As New Hampshire’s workforce is getting older, there is a trend of local government employees retiring, then returning to work part-time in similar positions.
Those part-time retirees do not continue to pay into the retirement system, and some policymakers believe that is unfair.
The practice of rehiring retirees part-time has been called “double-dipping,” since those retirees earn a pension and a regular paycheck at the same time. Meanwhile they no longer have to pay into the New Hampshire Retirement System (NHRS). Some policymakers feel this is a way of gaming the system, allowing retirees to milk the state for money without contributing to everyone else’s benefits.
Benefits of rehiring retirees
On the other hand, there is a shortage of qualified employees in New Hampshire, and recent retirees have the benefit of decades of experience and knowledge. They can offer exceptional service to their communities by agreeing to work part-time after retirement. It is unfair to say they are “double-dipping,” since they already paid into the pension fund for their entire careers.
A need for legislation?
The New Hampshire Senate is considering a bill that would change the law around “double-dipping.” HB 561, currently in committee, would require employers to contribute to the NHRS for some part-time employees. The bill also gives the NHRS more power to enforce the limit on the number of hours a part-time employee can work without contributing to the retirement system.
Last spring the House of Representatives rejected a bill that would have forbidden full-time public employees from returning to the same employer after retiring.
Have your say
Do you think retirees collecting a state pension should be allowed to work part-time for local government? Share your opinion in the comments below.