Wyoming Proposes Plan to Retain Boomer Workforce

June 20, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The Wyoming Retirement System Board is considering a plan to allow retired teachers and other state employees to return to work full-time while continuing to receive retirement benefits.

The Associated Press reports that current state policy allows retirees to come back to work once they have been terminated for 30 days. However, they are limited to working 20 days a month, or temporarily for up to six months while collecting retirement benefits. If there is an emergency, they can work up to 10 months.

The new proposal before the retirement board would allow employees who have been terminated for at least 30 days to return to work for an unlimited number of hours while also collecting retirement benefits, according to the AP. Employers would have to continue to contribute to the retirement system for any retired workers who return to the workplace.

The plan is intended to encourage workers from the Baby Boomer generation to continue working. Brian Foster, director of the Human Resources Division of the state’s Department of Administration and Information, said in the news report that around 30% of state workers will be eligible to retire in the next three to four years.

Tom Mann, director of the Wyoming Retirement System, said school districts are losing teachers in particular specialties and that state agencies “have lost expertise and want to hire the retirees temporarily until they can find someone to match the talents they need.”

The board plans to present the proposal to the state legislature next year.

A similar program in South Carolina recently lost a legal battle for requiring the rehired employees to contribute a percentage of pay toward the retirement system (See SC High Court Orders Return of Contributions to Reemployed Retirees).