Service credit plays a vital part in your pension calculation and your eligibility for other NYSLRS benefits. As a NYSLRS member, you earn service credit by working for an employer who participates in the Retirement System. Your paid public employment is creditable. You would not, however, earn credit for any period when you are not receiving a salary, such as an unpaid leave of absence. You would earn credit for both full-time and part-time employment, but if you work part-time, the service you earn is pro-rated.
Earning Service Credit When You Work Full Time
When you work on a full-time, continuous basis throughout your career, we’ll calculate your total service credit from your date of employment up until the date you leave paid employment. Most full-time workers earn a year of service credit for working 260 workdays a year. For a full-time, 12-month employee, 260 workdays equal a full year. (If you work in an educational setting, you can read about earning service credit in our blog post, How School Employees Earn NYSLRS Service Credit.)
Earning Service Credit When You Work Part Time
Your service credit is prorated if you work part time. Part-time employment is credited as the lesser of:
the number of days worked ÷ 260 days
your reported annual salary ÷ (the State’s hourly minimum wage × 2,000)
You can think of it like this: let’s say you work 130 days in a year. If a year’s worth of service credit is earned for working 260 days full time, you’d earn half a year (0.5) of service credit for your part-time work.
Check Your Service Credit in Retirement Online
Retirement Online is the fastest way to check your current total estimated service credit. Once you sign in, go to the ‘My Account Summary’ section of your Account Homepage and look under “Account Information.”
You can also use Retirement Online to request credit for public employment from before you joined NYSLRS. If you’re eligible to purchase previous service credit, it’s a good idea to file your request as early in your career as possible because:
- Records we need to verify your service will be more readily available.
- If there is a cost, it will be less expensive than if you wait to purchase credit before retirement.
- Your retirement benefit will be processed more quickly if your service credit request has been reviewed or processed prior to retirement.