PERS Plan 1 Non-Interruptive Military Service Credit

Updated April 2014

What is non-interruptive military service credit? 

Non-interruptive military service credit is service credit available to those who served in the U.S. military prior to becoming Public Employees’ Retirement System Plan 1 (PERS) members. If you qualify to receive non-interruptive military service credit, you may apply for it at any time prior to retirement. No payments are required.   

Am I eligible to receive non-interruptive military service credit?  

To receive credit for military service performed prior to becoming a PERS 1 member, you must: 

  • have at least 25 years of PERS 1 service,
  • be a veteran (see definition on page 3), or have been a participating PERS member between February 25, 1972 and April 24, 1973, and
  • have received an honorable discharge.

If you do not meet all of the above requirements, you do not qualify for non-interruptive military service credit. 

You may combine interruptive and non-interruptive service to receive up to five years of military service credit, but regardless of the total of the two types of credit you may not receive more than five years credit. The only exception to this rule applies to reservists who were called to active duty. They may earn up to twelve weeks of service credit beyond the five-year maximum. 

What PERS 1 service is creditable toward the required 25 years? 

Service that can be counted towards the 25 years of PERS 1 service that you must have in order to receive non-interruptive military service includes: 

  • Any PERS service earned while working for a PERS employer; and
  • Any properly creditable interruptive military service time.

It does not include:

  • Service credit earned in a retirement system other than PERS; and
  • Withdrawn service credit that has not been restored.

Do I meet the definition of “veteran?”

You are a veteran for purposes of receiving PERS 1 military service credit if:

  • You were involved in active federal military service between World War I and World War II or during any period of war such as the Korean conflict (June 27, 1950  – January 31, 1955) or Vietnam era (Aug. 4, 1964 – May 7, 1975) note: The period of Feb. 28, 1961 to Aug. 4, 1964 can be credited if you served in Vietnam during that time, OR
  • You received the Armed Forces expeditionary medal or Marine Corp and Navy expeditionary medal for opposed action on foreign soil, while serving in any branch of the Armed Forces or the Women’s Air Forces Service Pilots.

Note: Not all of your active federal military service needs to be during a period of war. As long as part of the your active federal military service was rendered during a period of war, you are entitled to up to five years of PERS 1 credit for any active federal military service regardless of when it was rendered.

What qualifies as active military service?

The following types of military service qualify:

  • Service in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps or the Women’s Air Forces Service Pilots, or federally activated service in their reserve units (including two-week annual training for reservists);
  • Full-time service in the United States Coast Guard;
  • Service in the Army or Air National Guard; or
  • Service between December 7, 1941 and December 31, 1946, as:
    • A US documented Merchant Mariner serving aboard an oceangoing vessel operated by the War Shipping Administration, or the Office of Defense Transportation, or their agents; or
    • A civil service crew member with service aboard a US Army transport service or US Naval transportation service vessel in oceangoing service.
  • Two categories of active federal military service in and of themselves entitle a PERS I member to noninterruptive military service credit.
  • If you served as a Merchant Marine or a Civil Service crew member, by definition, your service was rendered between December 7, 1941 and December 31, 1946. Accordingly, you are entitled to up to five years of non-interruptive military service credit.

Similarly, if you qualify as a veteran because you received an expeditionary medal, you are entitled to up to five years non-interruptive military service credit for all periods of active federal military service. This is true regardless of whether the service covered by the expeditionary medal occurred during a statutorily defined period of war.

Note: Civil Marriage law allows same-sex couples to marry and entitles all spouses, (regardless of gender) to equal rights in PERS Plan 1. Beginning January 1, 2014, state-registered domestic partners will have the same survivor and death benefits as married spouses.

What qualifies as a period of war?

See definition of a veteran.

How do I contact DRS?

To find out if you are eligible to receive non-interruptive service credit, send your request for a determination along with documentation of your military service, such as a DD214 form, to your retirement system for review.

If you have questions, contact DRS.

Beneficiary Designation

Members, you can update your beneficiary information from your online retirement account. Select “My Account” in the navigation menu and then “View/Edit” beside “Beneficiary.”

(If you prefer to fill out and mail in a printed form, select this link.)