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Educational Service Credit FAQs
1. How often is my service credit updated?
  Service credit is updated on or around the 16th of the month to cover all major fractions of the previous month worked.
 
2. How do I earn service credit?
  You must be working in a qualifying position for the majority or major fraction of a month to earn service credit for that month.
 
3.  When do I not earn service credit?
  You will not earn service credit for unpaid leaves of absence for work in a non-qualifying position or for periods you are not working for your employer.
 
4.  What is a qualifying position?
  A qualifying position is one in which you perform 600 or more hours of service in a year in one or more jobs with one or more PERS-participating public employers. Under certain circumstances, a position in which you work less than 600 hours may be a qualifying position if your employer designates it as such.
 
5. How does a school year differ from a calendar year and how is it possible that I get credit for a full year when I only actually work 9, 10, or 11 months?
 

* This date may be as late as September 26th for Higher Education [Oregon University System and their campuses (other than OHSU) and Community Colleges].

 

Creditable service for school employees and academic employees is determined in six-month segments. If you work all portions of a school year that fall between July 1 and December 31 (fall term), you will receive six months of creditable service. If you work all portions of a school year that fall between January 1 and June 30 (spring term), you will receive six months of creditable service. For example, if you begin service at the start of the school year in September and work through the end of the fall term in December, you will receive creditable service for six months, including the months of July and August. If you work all of the spring term, you will receive creditable for six months, including the month of June.

If you fail to work all of the fall or spring term, you will not receive six months of creditable service for that term. If you terminate employment or go on leave without pay during the term, you are not providing service for all portions of the term. You will not receive creditable service for the summer months associated with the term. For example, if you begin service at the start of the school year in September, but terminate employment on November 30, you will not receive creditable service for July and August. You will only receive creditable service for September, October, and November. If you were counting July and August as part of your 30 years, you would be two months short.

 
6. Why do I lose three months of service credit if I retire on December 1, but I get a total of six months if I retire on January 1?
  If you begin service at the start of the school year in September but terminate employment on November 30, you will not receive creditable service for July and August because you did not work all portions of a school year that fall between July 1 and December 31. You will only receive creditable service for September, October, and November.
 
7. I am a custodian.  Is my service credit calculated with educational service credit rules?
  You are a school employee if you are employed by a common school district, a union high school district, an education service district, a charter school, community college, or Oregon University System and its campuses (other than OHSU). As a school employee, educational service credit as described above applies to you.
 
8. How do I fix being listed as a current employee of my former school employer when I stopped working for the school system in 2008?
  Contact your former employer and ask them to report your official termination.
 
9. I am planning for my retirement and believe that some of my service credit is missing or incorrect.  How do I get it changed?
  Changes to your employment records are done through your employer. Please contact your employer to verify that all employment has been reported to PERS. Employers may contact PERS if they have questions regarding reporting additional employment. If you are within two years of your earliest eligible retirement date, you may submit a Data Verification request via Online Member Services.
 
10. What is the difference between service credit for waiting time for the OPSRP Pension Program and the PERS Chapter 238 Program Tier One or Tier Two?
 

You become an OPSRP Pension Program member after serving a six-month waiting time and will be credited with retirement credit for your waiting time.

If you became a Tier One or Tier Two member of the PERS Chapter 238 Program prior to January 1, 2004, at retirement may choose, if certain conditions are met, to purchase retirement credit for the waiting time you served before becoming a PERS member.

 
11.  Who qualifies for out-of-state teaching service time purchase and what are the restrictions and eligibility?
  If you are an eligible PERS Chapter 238 Program (Tier One/Tier Two) member, you may purchase up to four years retirement credit for teaching or administrative service at a public school in one or more states other than Oregon. To be eligible, you must meet the following requirements:
  a. Be a licensed teacher employed by an Oregon public school district, union high school district, or an educational service district.
  b. Been employed as a licensed teacher in a public school in another state before being employed in a position that entitled you to service credit in PERS, as an example:
    1. You may purchase periods of employment teaching at a public school in Washington, D.C., because it is within the United States.
    2. You may not purchase retirement credit for teaching outside the United States under a contract with the Department of Defense.
    3. You may purchase periods of employment as a public school administrator in another state if, while employed as an administrator, you held a teaching license and were directly responsible for coordinating educational programs or supervising or evaluating teachers.
    4. You must pay the full cost of the anticipated lifetime monthly benefit increase. You can make this purchase up to 90 days before or 90 days after your effective retirement date.
  c. Not entitled to receive a monthly or periodic retirement allowance from a public retirement plan that was the principal employer-sponsored plan offered to public employees during your employment in another state, as an example:
    1. Eligibility for benefits from any ancillary or supplemental plans or programs such as an IRC 403(b) tax-deferred annuity plan or an IRC 457 deferred compensation plan does not exclude a you from purchasing retirement credit.
    2. Eligibility to receive a lump-sum payment from a public plan in another state does not affect your eligibility to purchase out-of-state educational service time.