Ongoing Compliance Requirements for Disability Pensions
Members who have been awarded disability pensions and have not reached their retirement age are required to provide ERSRI with periodic medical updates and earnings information. Each year, ERSRI sends out a Annual Continuing Statement which asks members receiving a disability pension to provide a copy of their tax returns (if filing) and updated medical information.
Failure to provide ERSRI with earnings information may result in the suspension of pension benefits. Members who do not provide updated medical information may be assigned to an independent medical examination or ultimately have their pension benefits revoked.
A member’s disability pension benefit will be adjusted if the statutory earning limit has been exceeded.
Members who have recovered or appear to have recovered from their disability will be assigned to an Independent Medical Evaluation (IME). Members who are no longer disabled will be placed on a list with their former employer to return to work.
Members will receive notification prior to adjustment, suspension, or revocation of their disability pension benefits.
To download the necessary disability compliance forms, click here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Please be advised that these questions and answers should not be relied upon in a legal setting, and they do not supersede any law or promulgated rule or regulation. These questions and answers apply the laws, rules and regulations, and policies that are in effect as of December 2021. Should the laws, rules and regulations, and/or policies change, these questions and answers will no longer be applicable.
ERSRI is required by law to adjust a member’s disability retirement allowance if the member earns over a certain amount of money. ERSRI determines whether you have earned over the statutory limit by reviewing your Annual Continuing Statement and supporting documentation.
Rhode Island General Laws § 36-10-17; § 16-16-19; and § 45-21-24 govern the readjustment of disability retirement allowance.
You are permitted to make the difference between the amount you would have earned had you still been employed in the same position from which you retired and your disability retirement allowance. See the below example:
- You retired as a teacher in 2004.
- You would have earned $70,000 had you been employed as a teacher in 2014.
- For 2014, your disability retirement allowance with COLA was $50,000.
- For 2014, you would be permitted to make $20,000 ($70,000 - $50,000) before your disability retirement allowance is adjusted.
Once a member attains his or her minimum service retirement age, he or she will no longer receive a Annual Continuing Statement. Please note that you will receive a Annual Continuing Statement the calendar year after you attain your minimum service retirement age because we request your earnings information for the previous calendar year. For example, if you attain your minimum age of service retirement in 2015, you will receive an Annual Disclosure Statement in 2016 in which you must provide your 2015 tax information.
If you do not provide ERSRI with a completed Annual Continuing Statement, including all supporting documentation, your disability retirement allowance may be suspended until your statement is received and analyzed.
No. Pursuant to RIGL § 38-2-2(4)(O), tax returns are not public documents.
If you filed a joint tax return, ERSRI will not be able to differentiate whether the earnings are attributable to you or your spouse without receiving the W-2s, wage attachments and other business income attachments and/or schedules for both you and your spouse.
Yes, you will be mailed written notice at least thirty (30) days before your disability retirement allowance is adjusted. The notice will contain the amount owed and the adjustment period.
You are not required to see a doctor. However, ERSRI has the legal authority to send you for an independent medical examination (IME), at ERSRI’s expense, once per year. By not submitting an Annual Medical Update, ERSRI may be more likely to send you to an IME.
If you refuse to see an Independent Medical Evaluation (IME) that has been assigned to you by ERSRI, your disability retirement allowance may be permanently revoked.
Rhode Island General Laws § 36-10-17; §16-16-19; and § 45-21-23 govern the reexamination of disability retirees.