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Nov. 21, 2013 Volume 35, No. 14

Federal regulations changes require UM System to amend process for rehiring retirees under age 62

Changes in IRS regulations have required MU to amend its Retirement Disability and Death Benefit Plan in order to continue the practice of rehiring retirees, Betsy Rodriguez of the University of Missouri System told Faculty Council Nov. 14.

There is no change to rehire those who are 62 or older, said Rodriguez, system vice president for human resources. But for retirees under age 62 at time of retirement who may be rehired, there is a new process:

• no intent to rehire prior to retirement

• 90-day break in employment

• a posting of the position and competitive selection

• employment limited to 70 percent or less of 40-hour full-time position.

Rodriguez also spoke of the federal Affordable Care Act’s potential impact on MU’s employment of graduate students. 

The IRS and Department of Labor are cut-and-dried when it comes to how the agencies view a graduate student worker receiving a paycheck from MU: The student is an employee. The federal government doesn’t differentiate between a graduate working for MU or working on his or her own research, Rodriguez said.

The federal health care law requires that the UM System track the hours of all part-time employees, which might include graduate students who work an average of 30 hours per week, which could make them eligible for medical benefits, Rodriguez said. 

The penalty to the UM System for not offering coverage to at least 95 percent of employees that average 30 hours per week is $2,000 per every benefit-eligible employee. Based on employee headcount, the penalty could hit $39 million for the system.

“We have to do the best we can to record hours” of part-time employees, said MU Budget Director Rhonda Gibler. 

The system will have one year to adjust to the Affordable Care Act’s regulations, after which breach of the law on benefit-eligible employees could incur the penalty. 

For more information on benefits, visit