Universal Buy-In


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.


Any active member of the Defined Benefit (DB) retirement plan can purchase up to five years of universal buy-in (UBI) service. It is called universal because it may be purchased without being linked to other service performed outside of public school employment.


  • You may purchase any fraction of a year increment.
  • You cannot use the service in your pension calculation until you meet the minimum vesting requirements.
  • UBI credit replaces the following types of service credit that were eliminated from law as of January 31, 1991: juvenile training school employment; community mental health employment; elementary or secondary teacher at a U.S. Armed Forces military base; teacher or administrator of American nationals in overseas public elementary or secondary schools; public or nonpublic student employment; foreign country school service for U.S. personnel or dependents of the U.S. military or U.S. Department of State; teacher with the Job Corps; teacher in a trust/former trust territory; teacher on an Indian reservation; teacher in a foreign country teaching non-U.S. citizens; teacher with the Merchant Marines; county mental health program employment; employment with a day care/day training program for the handicapped; service with the American Red Cross; Michigan National Guard credit; U.S. Armed Forces Reserve credit; service in the VISTA program; service in the Peace Corps; alternative service to active duty military; and recreation department service jointly funded by a reporting unit and a municipality. 
  • You may purchase up to five years of UBI service; however this amount is offset by any previous purchase of service that has been eliminated from law as previously listed. For example, if you already purchased two years of U.S. Armed Forces Reserve credit, you could purchase up to a total of three years of universal buy-in credit.
  • For additional conditions, go to Adding to Your Service Credit.


Your cost is the actuarial rate in effect at the time of payment. Click here to learn how to calculate actuarial cost.


Requires no special application. Click here to learn how to request a UBI Member Billing Statement.