You may be entitled to receive additional credit toward your retirement for your military service.
There are different sections of the law that allow the crediting of military service. Once the Retirement System receives your request, we will determine under what section you would qualify and what would be most advantageous to you.
In most cases, purchasing additional service credit will increase your pension. However there are certain situations where additional service credit may not increase your pension at retirement. Please see our Publications page and refer to the booklet for your plan and tier.
You can use our Benefit Projection Calculator for an estimate of your retirement benefit. Try estimating your retirement benefit with and without the military service credit to see how your retirement benefit will change if you purchase all or part of your military service credit.
Article 20 of the Retirement and Social Security Law
- Have been honorably discharged;
- Have at least five years of credited service in the Retirement System;
- Not have credit for this service in any other public retirement system in New York State.
In addition, some or all of the military service must have been during one or more of the following periods:
- World War II (12/7/41 – 12/31/46)
- Korean War (6/27/50 – 1/31/55)
- Vietnam Era (2/28/61 – 5/7/75)
- Theater of operations including Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Persian Gulf, Red Sea and airspace above these locations (8/2/90 – present)
- Service in one or more of the following military conflicts provided an Armed Forces, Navy or Marine Corps Expeditionary medal was received in connection with this service:
- Lebanon (6/1/83 – 12/1/87)
- Grenada (10/23/83 – 11/21/83)
- Panama (12/20/89 – 1/31/90)
Tier 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Members The cost will be 3 percent of the compensation you earned during the year of credited service immediately prior to the Retirement Systems’ receipt of your application, times the number of years of military service being claimed. These payments are not placed in your contribution account.
Tier 6 Members The cost will be 6 percent of the compensation you earned during the year of credited service immediately prior to the Retirement Systems’ receipt of your application, times the number of years of military service being claimed. These payments are not placed in your contribution account.
Section 243, 243-a and 243-d of the Military Law
- Be a member of the Retirement System before you entered the military;
- Enter the military within six months of your last employment; and
- Return to your position within one year.
Cost depends on your plan and tier.
Eligibility under Section 243-a is the same as Section 243. This law allows members called to active duty from 8/1/90 – 12/31/92, who were not receiving full salary from their employer, to receive service credit. Members are not required to make contributions to receive the credit.
Eligibility under Section 243-d is the same as Section 243. This law allows members called to active duty from 9/11/01 – 12/31/05, who were not receiving full salary from their employer, to receive service credit. Members are not required to make contributions to receive the credit.
The following Federal legislation, for pension purposes, allows a reemployed person to be treated as not having incurred a break in service with their employer during the person’s period of military service, as specified in the legislation.
Veterans Reemployment Rights Statute (VRR)
Veterans must have been employed by a participating employer of the Retirement System within six months prior to entering the military and must have applied for reemployment with the same employer within 90 days from their discharge date.
Uniform Services Employment Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)
This act replaces the VRR, effective December 13, 1994. Veterans must have been a member of the Retirement System prior to entering the military. This statute does not specify a limit on the period of time in advance of military service that the employee may leave. If the employer considers they were properly notified, so will the Retirement System. If military service exceeds 180 days, you must have applied for reemployment with the same employer within 90 days from the date of discharge.
How to Apply:
You may request the cost by writing to us. Include your name, retirement registration number, and a copy of your Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty papers (DD-214). You may also download an Application for Military Service Credit Under Article 20-RSSL (RS5509) . The form must be printed, completed and mailed to the Retirement System.