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Earning and Purchasing Service

You accumulate or earn service credit for the hours you work for the state police. Service credit is important because it determines when you can collect a pension. You need 25 years of service credit to receive a full retirement.

Your total years of service credit are also a factor in calculating the amount of a deferred retirement, a nonduty disability retirement, or a nonduty preretirement survivor pension. The more service credit you have, the higher your monthly pension will be.

You can earn service credit.

For retirement purposes, 2,080 hours equals one year. You cannot be credited with more than one year of service in any given year, and you cannot earn more than 80 hours of service credit in a pay period.

The chart below illustrates how service credit is earned.

Full Time 1 month 0.0833 of a year
Full Time 1 pay period - 80 hours 0.0385 of a year
Part Time or Job Share 1 pay period - 40 hours 0.0192 of a year
Part Time or Job Share  1 year - half-time 0.5000 of a year

You can also receive credit for intervening active duty military service and for periods you receive weekly workers' compensation payments.

You can purchase service credit.

As an active member of the State Police Retirement System, you may be able to buy service credit for active duty military service; maternity, paternity, or child rearing time; and VISTA or Peace Corps service. Adding to your service credit enables you to retire earlier with a full retirement. For example, if you have 23 years of earned service credit and have 2 years of purchased service credit, your total service credit is 25 years and you can retire with a full retirement pension. You can estimate of the cost of purchasing service credit in miAccount.

Generally speaking, it is best to purchase service credit once you've determined an actual retirement effective date, although the cost is less earlier in your career. If you purchase more service than is necessary to retire, your payment cannot be refunded.

Here are some things to consider if you're contemplating a purchase:

  • You cannot buy service credit to reach the ten-year vesting requirement.
  • You must be actively employed with the state police to buy service credit and must pay for the purchase in full before leaving state police employment.
  • Your service credit payments are put into a personal contribution account (separate from retirement system funds) with interest credited annually on member contributions on deposit for a full year.
  • If you leave state police employment before you reach the minimum service requirements to qualify for a pension (ten years), you can request a refund of your accumulated personal contributions and interest (refunds cancel all service credit you accrue prior to the refund, and you will not be able to repay the refund to restore your service credit at a later date.
  • If you die before reaching retirement eligibility and have personal contributions remaining in your account, any balance is paid to your beneficiary or estate.

If you are interested in purchasing service credit, click to learn about Types of Service Credit, How to Purchase service credit, and Ways to Purchase service credit.