House Unanimously Approves Increase in Post-Retirement Work

House Unanimously Approves Increase in Post-Retirement Work

Budget Section Boosts Hours to 1,200 Annually

April 28, 2021: Today, the Massachusetts House of Representatives approved a Mass Retirees-backed amendment to the FY22 State Budget that would increase the hours for post-retirement public sector work by 240 hours annually.

The unanimous vote of 160-0 increases the current 960 hours to 1,200 a year. It would change the weekly average from approximately 18.5 hours to 23 hours. Earnings restrictions for post-retirement public sector work remain at the current level, which was set in 2014. Current law caps earnings at the difference between a retiree’s public pension and the current salary of their former position – plus an additional $15,000.

As was the case with our successful effort to increase the earnings limit in 2014, Mass Retirees had the active support of the Mass Police Association to increase the hourly limit.

Amendment 678, filed by State Representative Mark Cusack (D-Braintree) and cosponsored by House Republican Leader Brad Jones (R-North Reading), had the bipartisan support of more than 60 additional House cosponsors. Cusack, House Chairman of the Joint Committee on Revenue, has led the charge to increase the hourly restriction for the past several years.

Wednesday’s vote marks the second time the House has approved the increase. In 2018, both the House and Senate approved the increase within the FY19 Budget only to have the measure voted by Governor Charlie Baker after the legislature ended formal business for that legislative session.

“We cannot thank Representatives Cusack, Jones and the dozens of supporters of this amendment for their help in getting this provision approved. I also want to thank Speaker Mariano and House Ways and Means Chairman Aaron Michlewitz for their support,” said Association President Frank Valeri. “This proposal was developed at the request of our membership, who are increasingly choosing to stay engaged through part-time work. We continue to hear from members who find the 960-hour limit too low, at times inhibiting their ability to work. While still very much part-time work, 1,200 hours allows for more flexibility to fill shifts and provide meaningful help.

“A lot has changed in the three years since this proposal was last passed and sent to the Governor. The pandemic has reinforced the need and value of having retired public employees return to public employment. Our members have a great deal of expertise, institutional knowledge and unique skills that are a great value to public service. Since March of 2020, countless retirees have reentered the public workforce to help with the emergency response to COVID-19.”

Members should be aware that the waiver of restrictions on post-retirement work remains in effect as long as the COVID-19 Emergency Orders are in place. The waiver lifts both the hourly and wage restrictions under Chapter 32 (retirement law) for the duration of the emergency orders filed by Governor Baker.

The FY22 Budget will go before the State Senate in May, where Mass Retirees will advocate for the inclusion of the increase to 1,200 hours. If successful, the measure will be included within the final FY22 Budget sent to Governor Baker for his approval.

In addition to lead sponsor State Representative Mark Cusack, the following legislators cosponsored Amendment #678:

Additional co-sponsor(s) added to Amendment #678 to H4000 Post-Retirement Earnings of Public Retirees


Bradley H. Jones, Jr.

Steven Ultrino

Jeffrey Rosario Turco

Jeffrey N. Roy

Susan Williams Gifford

Michael J. Soter

Steven S. Howitt

Carole A. Fiola

Hannah Kane

David Paul Linsky

Danielle W. Gregoire

Joseph W. McGonagle, Jr.

Paul W. Mark

James Arciero

Thomas A. Golden, Jr.

Antonio F. D. Cabral

Peter Capano

Timothy R. Whelan

Jack Patrick Lewis

Adam J. Scanlon

Angelo J. Puppolo, Jr.

Rady Mom

Tricia Farley-Bouvier

Tram T. Nguyen

William J. Driscoll, Jr.

Adrian C. Madaro

Richard M. Haggerty

Thomas P. Walsh

Jessica Ann Giannino

John Barrett, III

Gerard J. Cassidy

Jay D. Livingstone

John J. Lawn, Jr.

Edward F. Coppinger

Daniel J. Hunt

John H. Rogers

Paul F. Tucker

Daniel M. Donahue

Daniel J. Ryan

James M. Murphy

Michael J. Finn

James J. O'Day

Thomas M. Stanley

Smitty Pignatelli

Brian W. Murray

Kevin G. Honan

Rob Consalvo

Tackey Chan

Kay Khan

William C. Galvin

Carol A. Doherty

Colleen M. Garry

Meghan Kilcoyne

Tami L. Gouveia

Daniel Cahill

David T. Vieira

Edward R. Philips

Michael S. Day

Marjorie C. Decker

Nika C. Elugardo

Natalie M. Higgins

David Allen Robertson