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Secure Your Future

The importance of service credit

New York Teacher

A key factor in calculating your retirement allowance under the Qualified Pension Plan (QPP) is your Total Service Credit. It helps to determine whether you’re eligible to retire and the amount you’ll receive when you do.

To track your service credit, review the Service Credit Summary section of your Annual Benefits Statement (ABS). It provides a breakdown of the different types of service credit:

  • Membership Service: Creditable service performed as a TRS/BERS member.
  • Transferred Service: Any service you transferred to TRS/BERS from an eligible retirement system.
  • Optional Service: Any other service for which you purchased credit. There are three types of optional service:
  1. Prior: Public service within New York State performed before joining TRS/BERS.
  2. Amann: Substitute teaching or per diem service performed during a leave of absence.
  3. Military: U.S. military duty performed prior to joining TRS/BERS or during a leave of absence.

If you have not considered purchasing optional service, you should look into it. There is an upfront cost, but it can result in a higher pension for life.