Service Credit Purchases

Overview

Purchasing Service Credits and Withdrawn Contributions

OCERS permits members to purchase Service Credit or redeposit withdrawn OCERS contributions.

Login to the myOCERS member portal and submit request online or download the Request to Purchase Service Credit Form.

How to Purchase Service Credit

For active or deferred members, the following periods may be purchased provided the service meets the necessary requirements:

  • Service with the County or other participating employer prior to membership during which time you were not eligible to be a member (Extra Help).
  • Leave of absence due to illness occurring on or after January 1, 1978, limited to 12 consecutive months for each occurrence, if you return to service after your leave. OCERS needs copy of approved/completed Leave of Absence form (submitted by member, obtained from employer) and a copy of signed Medical Release form (submitted by member, obtained from employer).
  •  Public Service, which is other eligible public service within the State of California, a county or city located in California or any district located wholly or partially within Orange County.  To qualify, you cannot be entitled to receive a pension or retirement benefit due to your prior public service.  In the case of Public Service purchase, you may purchase a portion or all of the service credit but your Public Service time does not count toward meeting the minimum qualifications for service retirement, deferred retirement, disability retirement or survivor benefits.
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Military Service; a copy of DD-214 Report of Discharge document required (submitted by a member, obtained from military service branch)

How to Redeposit Withdrawn Contributions from OCERS

  •  A former member may redeposit accumulated contributions previously withdrawn, plus interest accrued from date of separation from the system at any time prior to presenting an application for retirement if one of two criteria is met. You must be a Safety member now, OR, you were a Safety member when you were at OCERS.

If you are rehired by an employer (as a General or Safety member) participating in OCERS and have withdrawn your contributions plus interest, keep the following in mind:

  •  If you had been temporarily laid off and are reinstated to employment within 90 days and you repay your contributions plus interest within 180 days of reinstatement, your years of Service Credit are restored and original entrance age will be reinstated as if there was no break in service.
  •  If you are unable to redeposit your contributions as described above, you will still be permitted to repay your contributions plus interest at any time while a member of OCERS and prior to filing an application for retirement to have your years of Service Credit reinstated.
  • You can repay your contributions by redepositing the total amount withdrawn plus the interest your account would have earned during the period that you were not a member.  Interest will continue to be charged on the unpaid balance until your total balance is fully repaid.

With the exception of a temporary layoff, for purposes of calculating your contribution rate, your age will be based on your age at re-entry into employment.  California Government Code section 31652.

Payment Options for Purchasing Service Credit or Redeposit withdrawn OCERS contributions

There are four options to choose from:

Lump Sum Payment, Installment Payments, Payroll Deductions and Rollover from a tax qualified plan. 

Your Service Credit will be added to your retirement account only after the total amount due has been paid. Purchases of service or redeposits do NOT affect any other employer benefit or employment status.

If you wish to purchase Service Credit and have questions, please call OCERS at (714) 558-6200 and ask to speak with a Benefits Technician. 

 Available Brochure:  Service Purchase Contracts (Buybacks)