Bona Fide Retirement

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Many IPERS retirees go back to work with an IPERS-covered employer after retiring – and continue to receive IPERS retirement benefits. Iowa law governs the circumstances under which this is allowed.


While it is the employee’s responsibility to comply with the law, it is important for employers to know the regulations associated with a retiree’s return to work. Employers that knowingly reemploy a retiree in violation of the bona fide retirement law may be criminally prosecuted for engaging in a fraudulent practice.

Requirements

A retiree under age 70 must have a bona fide retirement before returning to IPERS-covered employment. The bona fide retirement period goes from the beginning of the month a retiree receives the first retirement check (known as the “first month of entitlement”) to the end of the month the retiree receives the fourth retirement check.

Bona Fide Retirement example
 

Exceptions

  • Working for a covered employer after age 70
    If a retiree is older than age 70, they may receive IPERS benefits while working for an IPERS-covered employer. After they end employment with an IPERS-covered employer, the retiree should contact IPERS and apply for a recomputation of benefits.
  • Reaching age 72
    If a retiree is no longer working for an IPERS-covered employer, they must begin receiving IPERS benefits by April 1 the year after they turn age 72.
  • Iowa National Guard members
    Retirees may be called to state duty during the Bona Fide Retirement period without any benefit penalty.
  • Part-time elected officials
    Retirees may start receiving benefits while in office. When they intend to retire, part-time elected officials should notify IPERS in writing of their intent to end all covered employment and end IPERS coverage for their elected position.