Sabbatical Leave

Note: Active members hired before July 1, 2010 and still participating in the defined benefit pension plan who intend to initiate a service credit purchase must ensure the full payment for the amount of service they wish to buy or a fully completed tax-deferred payment agreement is received in our office by 5:00 p.m. EDT, September 29, 2017.


You may receive credit for an authorized sabbatical leave of absence, as verified by the meeting minutes of the board granting approval of your sabbatical leave. Credit for a professional improvement leave of absence is not considered sabbatical leave. (If, however, your employer's current controlling board determines that your leave was intended as sabbatical and did, in fact meet the governing school board policy on sabbatical leaves, your professional improvement leave may be reconsidered as sabbatical leave. Such a determination by the current board must be reflected in its meeting minutes.)


  • Sabbatical leave granted before October 30, 1980. You may receive credit at no cost if (1) you were employed by the board granting the leave for at least seven consecutive years immediately before the sabbatical; (2) you held a permanent or life certificate or you were teaching in a college maintained by the board granting the leave; (3) the leave was granted for professional improvement; and (4) the leave did not exceed two semesters. If you don't meet these conditions, your sabbatical leave may qualify as described below. 
  •  Sabbatical leave granted on or after October 30, 1980 (and sabbatical leaves granted before that date, but don't meet the conditions described). You may purchase credit if you (1) accrued at least five years of service credit with the employer granting the leave, with at least one-tenth year of credit earned in each of the school's fiscal years immediately before the leave; (2) had no break in service and no leave of absence while accruing the five years of service credit before the leave; and (3) returned to the employer granting the leave and accrued one year of service credit following the leave.
    Note: Buying this service can help you qualify for your pensions earlier, but it won't necessarily help you qualify for the plan's health insurance premium subsidy earlier. For more information read about delayed subsidy examples.
  • You may use sabbatical leave to satisfy your vesting requirements. You still need to have ten years of public school service before you can receive credit for other service credit purchases.
  • For additional conditions, go to Adding to Your Service Credit.


Sabbatical leave granted before July 1, 1981: The cost is 5 percent (.05) of your earnings in the school fiscal year just before the school fiscal year your sabbatical leave was granted, plus interest. Your employer pays this cost if the leave was granted during the noncontributory period; you pay the cost if the leave was granted during the contributory period. 

Sabbatical leave granted July 1, 1981, or later: Your cost will be 5 percent (.05) of your highest school fiscal year earnings (part-time wages will be equated to full-time) for each year or partial year you are buying. If you are paying the cost, you must have wages in the immediately preceding fiscal year with a Michigan public school. Step 1 of Calculating Actuarial Cost will show you how to determine your highest previous school fiscal year's earnings.


Submit an Application to Purchase Sabbatical Leave Credit (R0148C) with a copy of the board minutes granting your sabbatical leave. Follow the directions provided on the form. For more information on purchasing service credit, see How to Purchase Service Credit.