Executive Order FAQs
On March 4, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom declared a statewide state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-25-20 on March 12, 2020, which temporarily waived the break in service and work hour limitations for retired annuitants of CalPERS. On March 21, 2020, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-35-20, which applied the retired annuitant provisions of N-25-20 to all local government employers.
The following frequently asked questions are intended to help you understand the impact of Executive Order N-35-20 on Marin County Employees’ Retirement Association (MCERA) retirees employed as retired annuitants with all MCERA employers.
What steps must be taken for a retiree to return to work to assist during the emergency?
What if I am returning to work in a regular part-time capacity, unrelated to the emergency?
Your employer must affirm that your employment is essential to maintain adequate staffing and services during the emergency by completing MCERA’s Emergency Return to Work form, and the form must be signed by your agency’s executive officer or their designee. Your employer must also notify the California Department of Human Resources that you are returning to work in an emergency capacity.
Can I keep working past 960 hours this fiscal year?
You and your employer must follow the standard retiree return to work process.
Will my regular hours as a retired annuitant be tracked separately from my emergency hours?
Not automatically. If you have already worked this fiscal year, your hours in that role are still limited to 960. However, if your employer determines that you must continue working beyond 960 hours to maintain essential staffing for the duration of the emergency, and follows the process put in place by MCERA and the State of California, you will be able to continue working without an impact to your retirement benefit.
I just retired. Do I have to wait to return to work?
Yes. If you start work in an emergency capacity, those hours will be tracked separately and will not count toward your 960-hour limit.
Does my age at retirement matter when returning to work?
If you are returning to assist during the emergency, and your employer follows the process put in place by MCERA and the State of California, there is no minimum break in service. You must still meet the standard break in service requirements if you are returning to work in a non-emergency capacity.
I am retiring soon. Can I make plans to immediately return to work to assist during the emergency?
If you return to work to assist during the emergency, and your employer follows the process put in place by MCERA and the State of California, no. However, if you return to work in a non-emergency capacity, the normal rules still apply. Members who retire younger than Normal Retirement Age (50 for Safety members, 59 for General members) must still have a minimum 90-day break in service before returning to work in a non-emergency capacity.
When is this effective?
No. You must have a bona fide separation from employment when you retire, which means you may not have any prearrangement in place to return to work following your retirement, even in an emergency and MCERA has received a copy of your official termination documentation.
How long will this be effective?
The waivers on break in service and maximum hours for emergency work are effective March 21, 2020, the date Executive Order N-35-20 was issued.
What happens when the state of emergency is lifted?
The waivers on break in service and maximum hours for emergency work will continue either until the state of emergency is lifted, or until further notice.
Who should I contact if I have questions?
If you were already working prior to the emergency, your work hours will continue from where you left off. If you were not already working and returned to work only to serve in the emergency capacity, you must stop working once the emergency is lifted and you must follow the standard retiree return to work process to continue working as a retired annuitant.
If you have any questions, please call MCERA’s Retiree Benefits Team at (415) 473-4149 or send an email to MCERARetirees@marincounty.org.