Senate Bill 62 and Senate Bill 892 Update
Governor Parson signed Senate Bill 892 into law on July 5, 2018. This law goes into effect August 28, 2018. The retirement summary below offers an in-depth explanation of the details/changes for speech-language pathologists (SLPs) who continue to work in the schools after retirement.
SLP Retired from PSRS
Work after Retirement Summary
Two recent changes to state law impact work after retirement from Public School Retirement System (PSRS). These changes apply to all PSRS retirees, but have a unique impact on SLPs because the SLP position does NOT require a Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) credential (more details in last bullet).
- SB 62 passed in 2017 and limits work after retirement for all PSRS retirees to 550 hours / 50% of compensation even when working as an independent contractor or for a third-party employer (in addition to when working as a district employee) when the PSRS retiree is working in a position that requires a DESE credential. For most PSRS retirees, this change means they are limited to the 550 hour/50% compensation level regardless of how they are employed after retirement. SLPs retired from PSRS who provide speech-language services for a public school can do so for any number of hours and any amount of pay so long they are an independent contractor or an employee of a third-party employer (e.g. Kelly services, a medical center or clinic, etc.) because the SLP position does not require a DESE credential. However, to work as an independent contractor or an employee of any organization/company other than a public school, an SLP must hold a MO Board of Healing Arts (BoHA) SLP license pursuant to RSMo 345.025. Thus, any SLP with a BoHA license who is retired from PSRS can work any amount of time as an independent contractor or third-party employee in a public school and receive their PSRS benefit at the same time.
- SB 892 becomes effective August 28, 2018 and allows any PSRS retiree to work after retirement as district employees in positions that do not require a DESE credential with a $15,000 cap in pay. While not specific to SLPs, this means that an SLP retired from PSRS employed directly by a district as an SLP will be limited to the $15,000 cap in pay to retain their PSRS benefit at the same time. Because the SLP position does not require a DESE credential, a PSRS retiree cannot work in that position as a district employee under the 550 hour and 50% compensation limit after August 28, 2018.
- SLPs retired from PSRS not licensed by the BoHA cannot work as independent contractors or third-party employees because of the SLP licensure requirements in RSMo 345. An SLP with only a DESE credential retired from PSRS can only work as an employee of a public school and will be limited to the new $15,000 cap. Both of these bills were passed to address general issues with PSRS retirees working after retirement but have unique application to SLPs who retire under PSRS but return to work after retirement to the SLP position that does not require a DESE credential.
- Much of this complexity has been caused by the history of the DESE SLP credential and BoHA SLP license. The DESE “speech correctionist” credential was established and issued prior to passage of BoHA SLP licensure. The subsequent DESE “speech-language specialist” credential was issued independent of BoHA SLP licensure. Over time, BoHA licensure became the universal credential for the profession and over 20 years ago DESE effectively eliminated the “independent” DESE credential that was required to work in public schools. The current DESE SLP Student Services credential is issued solely based on the SLP holding a valid BoHA license. Because the SLP position has not required a DESE credential for many years (even though DESE still issues a credential dependent on a valid BoHA license) the provisions of both SB 62 and SB 892 apply as described above.
Most other professional positions in schools (e.g. psychologist, nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapist, etc.) work under their professional license and are part of Public Education Employee Retirement System (PEERS) rather than PSRS. Because DESE issues an SLP credential, most currently employed SLPs are members of PSRS even though the position does not require a DESE credential. If DESE stops issuing the initial SLP credential as proposed, there will slowly be a shift to more SLPs working only under their BoHA license who will be PEERS members. Those with a DESE credential will remain members of PSRS.
MSHA will continue to provide any updates as they become available. We hope that MSHA members will encourage non-MSHA members to refer to our website for details and further updates.
Governor Parson signed Senate Bill 892 into law on July 5, 2018. This law goes into effect August 28, 2018.
It is important to understand that SB 892 was not directed specifically at retired speech-language pathologist (SLPs), but because of the unique evolution of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) credential and Board of Healing Arts licensure for SLPs in the state of Missouri, there is an impact to some retired SLPs given the wide variety of credentials held by SLPs in this state. SB 892 results in a cap in pay to retired SLPs who only hold a DESE credential entitled Speech Correctionist or Speech-Language Specialist AND who are not eligible for Missouri Board of Healing Arts licensure.
MSHA is continuing to work with stakeholders on this topic and will provide updates as they become available. We hope that MSHA members will encourage non-MSHA members to refer to our website for details and further updates.
MSHA was recently made aware of the following information related to Senate Bill 62 and Senate Bill 892:
- Two pieces of legislation, SB 62 in 2017 and SB 892 in 2018, have changed how speech-language pathologists (SLPs) can work as an SLP in a public school after retiring from the Public School Retirement System of Missouri (PSRS). One bill expanded work options and the other restricted work options.
- SB 62 expanded work options by allowing an SLP retired from PSRS to provide speech-language services for a public school for an unlimited number of hours for an unlimited amount of pay so long as it is done as an independent contractor or as an employee of a third-party employer (e.g., Kelly Services, a medical center or clinic) rather than as a district employee. This means an SLP who holds a Missouri Board of Healing Arts (BoHA) license could choose to work full-time as an independent contractor with a public school after retiring from PSRS and receive their PSRS benefit at the same time.
- However, assuming SB 892 becomes law (is not vetoed), it will no longer allow SLPs who are retired from PSRS to be employed by the district as an SLP under the 550 hours/50 percent of compensation limitations of PSRS. As a district employee in an SLP position, the SLP would be limited to a $15,000 cap in pay to retain their PSRS benefit at the same time.
- The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) proposed rule to eliminate the initial SLP Student Services Certificate (that is still not final) has no influence on the interpretation/implementation of these two new laws. When DESE added the licensure to certification option almost 20 years ago, that lead to the elimination of the independent DESE SLP certificate and SLP positions in schools no longer required a DESE certificate. While BoHA licensure has been the primary certification for SLPs in the schools for the last 20 years, many school districts have continued to ask SLPs to pursue the Student Services Certificate even though this has not been a requirement. Public schools are able to employ SLPs who hold only a BoHA SLP license, only a DESE SLP certificate that is independent from BoHA licensure (typically a speech correction or speech-language specialist certificate issued prior to 2006) and most commonly in the last couple of decades, both. Because the SLP position does not require a DESE certificate, these two new laws apply and change the options available to SLPs for work after retirement from PSRS.
While SB 62 expands SLP options for work after retirement, SB 892 restricts options. Unfortunately, speech-language pathologists who only hold a DESE SLP certificate are unable to take advantage of the provisions of SB 62 because they do not hold a BoHA license and can only work as an employee of a public school with that credential. If SB 892 becomes law, any SLP retired from PSRS employed by a public school as an SLP will be limited to the new $15,000 cap. This was not the intention of the bill but is consistent with PSRS’s prior interpretation of SB 62 as applicable to the SLP position.
Given the shortage of speech-language pathologists in the state of Missouri, MSHA representatives understand the challenge of this new limitation on work after retirement for those SLPs with only a DESE certificate. Multiple organizations have communicated concerns to PSRS and DESE regarding the unintended effects of SB 892 and MSHA will work with all stakeholders in hopes of identifying alternatives that will ensure the speech-language needs of students in public schools are met. SB 892 will become law on August 28, 2018, unless it is vetoed by July 14, 2018.
Page last updated
July 13, 2018