Please be advised that on May 31, 2016 Governor Cuomo signed into law Chapter 41 of the Laws of 2016 which amends New York State Retirement and Social Security Law (“RSSL”) §1000. Chapter 41 removes the specified periods of time, medal requirements, and theaters of operation in which military service would have to have been rendered for a service purchase. Prospectively, members need only have been honorably discharged from the military to be eligible to purchase pre-membership service credit pursuant to RSSL §1000. This law is not retroactive and does not permit retired members to purchase service credit.
RSSL §1000 service purchases (also referred to as “Chapter 548 buybacks”) grants an active member who has five years of credited service, not including the military service being purchased, the eligibility to purchase up to three years of military service for pension credit. The member must be able to produce a DD-214 demonstrating an honorable discharge from any branch of the U.S Armed Forces.
The member must render payment for the service credit as follows:
- If the member has a membership date with PPF on or prior to March 31, 2012:
- 3% of the member’s compensation earned during the 12 months of credited service immediately preceding the application date multiplied by years of military service claimed
- If the member has a membership date with PPF on or after April 1, 2012:
- 6% of the member’s compensation earned during the 12 months of credited service immediately preceding the application date multiplied by years of military service claimed
The member must apply and remit payment for service credit before the effective date of retirement. In the event of retirement prior to completing payment for the service credit purchase, the amount of service credited to the member shall be proportional to the total amount paid. If upon death, retirement, or separation, the service purchase does not produce a greater benefit, the cost of the service purchase must be refunded to the member with interest. A revised service purchase application can be found here.