New Law Affects Military Service Credit Requirements

Military Service CreditMilitary service credit legislation amending Article 20 of the Retirement and Social Security Law was signed into law on May 31, 2016. The law removes the requirement that an NYSLRS member must have served during specific periods of hostilities in order to purchase military service credit under Article 20 of the Retirement and Social Security Law. Previously, only NYSLRS members who served in certain conflicts, including World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, were able to purchase service credit.

Under the new law (Chapter 41, Laws of 2016), eligible NYSLRS members may buy up to three years of their military service as long as they:

  • Have at least five years of creditable service in NYSLRS (other than their military service);
  • Have been honorably discharged from active military service; and
  • Have not received credit for this service in any other public retirement system in New York State.

What Will Military Service Credit Cost?

There is a cost for this service credit. If you work full-time, here’s how you can estimate the cost:

  • Tiers 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5: The cost will be 3 percent of the compensation you earned during the 12 months of credited service immediately prior to our receipt of your request, times the number of years of military service being claimed.
  • Tier 6: The cost will be 6 percent of the compensation you earned during the 12 months of credited service immediately prior to our receipt of your request, times the number of years of military service being claimed.

How to Apply for Military Service Credit

To apply and request a cost of for military service credit:

  1. Scan and email your Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty papers (DD-214) to msunit@osc.state.ny.us and include your name and contact information. You’ll receive an email acknowledging that we received your request;

or

  1. Fax your name, contact information and a copy of your DD-214 to 518-486-6405 or 518-402-7799;

or

  1. Mail your name, contact information and a copy of your DD-214 to:
    Military Service Unit
    110 State Street
    Albany, NY 12244-0001

If you have questions, email us at msunit@osc.state.ny.us. We will be providing additional information on our Military Service Credit page over the coming days.

19 thoughts on “New Law Affects Military Service Credit Requirements

    1. NYSLRS

      Reserve and National Guard service may be allowable if you have active duty service (for example, during boot camp), have a DD-214 and meet eligibility requirements.

      Reply
  1. Rodney George

    The 6% that I pay for servive credit. Is is based on amount of mony made the years I am appling for or current salary? I made $4500/yr in 1974 and 1975 while in service. That’s $264/yr @6%. If it is current salary $40000/yr thats $2400.. Seems to me it is taking advantage of the veteran. Charging twice as much for service to his/her country.

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      It’s based on your current salary.

      The laws that allow NYSLRS members to receive credit for their military service are enacted by the New York State Legislature, approved by both houses and signed into law by the Governor. NYSLRS then administers the programs that are signed into law.

      For Tier 6 members, the legislation says that the cost to purchase military service is 6 percent of the compensation you earned during the year of credited service immediately prior to our receipt of your request to receive credit for military service, times the number of years of military service being claimed.

      Reply
  2. Tim Field

    Can the purchased service credit be used to “accelerate” the date of retirement? In other words, if I have 18 years of service now and then purchase 3 years of Military Service Credit, will this allow me to retire now with 21 years of service?

    Thank you

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      Military service credit can be used to reach retirement milestones, such as qualifying for a better retirement benefit calculation.

      If you have 18 years of service credit, and then purchase three years of military service credit, as long as you meet the age and service requirements of your retirement plan, you can retire with 21 years of service.

      Before making a decision, we recommend that you consult with one of our customer service representatives. Please use our secure email form (link below) to contact one of our representatives. Explain your question and circumstances in the Comment field of the form, and someone will respond to you in 5-7 business days.
      https://nysosc9.osc.state.ny.us/product/ccsub.nsf/fsWeb?OpenFrameset

      Reply
      1. Timothy Stewart

        I had 17 plus years with the state. And also 17 plus years of military service. I had to retire due to a back injury on the job that required surgery on 5 May 2016. My retirement date was 7 May 2016. I had inquired twice in 2003 and 2012 about military credit. Am I still able to receive this benefit? And also what about the veterans who retired prior to the passage of this law?

        Reply
        1. NYSLRS

          Unfortunately, only members whose date of retirement is on or after June 1, 2016 are eligible to apply. If your date of retirement was before June 1, 2016, you were not eligible to apply for military service credit under the new law.

          The new law, Chapter 41 of the Laws of 2016, was approved by both houses and signed into law by the Governor. The Retirement System administers programs that are signed into law. The new law enables eligible NYSLRS members to buy back up to three years of active military service toward their retirement, regardless of when or where they served, however, it does not provide the opportunity for members who are already retired to apply to receive military service credit.

          Reply
  3. Anthony Ploufe

    My DD214 for active duty has under under honorable conditions also served in the army national guard for 17 years with a honorable discharge. Also have 20 year letter. Would I be eligible for the buy back.

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      You may be eligible to receive up to three years of military service credit as long as you were honorably discharged, have at least five years of credited service in the Retirement System, have not received credit for this service in any other public retirement system in New York State, and apply for and purchase military service credit before you retire.

      Please visit our Military Service Credit page for information about the cost and how to apply.

      Reply
  4. Peter K.

    I put about 7 months in boot camp Army National Guard. How about my 1 weekend(2days) a month and 2 weeks during camp for my 6 years of service. Would I get credit for that?

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      Reserve and National Guard service may be allowable if you have active duty service (for example, if you were on active duty during your seven months in boot camp), have a DD-214 for the service, and meet eligibility requirements.

      If you were not activated for your one weekend a month and two weeks annually, and do not have a DD-214 for those times, it likely will not be creditable.

      Please visit our Military Service Credit page for more information about eligibility requirements and how to apply.

      Reply
  5. Albert Breud Jr

    I retired in 2004 with military credits totaling 30 months, which I purchased, even though I served 36 months from Sept 60 to Sept 63. My question, am I eligible to purchase the additional 6 months? If yes, please send the necessary paper work. Thank you.

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      Unfortunately, you are not eligible to purchase service credit if you are already retired.

      If you would like to find out why you did not receive credit for the full 36 months, you can email our customer service representatives using our secure email form, and one of our representatives can review your account to address your questions. Filling out the secure form allows us to safely contact you about your personal account information. Please allow five to seven business days for a response.

      Reply
  6. Lenny Purcell

    I read that the new law indicates that the service member must have been honorably discharged. It does not indicate that the service member must have received an honorable discharge. I received a General Discharge Under Honorable Conditions. That is being discharged Honorably. There is a disposition of General Discharge with other than Honorable Conditions, that is not being discharged Honorably.

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      Please send your question to our customer service representatives using our secure contact form (http://www.emailNYSLRS.com). You can attach a copy of your Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD-214) to your email, and our staff can review your account and your DD214 to let you know if you might be eligible. Please allow 5 to 7 days for a response.

      Reply
    2. Paul Kolacki

      I am questioning the same thing. I also received A General under Honorable Conditions Discharge, and had several service awards. General under Honorable is the same thing as an Honorable Discharge. NYS Retirement should treat it the same way. I recently sent my paperwork in for credit, but have yet to receive a response.

      Reply
      1. Robert Maldonado

        Hey Paul. the NY City retirement system (NYCERS) clearly states under Honorable circumstances as being accepted. It follows New York State Military Law.
        I think we have a good fight ahead.
        Reply to me @ Malo912@aol.com or r.maldonado.ocfs.gov

        Reply
      2. Robert Maldonado

        So what happened Paul. Did they give you credit for Under Honorable Conditions?
        Mr. Robert Maldonado

        Reply

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