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Purchasing Service Credit

U.S. Government Service – To apply for U.S. Government service rendered outside of Pennsylvania you must meet certain conditions:

  • The service for the government agency must be in the field of education as an administrator, teacher, or instructor teaching school-age children.  These usually include:

    • Peace Corp (teaching)

    • Department of the Interior Native American (Reservation) Schools.

  • You must forfeit any monthly retirement benefit in the U.S.  Government’s retirement system.

  • The service you are purchasing must be for at least one year but cannot exceed a maximum of 12 years.  The maximum of 12 years rule also applies if purchasing out-of-state service in combination with U.S.  Government.

  • You must first have one full year of service with PSERS before you can apply for out-of-state service.  You may only purchase as much out-of-state service as you have PSERS and/or state service.  Therefore, credit may be purchased on a year-by-year basis.  You and the personnel office of the U.S. Government agency with whom the service was rendered must complete the Application for Credit for United States Government Service (PSRS-600).  The personnel officer must also attach a copy of the job description.

Military Service – You may purchase service rendered in the Unites States Armed Forces (Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard).  There are three types of United States Armed Forces military service which you may purchase:  

1.      Intervening –Intervening military service is also known as Selective Service or “The Draft”.  To qualify for this purchase you must meet the following conditions:

  • You must have been a Pennsylvania public school employee immediately preceding an induction into the Unites States Armed Forces.

  • You must have been on a military leave of absence to meet a draft obligation, excluding any period of voluntary extension of such service.

  • You had to return to regular full-time Pennsylvania school service within 90 days of your release from active military service.

  • You cannot be receiving, or be eligible to receive, any other pension using this service credit.    

You and your immediate employer preceding your induction must complete the Purchase of Intervening or Activated Military Service (PSRS-1305).  A copy of the school board minutes granting the military leave must accompany the application.  A copy of the DD-214 papers indicating that your discharge was other than undesirable, bad conduct, or dishonorable.    

2.      Nonintervening - To apply for this service credit, you must have at least 3 years of credited service with PSERS following the military service.   

You cannot be receiving, or be eligible to receive, any other pension using this service credit.  If, however, you are receiving a military pension based on a combination of reserve and active duty service, you may be eligible to purchase up to 5 years of the active military service.  

You may not purchase more years of military service credit than you have credited service with PSERS.  If you are a multiple service member and have service credit with both PSERS and the State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS), you may use your service credit in both retirement systems to match the years of military service credit you are attempting to purchase.  You, however, are still limited to the 5-year maximum.  

You must complete the Purchase of Non-intervening Miltary Service (PSRS-28). A copy of your enlistment and discharge papers (DD-214) must be attached. The DD-214 paper must show both the date of entry into active service and the date of discharge from active service, and your discharge was other than undesirable, bad conduct, or dishonorable.    

3.      Activated – This military service is when you are called to active military duty on or after July 1, 1990.   It does not apply to a draft situation.  You have the choice to :

  • Continue contributing to PSERS and gain immediate service credit.

  • Discontinue contributing to PSERS during the leave.  If you stop contributing, you will not receive service credit unless you elect to purchase the service credit.   

If you discontinue contributing to PSERS, you have one year after your return to Pennsylvania public school service from the military leave to apply to PSERS to purchase the service credit.   

You and your employer must complete the Purchase of Intervening or Activated Miltary Service (PSRS-1305). A copy of your DD-214 papers indicating that your discharge was other than undesirable, bad conduct, or dishonorable,    must accompany the application.