Quick Guide to the Rehired Annuitant Program for UW System Employees
Employees who retire from UW System and begin receiving a Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) annuity, have the opportunity to return to work with UW System or another public employer covered by the WRS as a "rehired annuitant."
In order to be considered a rehired annuitant, you must meet all of the following requirements:
- Currently receiving an annuity from the WRS
- Had at least a 30 day break in employment after retiring
- Now work for the UW or another WRS-covered employer
An annuitant can return to work at the UW or any WRS-covered employer after a minimum 30 day break in employment. The minimum break in employment begins on the employee's termination date and ends on the latest of the following:
- The day after the WRS annuity effective date
- The 31st day after the termination date
- The 31st day after ETF receives the employee's retirement annuity application
An employee can NOT have an enforceable verbal or written agreement or contract as of the employee's termination date for any future WRS compensable employment. An employee can discuss the possibility of returning to work after retirement with the employer before the employee's termination date, but there can not be an enforceable contract that guarantees future employment until after the employee's termination date. The employee and employer are allowed to discuss and sign a contract during the employee's 30-day break in employment but the employee can NOT return to employment until the required 30-day break in employment is completed.
No. Annuitants are eligible to compete for any position, but the employer is not obligated to hire an annuitant.
If a rehired annuitant works in a position that is eligible for WRS coverage, the rehired annuitant has two choices: continue receiving WRS annuity payments or stop the WRS annuity and re-enroll in the WRS.
If the rehired annuitant chooses to continue receiving WRS annuity payments, the rehired annuitant is not eligible for most employer-sponsored benefits and the employee's earnings are not covered under the WRS. Any benefits that the rehired annuitant continued at retirement would continue as they would for any regular annuitant. Rehired annuitants not covered by the WRS are only eligible to participate in salary reduction plans such as the Tax-Sheltered Annuity Program, Wisconsin Deferred Compensation, Long-Term Care Insurance, Employee Reimbursement Account program and qualified transportation/commuter benefit programs.
If a rehired annuitant works in a position eligible for WRS coverage, the annuitant has the option to stop the annuity at any time and elect coverage under the WRS. From the date the employee is again covered under the WRS, the employee is eligible to enroll in all benefit plans available to active employees and the employee's earnings will be covered by the WRS. WRS coverage will be effective on the first of the month following ETF's receipt of a Rehired Annuitant Election (ET-2319) and the employee has 30 days from the WRS coverage effective date to enroll in any desired benefits.
If a rehired annuitant is working in a WRS eligible position, both the employee and employer must complete a Rehired Annuitant Election (ET-2319) form and return it to the Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) within one week of hire. Even if the employee opts to not elect WRS coverage, the form must be completed.
It depends. If a rehired annuitant is working in a position that is WRS eligible, regardless of whether or not the rehired annuitant opts to re-enroll in the WRS, the employee is eligible for paid leave benefits consistent with the position.
If a rehired annuitant opts to re-enroll in the WRS, any sick leave balance at re-retirement will be converted to sick leave credits to pay for retiree health insurance. The new sick leave credits will be added to the remaining sick leave credits from the first retirement. If a rehired annuitant does not re-enroll in the WRS before termination, the rehired annuitant's sick leave balance at termination will NOT be converted to sick leave credits to pay for health insurance premiums in retirement.
A detailed rehired annuitant question and answer guide and additional information about the requirements of a valid termination are available on the UW System website. You can also contact your institution's employee benefits office with questions.