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Important Changes to the Critical Shortage and 140-day Designations for Working Retirees

SB 24-099 and HB 24-1044 were signed into law by Governor Polis in April 2024. Both bills made changes to working retiree designations (for retirees permitted to exceed the 110-day/720-hour limit).  There are some important items you need to know about each, as explained next. 

SB 24-099

SB 24-099 added superintendents and principals as qualified positions eligible under a declared critical shortage in rural school districts (C.R.S. §24-51-1101(1.9)).  These two positions add to the existing list of teachers, school bus drivers, school food services cooks, school nurses and paraprofessionals. 

SB 24-099 also changes the designation deadline from March 31 to September 1 for all critical shortage designations effective immediately. 

The other requirements of C.R.S. § 24-51-1101(1.9) stayed the same. Specifically, designation of a critical shortage retiree is limited to six consecutive years.  In addition, if the retiree retired under a reduced service retirement, they are ineligible to return under a critical shortage designation with their most recent employer for the first two years. And finally, retirees are eligible to participate in the employer’s health plan and may not receive a PERA health care premium subsidy for the years designated.

HB 24-1044

HB 24-1044 changed 140-days/916-hours designation. For all employers who may designate retirees to work 140 days/916 hours, the designation deadline for all designations changes from March 31 to September 1 effective immediately.

For the School and DPS Divisions only--employers can now have more than 10 total 140-day designees if the student enrollment for the district is greater than 10,000 as of the “Pupil Enrollment Count Day,” usually in October of each year.  For each 1,000 students enrolled above the 10,000, an additional service retiree may be hired as a 140-day designee.  For example, if the student count of ABC District is 25,500, then ABC District may designate up to 25 retirees.  (The original 10 designations plus 15 additional designations for the 15,500 extra students ABC District has above 10,000.)

In addition to this change, all School and DPS 140-day retirees are now limited to six consecutive years of designation.

These laws also require PERA to report the utilization of critical shortage and 140-day provisions by condensing all information to one report to the Finance and Education Committees every five years.

If you have designations for either critical shortage or 140-day designations that were denied by PERA this year prior to these law changes, we encourage you to resubmit those requests at this time.  If you have any questions regarding these changes, please direct them to your Employer Representative.