Changes to the exemption of RSMo §169.331. Retired Certificated Teachers who return to work may teach full time without loss of benefits — Provisions become law effective August 28, 2023

On July 6, 2023, Governor Mike Parson signed Senate Bill 75 (HCS/SS/SB 75) and Senate Bill 20 (CCS/SB 20) that modified the Critical Shortage Employment provision to expand the allowed lifetime limit on time worked from two years (24 months) to four years (48 months) and increase the potential number of Critical Shortage positions available for KCPSRS retired certificated teachers from fifteen (15) retired certificated teachers to thirty (30) at any one time.

Normally, a retired member’s pension is suspended immediately if the retiree returns to work full time for the school district. RSMo Section 169.331 provides a very limited exception to that rule. It allows retired certificated teachers to teach full time for up to four years without having their pension payments suspended if the school district has determined a shortage of certificated teachers and other specific requirements are satisfied.

In order to hire retired certificated teachers pursuant to the provisions of this section, the school district shall:

1.  Show good faith effort to fill positions with non-retired certificated teachers

2.  Post the vacancy for at least one month

3.  Have not offered early retirement incentives for either of the previous two years

4. Solicit applications through the local newspaper, other media, or teacher education programs

5. Determine there is an insufficient number of eligible applicants for the advertised position

6. Declare a critical shortage of certified teachers who are active for one year

Any person hired pursuant to this section of the statutes shall be included in the State Directory of New Hires for purposes of income and eligibility verification pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Section 1320b-7.

The employer’s contribution rate shall be paid by the hiring school district and the employee’s rate shall be paid by the employee during such employment period. These contributions remain in the retirement system trust fund and are not refundable.

Any additional actuarial costs resulting from the hiring of a retired certificated teacher pursuant to RSMo Section 169.331 shall be paid by the hiring school district.

A retired certificated teacher who continues to receive monthly pension benefits while working under this section remains a retired member of KCPSRS as long as pension payments continue. If a retired certificated teacher continues working beyond the four years permitted under RSMo Section 169.331, pension benefits are suspended. At that point, the certificated teacher can again become an active member and earn additional creditable service. When the certificated teacher retires a second time, any additional creditable service earned after pension benefit payments were suspended will be counted in calculating the retiree’s new pension amount.