s Retirement and Independent Entities Interim Committee during its Nov. 10 meeting. Larsen said options include:

  1. Keep working past the eligible retirement date
  • Employee receives a larger retirement allowance from URS in the future.
  • Employee earns additional service credit.
  1. Retire and receive a monthly retirement allowance
  • Retirees cannot work for the same participating employer from which they retired.
  • Retirees can seek private-sector employment.
  1. Retire and return to work for a URS- participating employer before the required separation period
  • URS can suspend the monthly retirement allowance.
  • Retirees can earn additional service credit.
  • If the retiree retires again two or more years after the date of re-instatement to active membership, the retiree is eligible to earn a higher monthly allowance.
  1. Participate in phased retirement – beginning Jan. 1
  • Continue employment as a working retiree on a part-time basis with the same employer
  • The working retiree receives 50 percent of the monthly retirement allowance
  • The working retiree will receive 100 percent of the monthly retirement allowance after phased-retirement contract is terminated

“There are no proposals to amend the earnings cap for options one through four,” Larsen stated.

  1. Retire and return to work for a URS-participating employer following the required separation period
  • The retiree must not work for a URS-participating employer for at least one year after the retirement date
  • If the retiree chooses to return to work after one year, the retiree will receive a salary and monthly retirement allowance
  • The retiree may not earn additional service credit
  • The retiree may not receive any retirement-related contribution from a participating employer while receiving a retirement allowance

One proposal to amend the earnings cap for option five is to increase the earnings limit from $15,000 to $20,000. Currently, a retiree who has 60 days, but less than one year of separation cannot earn more than $15,000 or half of their final average salary. The proposal is to increase the calendar-year earnings for retirees who re-employ with a URS participating employer after 60 days, but less than one year of separation to $20,000 or half of the retiree’s final average salary. The $20,000 amount would be adjusted in the future by the annual change in the Consumer Price Index.

UPEA will continue to monitor any changes throughout the 2017 legislative session.



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