Types of Prior Service
You may purchase up to 48 months of each of the following types of prior public service. With the exception of some types of active duty military service, the service must not be used to qualify you for a benefit under another retirement plan:
Active Duty Military Service
If this service was with the Armed Forces Reserves or the National Guard, you may purchase this service even if it will be used to qualify you for a military pension. Other types of military service that qualify you for a military pension are not eligible for purchase.
Full-Time Salaried Federal Service
This is service in a civilian position with the federal government.
Full-time Salaried Public Service other than previous VRS Service
This is service with a public employer or school system of another state or United States territory or with a Virginia public employer that does not participate in VRS.
Non-Covered Service with a VRS-Participating Employer
If you worked in a temporary, part-time or other non-covered position for an employer that participates in VRS, you may be eligible to purchase this service.
Approved Leave for the Birth or Adoption of a Child
You must be on leave from a VRS-covered position. If your spouse is an active VRS member, he or she also may purchase this leave.
Approved Educational Leave
You must be on leave from a VRS-covered position.
If you move to a VRS-covered position from a non-VRS participating employer with which VRS has a portability agreement, you can elect to transfer your retirement assets from your previous employer’s plan to purchase service credit in VRS. If not all of your previous service transfers, you can purchase the remainder as non-ported service, not to exceed 48 months. Your employer will determine the amount of assets eligible for transfer. VRS will determine the amount of service the transferred assets will purchase in the VRS plan. If you have more than 48 months of non-ported service, you can purchase the remainder as public service (see above), not to exceed 48 months of all eligible public service you may have previously purchased.
VRS Portability Agreements
VRS has portability agreements with the following Virginia public employers that do not participate in VRS: City of Charlottesville, City of Danville, City of Newport News, City of Norfolk, City of Richmond, City of Roanoke and County of Fairfax.
Sick Leave Conversion at Retirement
If you are eligible for a payment of unused sick leave at retirement, you may elect to have this payment converted to service credit toward your benefit calculation. Your employer will deduct the appropriate tax withholding from the payment and then send the funds to VRS for this purchase. VRS will calculate the service credit amount represented by the remainder of the payment based on an actuarial equivalent rate. If you wish to apply the full payment toward the conversion, you may add back the amount of taxes withheld through a lump-sum payment.
VRS Refunded Service
You may apply for up to the full amount of refunded service. If you left covered employment and took a refund of your member contribution account balance, you may purchase some or all of your refunded service upon reemployment in a covered position.
No-Cost Military Leave
You may apply to receive prior service credit for each occurrence of active duty military leave at no cost provided you are not dishonorably discharged, return to covered employment within one year of discharge and do not take a refund of your member contributions and interest.
If you go on short-term disability under the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP) or on leave without pay receiving only workers' compensation and retirement contributions are not withheld from your workers' compensation payment, you may be eligible to purchase service credit for the time you are on short-term disability or up to 24 months of your leave period. Contact your human resource office for more information.
See Prior Service Cost and Eligibility Periods for additional details regarding VRS refunded service, no-cost military leave and workers’ compensation.