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07/17/2020

Senior Tax Reduction Incentive Volunteer Exchange (STRIVE) Program Would Impact Your Pension

The Senior Tax Reduction Incentive Volunteer Exchange (STRIVE) Program was enacted earlier this year through Act 20 of 2020.  Generally, PSERS retirees, who return to service in a position that is not in an approved capacity, e.g. extracurricular or emergency, will have their benefit stopped and will be enrolled as an active member of PSERS.  Any PSERS retiree "volunteering" through the STRIVE program would be subject to the Return to Service provisions of the Retirement Code, including the stoppage of their monthly annuity, because the retiree is receiving retirement-covered compensation.

The STRIVE Program authorizes Pennsylvania's public school districts to implement a program that allows taxpayer residents 60 years of age and older, who own real estate in the participating school district, to "volunteer" in schools and, in exchange for such service, receive a real property tax credit.  Payment under the STRIVE Program is valued at no less than the required minimum hourly wage for each hour of service rendered and constitutes income subject to federal taxation, regardless of whether such income is diverted for use as a tax credit.  Accordingly, payment earned under the STRIVE Program is retirement-covered compensation under the Retirement Code and the service rendered is school service that must be reported to PSERS.

You can also refer to the Return to Service Exceptions publication on the PSERS website for more information.