Out-of-System Public Education Service

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.

Eligibility

You may purchase up to 15 years of service rendered with a public school outside of this retirement system, anywhere in the U.S. or its territorial possessions. This includes K-12 schools, community colleges, or colleges and universities.

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 subsidies.

Conditions

  • Service performed before July 1, 1974: You must purchase the entire amount certified; partial credit cannot be granted.
  • Service performed beginning July 1, 1974: You may purchase any fraction of a year increment as long as you have earned 2 years of service.
  • This service cannot be used to satisfy vesting requirements.
  • You may purchase this service before you are vested, but it will not be credited to you until you reach vested status.
  • Your out-of-system public educational service must be followed by at least five years of service within this retirement system. 
  • A match provision applies. You cannot be credited for more than you earn in this system, as explained under Adding to Your Service Credit.
  • Your former employer(s) must certify your service.
  • If at any point in time you accumulated enough service credit to qualify for a pension based on this service, you cannot purchase the service unless you have relinquished all rights to the pension benefit.
  • If you are eligible to receive any employer contributions made on your behalf to a 401(k) or other qualified retirement plan, you cannot purchase the service unless you have relinquished all rights to the employer contributions. 
  • Distributions, transfers, or refunds are not considered a relinquishment.
  • If you have received any employer contributions made on your behalf to a 401(k) or other qualified retirement plan, you cannot purchase the service.   
  • For additional conditions, go to Adding to Your Service Credit.

Cost

Your cost depends on your dates of employment with the out-of-system public school.

Service performed before July 1, 1974. Your cost is based on your actual earnings in the other system and the contribution schedule in effect at that time in this system. In addition, interest is charged for each year that has elapsed since you performed the service. We will calculate the cost for you if you submit an application. (You will not be obligated to buy.)

Service performed beginning July 1, 1974. Your cost is based on your highest previous school fiscal year's earnings while employed in this system (part-time wages will be equated to full-time), multiplied by 5 percent (.05) for each year of service purchased. Step 1 of Calculating Actuarial Cost will show you how to determine your highest previous school fiscal year's earnings.

Application

Submit an Out-of-System Public or Nonpublic Educational Service (R0149C)  application. Follow the directions provided on the form.

For more information on purchasing service credit, see How to Purchase Service Credit.

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