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Service Credit for Tier VI Members
 

The Service Credit for Tier VI Members brochure is temporarily unavailable. In the meantime, please see the following FAQs for more information.

What is optional service credit?

Optional service credit is any service credit you have the option to claim or purchase. In all cases, your service must be verified by TRS, and your request for the service credit must be made before your effective retirement date. Creditable service includes the following:

Prior Service: Any creditable service you rendered with a New York City and/or New York State public employer before joining TRS that was not transferred to TRS with your membership. (For Tier I members, service rendered outside of New York City is not creditable as prior service. See Outside Teaching Service below.)

Amman Service: Creditable service, such as substitute teaching or per diem service, that you rendered with a New York City or New York State public employer during a leave of absence from your TRS-eligible position or after separating from service. (For Tier I members, service rendered outside of New York City is not creditable as Amman service.)

Military Service: Eligible military service that interrupted your employment prior to or after becoming a TRS member.

Outside Teaching Service (Tier I only): Creditable teaching and/or pedagogical supervisory service rendered on a regular per-annum basis in a school or college not maintained by the City of New York.

Leaves of Absence Without Pay: Periods that may be creditable under limited circumstances.

What are the benefits of purchasing service credit?

One of the benefits of purchasing service credit is the potential increase to your prospective service retirement allowance. If you are not vested, purchasing service credit may enable you to more quickly attain vested rights and qualify for retirement benefits. In addition, if you are a Tier III or IV member, purchasing service credit may also enable you to more quickly attain the years of credited service needed to stop or reduce the contributions you are making to the Qualified Pension Plan (QPP).

How can I request prior service credit?

In general, service with a public employer in New York State or New York City may be eligible for prior service credit in TRS.

If you are a Tier III, IV, or VI member, log in to the secure section of our website and complete a Record of Prior Service e-form (code SB146). TRS will verify the service with your former employer and notify you of the cost. (Prior service with the New York City Department of Education (DOE) does not need to be claimed on the e-form because the DOE sends TRS regular work history updates for most titles. We will contact you separately about prior DOE service you have available for crediting.)

If you are a Tier I or II member, you may request credit for prior service by contacting our Member Services Center at 1 (888) 8-NYC-TRS and requesting a personalized SB146 form.

TRS must receive any claim for prior service credit before your retirement date. However, claiming and purchasing prior service credit sooner rather than later would prevent additional interest from accruing and increasing the cost.

Please note that, if you are in the process of transferring your membership to TRS or applying for a membership/tier reinstatement, you should not request prior service credit until the transfer or reinstatement is complete; the cost (if any) to purchase service credit may be different under a previous membership/tier.

How much does it cost to purchase optional service credit?

The cost varies depending on your tier and the type of service credit you are purchasing. In certain cases, service credit may not require purchase.

If you are a Tier I member purchasing credit for outside teaching service, the cost is determined through actuarial calculations. (Other service credit for Tier I and II members may not require purchase.)

If you are a Tier III or IV member, the cost to purchase service credit reflects the Qualified Pension Plan (QPP) contributions that you would have made had the service been rendered as a TRS member. If you are covered under the basic retirement plan, your QPP contribution rate is generally 3%; if you are covered under the Age 55 Retirement Program, your contribution rate is generally 4.85%.

If you are a Tier VI member, the cost to purchase service credit is 6% of the salary you earned during the time the service was rendered.

For most service credit purchases, 5% annual interest is applied to the cost; this represents the interest that would have accrued on your contributions had you been contributing at the time the service was rendered. Interest is generally calculated from the date(s) your service was rendered to the date your payment is due.

What is a membership service deficit?

Any pension contributions that are required by TRS, but are not made, would result in a "deficit." Because this deficit represents contributions that should have been made by a TRS member, it is known as a "membership service deficit."

If you have a membership service deficit, TRS will send you a Cost Letter; payment for deficits is mandatory. Your letter will specify the amount due, available payment options, and any consequences that may result if you do not respond by the deadline indicated (e.g., you may be placed automatically on a payment plan of payroll deductions, if eligible).