Service Credit Accrual and Purchase
How Do I Accrue Time Towards Retirement?
‘Service credit’ is defined as the number of months and/or years of service you have earned toward retirement. You accrue service credit each month you work in a TRS covered position. You must work at least one half of the total number of working days in a month to accrue a month of service credit. For example, if there are 20 working days in a month, you must work at least 10 days that month to receive credit for the month. More detailed information is available in the Membership Service section to the right.
Since it is service credit you must establish in order to retire, you should be familiar with the types of service you can establish. Some service credit may be available to you for a cost, referred to as ‘purchased service’, and is explained in the links to the right.
If you have an active TRS account you may establish service credit for the various types of service available. To have an active account, you must have contributed to TRS for at least one year in the last five years.
If you need to purchase additional service to be eligible for retirement, your retirement date will be the first of the month after you have purchased the needed service credit. If you are eligible to retire and purchase additional service credit, you must purchase the service no later than the last business day of your retirement month; however, waiting until the last business day will delay the processing of your retirement paperwork.
All service must be established by the member prior to retirement. Once your retirement becomes effective, you will no longer be eligible to purchase additional service credit. Beneficiaries of deceased members cannot purchase additional service credit.
You may pay for eligible service purchases with a personal check or with a direct rollover from another eligible retirement plan. TRS can accept a rollover from the following plans as defined in the Internal Revenue Code:
- a qualified retirement plan – 401(a), 403(a), or 401(k);
- a tax sheltered annuity 403(b);
- a governmental 457 plan;
- or a traditional or rollover IRA, but not a Roth IRA.
TRS cannot accept third party checks or money orders. Service credit may be purchased by a lump-sum payment or in one-year increments. Partial payments or monthly installments cannot be accepted. Please contact our office to obtain a cost to purchase service for which you qualify.