Human Resources

Q:

Retirement Incentive Plans: What is the difference between qualified and non-qualified service?  What types of service credit can I purchase, and how much do they cost?



A:

Employees may purchase the following types of service credit.

  • Qualified Service, as listed below, may be purchased based on a current actuarial chart. (Exceptions: workers\' compensation and withdrawn service, see below.) To access a purchase calculator, which will allow you to calculate your cost, go to www.retirement.sc.govand log in.
    • Public Service – any period of paid public service as an employee of the government of the United States, a state or a political subdivision of the United States. This includes student employment for a public institute of higher education as a graduate or undergraduate student.
    • Educational Service – any period of paid classroom teaching consisting of grades kindergarten through 12 in a public, private or sectarian school.
    • Military Service – any period of military service, including United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, Select Reserves, and Army or Air National Guard, up to a maximum of six years. Discharge must be under conditions other than dishonorable and must not overlap any period of earned service.
    • Leave of Absence – any period of employer-approved leave of absence with an employer participating in the retirement system, up to a maximum of two years per leave of absence.
    • Workers\' Compensation – any period of leave of absence while receiving Workers\' Compensation benefits. The cost of workers\' compensation service is based upon contribution plus interest using salary at the time of injury.
    • Withdrawn Service – any service from which you left employment and received a refund of your contributions plus interest. The cost to establish withdrawn service is the amount you withdrew plus the interest that would have accrued in the account.
  • Non-qualified Service is additional time “air time, not earned” that a member may purchase to meet eligibility or to increase benefits. The cost is based on a current actuarial chart. To access a purchase calculator, which will allow you to calculate your cost, go to www.retirement.sc.gov and log in.



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