UI Benefits and Retirement Pensions/Benefits
Did you know that if you are a retired faculty member receiving a pension or benefits, and you return to work as adjunct faculty, you may still be eligible to apply for unemployment benefits during the period between the end of one term and the beginning of the next term? (All the same eligibility criteria that apply before retirement would apply after retirement.) Further, the Employment Development Department does not offset (reduce) unemployment benefits if the retiree contributed to his or her retirement benefit. Since all three of SRJC's retirement plan options (CalSTRS Defined Benefit Program, CalSTRS Cash Balance Program, and Fidelity Investments Plan) require employee contributions, faculty retirees who return as adjunct faculty will not see any reduction in their unemployment benefits by virtue of receiving a retirement pension or benefits.
Below is the applicable section from the California Unemployment Insurance Code, which says that unemployment benefits are not offset by pension benefits if you contributed to the pension. (See §1255.3(d)(1) in bold below.)
1255.3. (a) Except as provided by subdivisions (c) and (d), the amount of unemployment compensation benefits, extended duration benefits, and federal-state extended benefits payable to an individual for any week which begins after March 31, 1980, and which begins in a period with respect to which that individual is receiving a governmental or other pension, retirement or retired pay, annuity, or any other similar periodic payment which is based on the previous work of the individual shall be reduced, but not below zero, by an amount equal to the amount of the pension, retirement or retired pay, annuity, or other payment, which is reasonably attributable to that week.
(b) Subdivision (a) shall be operative only during such time as Section 3304 of the Federal Unemployment Tax Act requires that state unemployment insurance laws contain those provisions as a condition of certification of state unemployment insurance laws by the Secretary of Labor.
(c) Subdivision (a) shall apply to any pension, retirement or retired pay, annuity, or other similar periodic payment only if both of the following are met:
(1) The pension, retirement or retired pay, annuity, or similar payment is under a plan maintained (or contributed to) by a base period or chargeable employer.
(2) In the case of such a payment not made under the federal Social Security Act or the federal Railroad Retirement Act of 1974 (or the corresponding provisions of prior law), services performed for the employer by the individual after the beginning of the base period (or remuneration for such services) affect eligibility for, or increase the amount of, such pension, retirement or retired pay, annuity, or similar periodic payment.
(d) (1) Subdivision (a) shall not apply to any pension, retirement or retired pay, annuity or other similar periodic payment if the individual has made any contribution to the pension, retirement or retired pay, annuity, or other similar periodic payment.
(2) The amendments made to this subdivision during the 1986 portion of the 1985-86 Regular Session shall apply to new claims filed with an effective date beginning on or after January 1, 1987.
(e) The amendments made to subdivision (c) of this section during the 1985 portion of the 1985-86 Regular Session shall apply retroactively to all unemployment compensation benefits, extended duration benefits, and federal-state extended benefits, payable to an individual for any week which begins after November 1, 1980.