You may be able to obtain credit for previous public employment or military service. You may want to claim all the service credit you are entitled to receive as early as possible, because:
- The cost, if applicable, may be less than if you wait to purchase at a later date;
- We can process your retirement benefit more quickly, if your service credit is in order; and
- Records documenting your service will more likely be available.
To establish eligibility for a vested retirement benefit, you must request your credit while on the payroll of a participating employer. If you make your request, but receive your statement of cost after you leave payroll, you have 30 days to make your payment.
Note: If your purchased service brings your total credited service to ten or more years, you will no longer be eligible to withdraw your contributions and end your membership.
Prior Service/Service Before Your Membership
You may be able to receive credit for “prior service” — paid employment with a participating employer before that employer elected to participate in PFRS.
You may be able to receive credit for “service before your membership” — paid employment with a participating employer before you joined PFRS.
To apply for credit for prior service or service before your membership, send a written request or a Request to Purchase Service Credit (RS5042) form to our Member and Employer Services Bureau before your date of retirement. Include all the details you can about the period of employment for which you are seeking credit. We will determine your eligibility and inform you of any cost.
You may be able to receive credit for some or all of your active military service as creditable under State or federal law. For more information, visit our Military Service Credit page.
To apply for credit for military service, send a written request to our Member and Employer Services Bureau before your effective date of retirement. Include a copy of your Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD-214) (it must show that you were honorably discharged). We will determine your eligibility and inform you of any cost.
Note: Certain types of credit listed above may not provide additional benefits under your special plan. Contact us to verify whether your service is creditable.
Service From a Previous Membership
If you previously were a member of this System, or another public retirement system in New York State, your service may be recredited and your date of membership and tier restored. However, an earlier tier of membership does not always result in a better benefit. Please review your options carefully before making your decision, and contact us with any questions you may have.
You can apply for reinstatement to Tier 1 or 2, or to an earlier membership date within Tier 2. Send us an Application to Reinstate a Former Tier 1 or 2 Membership (RS5506).
We will begin your reinstatement to Tier 3 or 5, or to an earlier date within Tier 6, by sending you details about your eligibility and the cost to purchase credit for your withdrawn service.
If your previous membership was with another system, please write to our Member and Employer Services Bureau.