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Returning to Work

To be eligible for benefits, you must terminate employment or terminate membership. “Termination of employment” means a severance of employment by not being on the payroll of a covered employer for a minimum of one month (31 days). This period is determined by counting 31 days from your final regular payroll payment to the date you begin actual employment (first day of work) with a new NDPERS participating employer.

Approved leave of absence does not constitute termination of employment. 

“Termination of participation” means termination of eligibility to participate in the retirement plan.

  • If you become re-employed with a participating employer before 31 days have passed, no refund/direct rollover will be issued.
  • If you are transferring to another job where you will be covered by one of the other state sponsored retirement plans, see dual membership provisions. You are not eligible to apply for a refund/rollover distribution. 

  1. If you return to permanent employment with a NDPERS participating employer, your hours of employment must be restricted if you wish to continue receiving your pension payment.  "If you are employed 20 or more weeks per year, your employment must be limited to less than 20 hours per week.” You may work more than 20 hours per week if employed less than 20 weeks per year.

    If you are employed for 20 or more hours a week for 20 or more weeks per year then your retirement benefit will be suspended.  You are not eligible to receive a retirement benefit payment while permanently employed with a NDPERS participating employer. Upon termination of employment, you may resume retirement benefits.  Your previous retirement account will be combined with your current service.
     
  2. Under NDCC 54-52-05 (1), if you are eligible for normal retirement (meet “Rule” or age 65), accept a retirement benefit, and become reemployed with a NDPERS participating employer other than the employer with which you were employed at the time you retired, you may, before reenrolling in the retirement plan, elect to permanently waive future participation in the Defined Benefit retirement plan and the Retiree Health Insurance Credit program.

    If you make this election, you are not required to make any future employee contributions to NDPERS nor is your employer required to make any further contributions on your behalf. Eligibility for this provision is based on your previous and current employer as follows:
Past Employer Current Employer
State Political Subdivision
Political Subdivision State
Political Subdivision Political Subdivision

North Dakota state agencies are considered one employer group and any member retiring with one state agency and becoming reemployed with another state agency would not be eligible for this return to work provision.

If you return to work in a permanent full-time position and are eligible to participate in NDPERS, your disability benefits must be suspended. You are not eligible to receive a disability retirement benefit while permanently employed with a NDPERS participating employer.  If you are not able to continue employment for a consecutive period of time resulting in nine (9) months of service credit as a result of the disability and continue to meet the eligibility requirements under the plan, you may resume disability.

If you return to substantial gainful activity in employment not covered under NDPERS, your disability benefit may continue for up to nine (9) consecutive months. If you are not able to continue employment for at least nine (9) months as a result of the disability and continue to meet the eligibility requirements under the plan, you may continue disability status.