Chapter 3: PERS Service Credit & Contributions

Summary

This section contains information about service credit for members of the Public Employees" Retirement System (PERS), including elected officials. This information applies to members working for such PERS-covered employers as state agencies, libraries, public utility districts and fire protection districts. This information does not apply to PERS members working for educational employers. For rules for those members, refer to the section called PERS Education Service Credit.

Rules governing service credit are contained in state retirement law. This handbook summarizes those rules in less legalistic terms. It is not a complete description of the law. If there are any conflicts between what is written here and state retirement law, the law will govern.

PERS Service Credit Rules

PERS Service Credit

Rules

The following information explains how PERS members earn service credit while working in eligible positions. If you have questions about a member's service credit, contact PERS Retirement Services. These rules do not apply to PERS elected officials.

September 1, 1991, and After
Plan 1

A PERS Plan 1 member earns service credit for each month of employment in an eligible position.

  • A member compensated for 70 hours or more earns one month of service credit.
  • A member earning some compensation but for less than 70 hours in a month earns 1/4 month of service credit.
Plan 2 or Plan 3

A PERS Plan 2 or Plan 3 member earns service credit for each month of employment in an eligible position.

  • A member compensated for 90 hours or more earns one month of service credit.
  • A member compensated for at least 70 hours but less than 90 hours earns 1/2 month of service credit.
  • A member earning some compensation but for less than 70 hours earns 1/4 month of service credit.
Prior to September 1, 1991
Plan 1

Before September 1, 1991, a PERS Plan 1 member in an eligible position earned service credit on a monthly basis as follows:

  • If compensated for 70 hours or more, the member earned one month of service credit.
  • If compensated for less than 70 hours in a month, the member did not earn service credit for that month.
Plan 2 or Plan 3

Before September 1, 1991, a PERS Plan 2 or Plan 3 member in an eligible position earned service credit on a monthly basis as follows:

  • If compensated for 90 hours or more, the member earned one month of service credit.
  • If compensated for less than 90 hours, the member did not earn service credit for that month.

PERS Elected Officials Service Credit Rules

Rules for Elected Officials

The following section explains how PERS elected officials earn service credit. This information applies to:

  • individuals elected to state or local office;
  • individuals appointed directly by the Governor to vacant elective offices or agency directorships;
  • individuals appointed directly by the Governor to membership on state committees, boards or commissions; and
  • city managers or chief administrative officers.

For additional information refer to Elected Officials.

September 1, 1991, and After
Plan 1

A PERS Plan 1 elected official earns service credit on a monthly basis as follows:

  • An individual elected to state or local office that receives any compensation in a month earns one month of service credit. (This rule remains unchanged from prior periods.)
  • An individual appointed by the Governor to a vacant elective office or an agency directorship who receives any compensation in a month earns one month of service credit. (This rule remains unchanged from prior periods.)
  • An individual appointed by the Governor to membership on a state board, commission, or committee earns service credit for each month of employment as follows:
    • If compensated for 70 hours or more in a month, the member earns one month of service credit.
    • If compensated for less than 70 hours in a month, the member earns 1/4 month of service credit.
  • A city manager or chief administrative officer earns service credit for each month of employment as follows:
    • If compensated for 70 hours or more in a month, the member earns one month of service credit.
    • If compensated for less than 70 hours in a month, the member earns 1/4 month of service credit.
Plan 2 or Plan 3

A PERS Plan 2 or Plan 3 elected official earns service credit on a monthly basis as follows:

  • An individual elected to statewide office that receives any compensation in a month earns one month of service credit.
  • An individual elected to local office (city, county, etc.) or an individual appointed by the Governor to statewide office must be compensated for more than 90 times the state minimum wage in a month in order to qualify for monthly service credit. An individual who meets the wage qualification earns service credit for each month of employment as follows:
    • If compensated for 90 hours or more, the member earns one month of service credit.
    • If compensated for at least 70 hours but less than 90 hours, the member earns 1/2 month of service credit.
    • If compensated for less than 70 hours, the member earns 1/4 month of service credit.
  • An individual appointed by the Governor to a state board, commission, or committee must be compensated for more than 90 times the state minimum wage in a month in order to qualify for monthly service credit as follows:
    • If compensated for 90 hours or more, the member earns one month of service credit.
    • If compensated for at least 70 hours but less than 90 hours, the member earns 1/2 month of service credit.
    • If compensated for less than 70 hours, the member earns 1/4 month of service credit.
  • A city manager or chief administrative officer must be compensated for more than 90 times the state minimum wage in a month in order to qualify for monthly service credit as follows:
    • If compensated for 90 hours or more, the member earns one month of service credit.
    • If compensated for at least 70 hours but less than 90 hours, the member earns 1/2 month of service credit.
    • If compensated for less than 70 hours, the member earns 1/4 month of service credit.
Rules prior to September 1, 1991
Plan 1

Before September 1, 1991, a PERS Plan 1 elected official earned service credit for each month of employment as follows:

  • An individual elected to state or local office that received any compensation in a month earned one month of service credit.
  • An individual appointed by the Governor to a vacant elective office or an agency directorship who received any compensation in a month earned one month of service credit.
  • A city manager or chief administrative officer earned service credit for each month of employment as follows:
    • If compensated for 70 hours or more in a month, the member earns one month of service credit.
    • If compensated for less than 70 hours, the member did not earn service credit for that month.
Plan 2 or Plan 3

Prior to September 1, 1991, a PERS Plan 2 or Plan 3 elected or appointed official earned service credit for each month of employment as follows:

  • An individual elected to statewide office that received any compensation in a month earned one month of service credit.
  • An individual elected to local office (city, county, etc.) or an individual appointed by the Governor to state office had to be compensated for more than 90 times the state minimum wage in a month in order to qualify for monthly service credit. An individual who met the wage qualification earned service credit for each month of employment as follows:
    • If compensated for 90 hours or more in a month, the member earns one month of service credit.
    • If compensated for less than 90 hours, the member did not earn service credit for that month.
  • An individual appointed by the Governor to a state board, commission, or committee had to be compensated for more than 90 times the state minimum wage in a month in order to qualify for monthly service credit as follows:
    • If compensated for 90 hours or more in a month, the member earns one month of service credit.
    • If compensated for less than 90 hours, the member did not earn service credit for that month.
  • A city manager or chief administrative officer had to be compensated for more than 90 times the state minimum wage in a month in order to qualify for monthly service credit as follows:
    • If compensated for 90 hours or more in a month, the member earns one month of service credit.
    • If compensated for less than 90 hours, the member did not earn service credit for that month.

Service Credit & Contributions

PERS Service Credit

Service Credit and Contributions
September 1, 1991, and After

Because a PERS member earns at least partial service credit in any month in which he or she earns compensation, an employer must take contributions on any amount of reportable compensation earned on or after September 1, 1991.

January 1, 1987, through August 31, 1991

For earning periods from January 1987 through August 1991, for both Plan 1, Plan 2 and Plan 3, employee and employer contributions were due only when a member earned service credit. When a member did not earn service credit, no contributions were due. To determine whether a member was earning service credit during these earning periods, consult the guidelines on the preceding pages.

Note: During the period from January 1987 through August 1991, a member could consolidate hours of employment with more than one employer to earn service credit if each position was eligible. If a member's hours from all eligible positions totaled 70 hours or more (PERS Plan 1) or 90 hours or more (PERS Plan 2 and Plan 3) in a month, contributions were due on all reportable compensation paid to the employee that month.

Prior to January 1, 1987

Before January 1, 1987, for all plans, contributions were due on all regular compensation earned by a member working in an eligible position, whether or not service credit was earned.

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