Permissive Service Credit

Post

You may purchase permissive service credit for retirement purposes for performing non-CalSTRS work activities or for service credit you would have earned while on an employer-approved leave. Examples of permissive service include:

Nonmember Service

If you are a member, other than a retired member, you may elect to purchase all or a portion of part-time or substitute teaching service performed in the California public school system prior to becoming a member of CalSTRS or between refunding and becoming a CalSTRS member again.

Requirements

CalSTRS must verify all nonmember service reported through your employers.

You must be a member of CalSTRS to purchase nonmember service credit.

Service credit cannot be purchased if you have received, or are eligible to receive, credit for this service in another public retirement system.

Additional Information

Nonmember service credit can be used toward meeting eligibility requirements for all CalSTRS benefit enhancements.

Typically, for nonmember service, service credit is calculated using the following formulas:

  • If you are employed on a daily basis: 175 days = one year
  • If you are employed on an hourly basis: 1,050 hours = one year (175 days X 6 hours = 1,050 hours).

Out-of-State Teaching

If you are a member, other than a retired member, you may elect to purchase all or a portion of out-of-state service credit if you performed service in a position for an educational institution, or you performed educational service as an employee of the United States.

Requirements

To purchase out-of-state service credit, you must submit a completed Out-of-State Service Credit Certification form (OSSC304) for each former retirement system, or for each former employer if you were not a member of a public retirement system while performing service in a position for an educational institution or educational service as an employee of the U.S. The completed form must include the proper certification from your former retirement systems, former employers, or both, where applicable.

If you were a member of another public retirement system, the system must verify that you have forfeited or agree to forfeit all rights to benefits in that system, excluding Social Security. This service credit cannot be purchased if you are currently receiving a benefit for the same service.

If the retirement system cannot verify the amount of service credit you earned while being a member of that system, additional information will be required from your former employers.

If you were not a member of a public retirement system while performing service in a position for an educational institution or educational service as an employee of the U.S., your former employers must document and certify your employment history.

Once you receive the completed certification forms for all employment outside of California you wish to purchase, forward the forms to CalSTRS. The cost of the service credit will be based on the date CalSTRS receives all necessary information to complete the cost calculation.

If you decide to initiate the purchase process around the time of your retirement, notify CalSTRS prior to your retirement date that you are seeking your out-of-state employer information. Failure to notify CalSTRS will result in denial to purchase as the information could be received after your retirement date.

Additional Information

Out-of-state service credit can be used toward meeting eligibility requirements for CalSTRS benefit enhancements.

You may purchase out-of-state service credit toward vesting with CalSTRS, but the compensation you earned in that out-of-state service will not be used to calculate final compensation at the time of your retirement.

Out-of-state service cannot be used toward vesting and meeting the eligibility requirements for the CalSTRS disability program.

Sabbatical Leave

If you are a member, other than a retired member, you may elect to purchase service credit that you would have earned while on an employer-approved sabbatical leave (in compliance with Education Code Sections 44966-44969).

Requirements

Sabbatical leave must be approved by your employer pursuant to Education Code Section 44966.

CalSTRS may require additional documentation from the employer who granted the sabbatical leave.

Upon completion of sabbatical leave, you must return to the same district for a period equal to twice the period of the leave.

Additional Information

Sabbatical leave service credit can be used toward meeting eligibility requirements for all CalSTRS benefit enhancements.

Maternity or Paternity Leave

If you are a member, other than a retired member, you may elect to purchase service credit that you would have earned while on an employer-approved maternity or paternity leave. You may purchase up to 24 consecutive months for each employer-approved maternity or paternity leave.

Requirements

CalSTRS requires documentation from the employer verifying maternity or paternity leave. This documentation must include the following information:

  • Specify that the leave was for maternity or paternity purposes.
  • The exact beginning and ending dates of the approved maternity or paternity leave.
  • Signature of school or district official, submitted on official letterhead.

Each maternity or paternity leave can be up to 24 consecutive months.

Additional Information

Maternity or paternity leave service credit can be used toward meeting eligibility requirements for all CalSTRS benefit enhancements.

Family Care and Medical Leave

If you are a member, other than a retired member, you may elect to purchase service credit that you would have earned while on an employer-approved leave that was approved per the Family and Medical Leave Act (for leaves taken after January 1, 1992).

Requirements

CalSTRS requires documentation from the employer verifying the leave. This documentation must come in one of the following two formats and must be completed/signed by a school or district official:

  • Completion of the CalSTRS Verification for Employer-Approved Leaves (SC1553) form.
  • Documentation on school or district letterhead stating:
    • The dates of the leave.
    • Verification that the leave was approved as FMLA per the Family and Medical Leave Act guidelines.

Maximum allowable credit for time spent on FMLA leave is 12 weeks in any 12-month period.

Additional Information

FMLA service credit can be used toward meeting eligibility requirements for all CalSTRS benefit enhancements.

Other Types of Permissive Service Credit

If you would like to purchase service credit for the following activities, use the Redeposit or Purchase of Permissive Service Credit form.

University: Teaching in a publicly supported and administered California university that is not credited or possible for purchase in another retirement system.

To purchase university service credit, you must submit a completed Verification for California Public University Service Credit form.

Native American school: A certificated position in a federally administered and supported Native American school in California.

School for the blind or deaf: Teaching in the California School for the Deaf or the California School for the Blind or other special classes operated by California public schools for deaf or blind persons.

Childcare center: A certificated position in a California childcare center operated by a County Superintendent of Schools or school district.

Job Corps: A certificated position for up to two years in a federally administered Job Corps Center in California if you were employed to perform creditable service in the year before entering the Job Corps and returned to a CalSTRS-covered position within six months of leaving the Job Corps.

Peace Corps: A teaching position for up to two years of credit in the Peace Corps if you were employed to perform creditable service in the year before entering the Peace Corps and returned to a CalSTRS-covered position within six months of leaving the Peace Corps.

Fulbright leave: Employer-approved time in any program under the Federal Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Program.

Certain active U.S. military service during specific periods of time: Active CalSTRS membership within one year prior to entering military is required.

Purchasing permissive service credit for U.S. military service is processed differently than other types of service credit. Contact us for more information.