I teach in K-12 full time and began teaching college courses; does this additional income count when calculating retirement service credit?

Ask Jack Jack Ehnes

Full-time educators typically earn one year of service credit for working one school year for creditable service performed. This service credit is applied to your traditional Defined Benefit retirement benefit.

If you are a full-time educator or otherwise earn a full year of service credit, and you perform additional duties, or are employed part time by another CalSTRS employer, your contributions and most of your employer’s contributions from your earnings in excess of one year will be credited to your Defined Benefit Supplement account instead of to your Defined Benefit retirement benefit. This includes any extra-pay assignments during the year such as teaching additional college courses, summer school, intersession, yearbook or science club adviser, coaching or band director. 

Additionally, the compensation for service in excess of one school year is not used in the calculation of your earnable compensation for the school year for final compensation purposes. This is because your final compensation, for purposes of calculating your Defined Benefit retirement benefit, is not based on total earnings, but on the salary rate you are paid for the service that is credited to the Defined Benefit Program.