Service Credit FAQs

1. How many years of service do I have?
2. Can I get written confirmation of my service credit?
3. How is service credit earned?
4. What types of out-of-system credit may I purchase?
5. What are the requirements for out-of-system service credit?
6. How do I apply for out-of-system service credit?
7. What is the cost for out-of-system service credit?
8. How do I apply for military service credit?
9. What are the requirements for military service credit and what is the cost?
10. How do I request a billing to repay a refund of contributions?
11. What are the requirements for repaying a refund?
12. What is the cost to repay a refund?
13. Can I make partial payments?
14. Can I get an updated billing?
15. How can I determine whether you have received my payment?
16. Can I purchase credit to obtain eight years of credit?
17. How do I get a statement of account?
18. How much more money will I receive if I purchase credit?

 

 

1. How many years of service do I have?
 

If you call or write ORS, we can access your member information and tell you how many years are reflected in your record. Please state that you are in the Judges Retirement System and include your Social Security Number and date of birth in any correspondence. Also, for future reference, your years of service are shown on your annual Member Statement that is sent to you after the first of the year.

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2. Can I get written confirmation of my service credit?
 

Yes. You may request confirmation by faxing or writing the Retirement Office. Include your Social Security Number and date of birth.

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3. How is service credit earned?
 

You earn service credit for each year and full month of service as a member of the Judges Retirement System. You can earn no more than one year of service credit within any twelve month period. Service credit is calculated by subtracting your hire date from the current date or anticipated retirement date and if you have purchased out-of-system and/or military service credit, then adding this to your employment service credit.

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4. What types of out-of-system credit may I purchase?
 

You may purchase the following types of other public service:

  • Service as a former elected state official who received an annual state salary for service performed in that office,
  • Service as a municipal judge,
  • Service as a Justice of the Peace in a governmental unit,
  • Service as a judge under the former Judges Retirement System or former Probate Judges Retirement -System if credit for that service has not already been granted, or
  • For a state official, previous state service.
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5. What are the requirements for out-of-system service credit?
 

Your out-of-system service is not creditable if you or a beneficiary are, or will be, receiving a pension or annuity for the same service from another public retirement system.

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6. How do I apply for out-of-system service credit?
 

You should send a written request to the Michigan Judges Retirement System stating the type of service you wish to purchase, the name of the municipality where the service was performed, the dates of the service, and the number of years of service you wish to purchase.

You must make your request to receive buy-in service credit and pay for it before you terminate judicial (or state) service.

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7. What is the cost for out-of-system service credit?
 

The payment required for out-of-system service is the actuarial cost of the service calculated on an individual basis.

Out-of-system service purchase requests are submitted to the system's actuary for determination of the cost.

The purchase of out-of-system service is expensive as it is the actuarial present value of the additional benefits gained as a result of the service purchased.

You should submit a letter requesting the cost of a specific number of years and months of service and provide certification of that service, showing the actual dates of service, from the municipality.

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8. How do I apply for military service credit?
 

To apply for military service credit, you must submit a written request to purchase the service and a photocopy of your military papers (DD214) showing entry and separation dates. If you do not have a copy of your military papers, write to:

National Personnel Records Center
Military Personnel Records
9700 Page Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63132

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9. What are the requirements for military service credit and what is the cost
 

If you are credited with 12 or more years of service you can receive credit for up to a maximum of two years of active duty in the United States Armed Forces.

The payment for military service is determined by multiplying your annual compensation for retirement in the year you make payment by 5% and then multiplying the result by the number of years and months you wish to purchase, but not to exceed two years.

You must relinquish for yourself and your beneficiaries any rights to a retirement allowance payable from another retirement system for the same period of military service.

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10. How do I request a billing to repay a refund of contributions?
 

No application needs to be completed. You may request a billing statement by faxing, writing or calling the Retirement Office. Be sure to include your Social Security Number, and date of birth in any correspondence and state that you are a member of the Judges Retirement System.

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11. What are the requirements for repaying a refund?
 

You must meet the following requirements to repay your refund:

  • Upon return to membership, you must earn at least six months or more of service as a member of the Judges Retirement System.
  • You must be serving in judicial office (elected office) to repay your refund.
  • You must make repayment before you leave judicial office (elected office).
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12. What is the cost to repay a refund?
 

Your cost to repay the refund includes the amount of the refund, plus interest. The interest is charged from the date of the refund to the date of payment. Simple interest is charged on the amount withdrawn. Simple interest is interest at one or more annual rates determined by the Judges Retirement System Board. The interest is cumulative, based on a set rate for a specific period of time.

INTEREST RATES
DATE RATE
Before January 1, 1961 2.25%
January 1, 1961 - June 30, 1966 2.5%
July 1, 1966 - December 31, 1985 3.5%
January 1, 1986 and forward 8.0%

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13. Can I make partial payments?
 

No. Only lump-sum payments are accepted.

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14. Can I get an updated billing?
 

Yes. You may request an updated billing statement by faxing, writing, or calling the Retirement Office. Be sure to include your Social Security Number and date of birth in any correspondence and state that you are a member of the Judges Retirement System.

And remember that payments for additional service credit must be made before you leave judicial service (elected service).

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15. How can I determine whether you have received my payment?
 

Please allow at least 10 working days. Then you may fax, write, or call the Retirement Office to see if it has been recorded in your member account. Be sure to include your Social Security Number and date of birth in any correspondence and state that you are a member of the Judges Retirement System.

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16. Can I purchase credit to obtain eight years of credit?
 

Once you have accrued four years of membership service under the Judges Retirement System, the purchase of out-of-system service will be included in the eight-year vesting requirement. The only exception is military service, as you must be credited with 12 years of service to be eligible to purchase military service.

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17. How do I get a statement of account?
 

You may request a statement of account by faxing, writing or calling the Retirement Office. Be sure to include your Social Security Number, and date of birth in any correspondence and state that you are a member of the Judges Retirement System. Also, for future reference, an annual Member Statement is mailed to each member at their court address after the first of the year.

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18. How much more money will I receive if I purchase credit?
  Credit purchased is added to total Judges Retirement System service. However, you receive the maximum benefit with 16 years of service. If you have, or will accrue 16 years before you leave office, purchasing additional service credit will not enhance your retirement benefit.

Your money can not be refunded for purchased service if you accrue more than 16 years of service.

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