Post-Retirement Employment

Effective: August 20, 2013
Reviewed/Updated: January 25, 2023
Contacts: Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost, University Human Resources (UHR)


This policy provides guidance on re-employment of employees who have retired from ISU. The guidance provided in this policy applies to faculty, staff, and Merit positions at ISU.

Policy Statement

Iowa State University does not restrict employment of persons retiring from employers other than ISU, except that former employees of other state of Iowa departments, agencies and institutions who retire under an incentive may be restricted from re-employment based upon law or the incentive program.

All employees seeking re-employment shall undergo a background investigation consistent with the Employment References and Background Check policy. The re-employment of a retired member of the tenured faculty does not reinstate the faculty member’s tenure status.

Iowa State University retirees may be re-employed under the following circumstances:

  1. Open Recruitment. A retired employee may be hired upon application for a position offered through open recruitment.
  2. Casual Hourly Employment. A retired employee may be re-employed for temporary or intermittent service as a casual hourly employee (XH Base). Casual hourly employment is not available for teaching appointments. Expectations for casual hourly service are:
  • Merit: An individual employee may work no more than 780 hours per fiscal year for ISU (work for multiple employing departments counts toward the total).
  • Seasonal: Seasonal employees will do work that is seasonal in nature that occurs between April 15 and October 15.
  • Professional and Scientific: Requests for P&S XH will be considered if: (1) the nature of the work is intermittent/sporadic or (2) the work is extremely short term, not to exceed the equivalent of 60 full time days.
  1. Contract Term Employment. An offer of re-employment not meeting the above conditions may occur on a term basis with the following conditions:
  • Best interests of University: Such employment must be in the best interests of the university, not as an entitlement or benefit to the employee.
  • No agreement for re-employment at retirement: At the time of retirement, there can be no agreement for re-employment unless the re-employment is for less than 1/3 of the employee’s prior service over the past three years.
  • Break in service: A minimum of 30-days break in service must occur between retirement and re-employment.
  • Term limitations: Appointments of 1/3 time or greater will be on a maximum of one year at a time. The appointment is renewable. Appointments of less than 1/3 may be made for up to three years.
  • Salary review: University Human Resources must determine that the salary is appropriate to the duties to be performed.
  • Benefits: Benefits will be provided based upon the law and ISU benefit plan eligibility criteria.
  • Employment contract: The appointment will be documented with an approved employment contract.
  • Approval: The appointment must be approved by the appropriate senior vice president; however, in the case of an employee retiring under an incentive program, the vice president for University Human Resources shall also approve the appointment to determine whether it is consistent with state law regarding benefits and incentive programs.