Chapter 3: PSERS Service Credit & Contributions

Summary

This section contains information about service credit for members of the Public Safety Employees' Retirement System (PSERS). The information is provided to help you understand how service credit is earned.

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.

PSERS Service Credit Rules

The following information explains how members earn service credit while working in PSERS positions. If you have questions about a member's service credit, contact Employer Support Services. These rules do not apply to PSERS Elected Officials.

July 1, 2006 and After
Plan 2

A PSERS 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.

PSERS Elected Officials Service Credit Rules

Rules for Elected Officials

This section applies to PSERS members elected or appointed by the Governor to state elective positions.

Definition

A state elective position means any position held by a person elected or appointed:

  • To statewide office; or
  • As a member of the Legislature
July 1, 2006 and After Rules
  • A PSERS member who is reported in a state elective position and receives any compensation in a calendar month earns one month of service credit.
  • A PSERS member who chooses to work in both a PSERS position and a state elective position can earn only one service credit per calendar month.
  • If the PSERS member is on an authorized leave of absence from the PSERS position and chooses not to contribute to PSERS while serving in a state elective position, the member may have the option of purchasing service credit when returning to active PSERS membership.
  • An individual cannot receive PSERS service credit for serving as a local official (city, county, etc.); only service in a state elective position qualifies for PSERS service credit.

If you have questions about service credit for elected officials, contact Employer Support Services. Refer members to the PSERS Plan 2 State Elected Officials publication.

Service Credit & Contributions

July 1, 2006 and After

The Department of Retirement Systems director reports to each employer the contribution rates required for the Public Safety Employees' Retirement System (PSERS). [RCW 41.37.080]

Beginning July 1, 2006, the employer collects the employer and member contributions that are computed by applying the applicable rates to the total compensation earnable as shown on the current payrolls of the employer. Each employer computes at the end of each month the amount due for that month and submits payment for the contributions.

Because a PSERS 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 July 1, 2006.

Optional Service Credit

Optional Service Credit

Members of PSERS may be eligible to acquire service credit for periods of public service or leaves of absence. Refer to RCW 41.37.260 for more information on qualifying optional service credit. Common types of optional service include:

  • Authorized leave of absence
  • State elected official service
  • Interruptive military service
  • Temporary Duty Disability [Refer to RCW 41.37.060]

The member initiates the process for obtaining optional service credit. Refer members who wish to apply to the publications:

View the employer publication Retirement Reporting Reminders - Temporary Duty Disability

Employers must report PSERS Plan 2 members who have not separated from employment and who earn no compensation and no hours during an entire calendar month or earning period with a "B" code on the transmittal.

Employers who need assistance, please contact Employer Support Services.

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