Returning to Work

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If you return to IPERS-covered employment after you retire, it may affect your IPERS benefits.

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Before You Return to Work
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It’s a good idea to contact IPERS before you return to work. Our team can answer your questions and help you understand the potential implications of reentering the workforce. 

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Bona Fide Retirement

IPERS members who retire and receive benefits before age 70 must have a bona fide retirement before they may return to work.


  • You have submitted a retirement application and IPERS has approved it.
  • You have left employment with all IPERS-covered employers, including non-covered positions with covered employers. 
  • You are receiving benefits.
  • You have followed the time restrictions for providing services for an IPERS-covered employer (see chart below).

The qualification period begins with your first month of entitlement for retirement benefits as approved by IPERS. 

You cannot enter into reemployment or independent contracting agreements, either written or verbal, before you have received at least one benefit payment from IPERS. You cannot work as an independent contractor for, or in a non-IPERS-covered position with, an IPERS-covered employer before you have received at least one benefit payment from IPERS. You may accept temporary employment after your first month of entitlement in your previous position. However, reemployment in your previous position can’t be used as a means of evading the bona fide retirement rules.

If IPERS learns you were hired as a temporary employee during the bona fide retirement period, and then, for whatever reason, your employer treats you as a covered employee immediately following the bona fide retirement period, IPERS will perform an audit. If IPERS learns your employer did not make reasonable efforts to fill the vacancy you left when you retired with a new permanent employee, IPERS will revoke your benefits.


  • Working for a covered employer after age 70
    If you are older than age 70, you may receive IPERS benefits while working for an IPERS-covered employer. After you end employment with an IPERS-covered employer, contact IPERS and apply for a recomputation of benefits.
  • Licensed Teachers
    Bona Fide Retirement requirements may be different for retirees who return to work as licensed teachers. Visit our Licensed Teachers page to learn more.
  • Iowa National Guard members
    You can be called to state duty during the bona fide retirement period without any benefit penalty.
  • Part-time elected officials
    You may start receiving benefits while in office. When you intend to retire, please notify IPERS in writing of your intent to end all covered employment and end IPERS coverage for your elected position.

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