|Serving New York Educators Since 1921|
Thank you for your service to our country. If you are eligible to receive credit in a New York State public retirement system, we stand ready to assist you.
New York State law provides the opportunity to receive military credit for service preceding NYSTRS membership and service interrupting NYSTRS membership. Several chapters of law address military credit. The sections of law and the eligibility requirements for each are included in this pamphlet.
A member cannot receive credit for military service in NYSTRS that is already credited in another public retirement system.
Military service credit may generally be claimed simply by sending a letter and a copy of the applicable honorable military discharge Form DD214 to the Retirement System.
If you do not have your DD214, you may obtain a copy by writing to:
National Personnel Records Center
Military Personnel Records
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, MO 63138
You may also wish to visit the Records Center website at www.archives.gov/st-louis/military-personnel.
We encourage you to submit your DD214 before retirement so we can provide you with the full benefit for which you are eligible on a timely basis. It generally takes three to four months to process requests for military service once all documentation is received.
If after reading this brochure you have additional questions regarding the claiming of military service credit, call NYSTRS at (800) 348-7298, Ext. 6060. (If you are calling within the 518 area code, please call 447-2900.)
Chapter 548 of the Laws of 2000 allows active members and members retired on or after December 21, 1998, to purchase up to three years of credit for active duty if the member was not a teacher upon entry into the military.
Total credit under this law cannot exceed three years and cannot exceed the “net active service” indicated on the member’s military document.
To be eligible to receive credit for your military service under this section of law, you must have at least five years of service credit and meet at least one of the following requirements:
World War II (12/7/1941 – 12/31/1946)
Korean Conflict (06/27/1950 – 01/31/1955)
Vietnam Era (02/28/1961 – 05/07/1975); or,
Lebanon (06/01/1983 – 12/01/1987)
Grenada (10/23/1983 – 11/21/1983)
Panama (12/20/1989 – 01/31/1990); or,
For Tier 1-5 members, the cost for each year claimed is 3% of the salary earned during the 12 months of credited service immediately preceding the filing of the military service claim. For Tier 6 members, the cost is 6%.
In the event a member is not able to benefit from any service purchased under this section, the cost of this service will be refunded (with interest at the rate of 5% per annum) to the member at retirement or upon death.
There is no minimum service credit requirement to claim military service interrupting your NYSTRS membership. However, the relevant section of law must have been in effect at the time of retirement for a retired member to be eligible.
The following conditions must be satisfied in order for a member to purchase military credit under USERRA:
The military service must interrupt your NYSTRS membership.
The military service must be active service as a member of the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard (including Reserves), Air National Guard, the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service, and any other person designated by the President of the United States.
The military service must be identified as “net active service” on the member’s military document. The service can be either voluntary or involuntary.
A member must have been in a position that made him or her eligible for membership in NYSTRS at the time they entered the military. Full-time and part-time teachers under contract would be covered. Per-diem substitutes would not qualify for credit under USERRA.
The member must have returned to teaching with a participating employer within 90 days of discharge or no later than the September following the date of discharge.
Service credited under this law is limited to five years and cannot exceed the “net active service” indicated on the member’s military document.
There is no cost for this service for Tier 1 or 2 members, as well as for Tier 3 or 4 members who stopped making mandatory contributions before entering military service. For all other Tier 3 and 4 members, the cost is 3% of the salary s/he would have received during the years in which military service credit is claimed. For Tier 5 and 6 members, the same conditions apply but the cost is 3.5% (Tier 5) and 6% (Tier 6).
The following conditions must be satisfied for a member to purchase military service credit under Section 243 of the Military Law:
The military service must be active service as a member of the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, the National Guard, the United States Public Health Service as a commissioned officer, the American Red Cross while with the armed forces of the United States on foreign service, the special service section of the United States armed forces on foreign service or the Merchant Marine.
The military service must have begun on or after July 1, 1940, and must not be service voluntarily entered upon between January 1, 1947 and June 25, 1950.
The claimant must be a teacher in the public schools of New York State and a member of NYSTRS at the time of entry into military service.
The claimant must have returned to public school teaching within five years of the date of honorable discharge.
Total credit under this law cannot exceed four years and it cannot exceed the “net active service” indicated on the member’s military document.
The cost is as follows and full payment must be made within five years of return to public school teaching:
The amount the member would have contributed had the employment been continuous during the period of military service. This payment is waived for Tier 3 or 4 members called to active duty on or after August 1, 1990, and prior to January 1, 1993.
If the claimant did not have an employer during such period of military service, s/he must also pay the amount an employer would have contributed to the System had employment been continuous during such period. No interest is calculated on this portion of the member payment.
A member who was granted credit for military service and whose membership in the System subsequently ceased because of withdrawal
will be entitled to the same credit for military service upon rejoining the System that s/he was credited with upon termination of membership. However, the credit will not be posted until the member claims and pays for all prior teaching service credited at the time of termination of membership in the System.
This law is a subset of Section 243 of the Military Law. In order for a member to receive military credit under Chapter 326, s/he must have been called to active duty on or after September 11, 2001 and prior to January 1, 2006.
Service credited under this law is limited to four years and it cannot exceed the “net active service” indicated on the member’s military document.
For all tiers there is no cost for this service. However, mandatory membership contributions for Tier 4 members are required after the military period ended if the member had not yet met the provisions of Article 19 of New York’s Retirement and Social Security Law. Under Article 19 benefit enhancement legislation, Tier 3 and 4 members are no longer required to make employee contributions to the Retirement System once they have 10 years of membership or service credit, whichever occurs first.
|(800) 348-7298; (518) 447-2900 from the Albany area|