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Benefits, service credit available for CalSTRS member veterans

Pension Sense blog | November 4, 2020

smiling woman in military clothes

This Veterans Day, we’ll be thinking of our CalSTRS members who have served in the past and those still active in the reserves.

Returning veterans and current reservists have a right to receive pension credit and benefits through the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA). These members can opt to pay back their retirement contributions in order to count the time they were away toward their pensions, as long as they return to the same employer.

At CalSTRS, this includes receiving credit for the Defined BenefitDefined Benefit Supplement and Cash Balance Benefit programs.

In addition to reemployment, returning veterans and active reservists also have a right to health insurance protection and freedom from discrimination and retaliation. Learn more from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Eligible uniformed service includes:

  • U.S. Armed Forces.
  • Army and Air National Guard.
  • Full-time National Guard.
  • Commissioned corps of the U.S. Public Health Service.
  • Any other category designated by the president in time of war or emergency.

Service may be voluntary or involuntary and includes:

  • Active duty.
  • Active or inactive duty training.
  • Funeral honors duty.
  • The period you’re absent from employment for an examination to determine your fitness for duty.
  • The period following your service through the last day you’re eligible to report back to work as specified under the Code of Federal Regulations.

To receive credit, your discharge must have been under honorable conditions.

Log into myCalSTRS and use our secure online messaging system to ask questions or call 800-228-5453 and select option 3 to schedule a benefits planning session with a CalSTRS benefit specialist.

To our members who have served, thank you, and to each of our members, thank you for your commitment to education.