Updated April 2014
NOTE:The distribution of military service credit is governed by both state and federal laws. The laws described here are federal laws which take precedence over state law. State law is applied only in those instances in which a member completed military service before Dec. 4, 1974, or cannot meet federal requirements.
Interruptive military service credit is service credit available to those who temporarily leave membership with the Teacher’s Retirement System Plan 1 (TRS) to serve in the United States Armed Forces. If you are an eligible TRS 1 member, you may purchase service credit for the interruptive military service you rendered.
You must satisfy the following requirements to receive interruptive military service credit under federal law:
Effective July 24, 2005, a member who becomes totally incapacitated for continued employment as a result of service in the uniformed services of the United States, or the surviving spouse* or eligible children of a member who dies while serving in the uniformed services of the United States may apply for interruptive military service credit. The member or eligible spouse or children would pay only the employee contributions. Contact DRS for more information.
*Civil Marriage law allows same-sex couples to marry and entitles all spouses, (regardless of gender) to equal rights in TRS Plan 1. Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, state-registered domestic partners will have the same survivor and death benefits as married spouses.
Most types of military service qualify members to receive military service credit. They include:
The maximum amount of service credit you can purchase is determined primarily by the date on which you completed military service.
If you completed military service on or after Oct. 6, 1994: Federal law provides for a maximum of five years of interruptive military service credit.
If you completed military service on or before Oct. 5, 1994: The maximum amount of military service credit that you can receive depends upon the type of military service rendered.
Federal law provides exceptions that allow those who have served more than the maximum years of service stated above to receive additional service credit. Contact DRS for more information.
If you cannot meet the federal requirements for returning to employment listed in this brochure, but do meet state requirements, you will receive credit subject to the state maximums.
Members who completed their military service on or before Dec. 3, 1974, are also subject to state maximums.
The time limits within which you must initiate reemployment after completing military service depend on several factors, including the date on which you completed military service.
If you completed military service on or after Oct. 6, 1994:
If you completed military service on or before Oct. 5, 1994:
If you cannot meet the requirements for initiating reemployment listed above, you may still qualify to receive military service credit under state law. Contact DRS for more information..
You must pay into the retirement funds the same amount of money you would have contributed to the system if you had not interrupted your employment with military service.
You must present proof of your military service and make the required payments before June 30th of the fifth year after you return to TRS-covered employment.
Those who fail to establish military service credit within the five year limit have the option of purchasing service credit by paying the actuarial value of the resulting increase in their benefit.
To find out if you are eligible to receive interruptive service credit, send your request for a determination along with documentation of your military service, such as a DD214 form, to DRS for review.
If you have questions, contact DRS.