If you want to work for a VRS-participating employer and continue to receive your retirement benefits, you must work in a non-covered position, and the hours must be 80% or less of the hours required of a full-time employee in the same or a comparable covered position. Employers, not VRS, classify positions as full time or part time and define the hours applicable to each classification, according to the following guidelines:

  • Full-time employment is typically considered to be 40 hours a week. Thirty-two hours is the usual minimum number for a full-time position.
  • Part-time employment is typically 80% or less of a comparable full-time position. Note that some permanent part-time state positions are paid on a salaried basis and are considered covered positions providing eligibility for benefits.
  • Some full-time positions may be considered non-covered if they are temporary and require 80% or less of the hours per year that would be considered full-time and permanent for that position.
  • If you work in more than one part-time position and continue to receive your retirement benefits, the total number of hours for all positions cannot exceed a part-time schedule.

If you return to non-covered employment with the employer from which you retired, you must have a bona fide break in service to continue receiving retirement benefits. The Commonwealth of Virginia, including all state agencies and public colleges and universities, is considered one employer. School divisions and political subdivisions are considered separate employers.


  • You have just started your retirement after 30 years with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). If James Madison University offers you a part-time position, you will be required to have a break in service to continue receiving your benefits. James Madison and VDOT are part of the same employer, the Commonwealth of Virginia. However, if the City of Harrisonburg offers you a part-time position, no break in service will be required. The city is a separate employer.

You and your employer must certify on the Application for Service Retirement (VRS-5) that there has been no verbal or written offer of reemployment after retirement.

Interim Appointments

In some cases, retirees can work in an interim position for up to six months without interruption in retirement benefits. Examples include working in a vacant position while the employer recruits for a full-time permanent employee or while the incumbent is on leave. If you are considering an interim appointment, your employer must discuss the appointment with VRS before hiring you in the position and provide proof that the employer is actively recruiting for the position. If you return to the employer from which you retired, you also must have a bona fide break in service.

 Alert: In-person counseling appointments are temporarily suspended. Please call 888-827-3847 for a phone or virtual counseling appointment.

Member Counseling

Meet with a counselor about:
Retirement options
Applying for retirement
Retiree benefits

Call VRS toll-free at 1-888-827-3847 for information.