Prior Service Credit

How to Purchase Prior Service Credit

 

Once a member has received a cost statement for the purchase of prior service credit, there are several payment options available:

 

1. Members who enrolled in a Deferred Compensation (457 Plan) program may use funds from their Deferred Compensation account without penalty . Forms for this purpose are available in the CRS office.

2. Members may use payroll deduction. The use of payroll deduction for the purpose of service credit may not be extended beyond five (5) years. The required forms for this purpose are available in the CRS office and must be notarized. An authorization for payroll deduction is an irrevocable agreement and the amount of the deduction cannot be altered once initiated.

3. Members may pay using a personal check.

4. The purchase of prior service credit must be completed prior to your retirement.


Prior City of Cincinnati Service

Active members of the Cincinnati Retirement System (CRS) may re-purchase prior City of Cincinnati service credit if:

  • It was earned prior to July 1, 1991 only as a full time permanent employee of the City of Cincinnati for which pension contributions were paid to the Cincinnati Retirement System; or
  • It was earned after July 1, 1991 as an employee of the City of Cincinnati for which pension contributions were paid to the Cincinnati Retirement System; and
  • The member received a refund of their CRS pension contributions for that period of employment service.
  • Have been a member of CRS for at least 18 months


A cost calculation will be prepared and mailed to the member upon receipt of their signed application for the purchase of eligible prior City of Cincinnati service.  Members must repay the amount of the withdrawn CRS pension contributions, plus interest from the date of withdrawal, in order to obtain this prior service credit. The purchase of prior service credit must be completed prior to your retirement.

Employment service in part-time, seasonal, student or co-op positions held prior to July 1, 1991 IS NOT ELIGIBLE for the purchase of prior service credit.  Applications for ineligible service will not be accepted by the Retirement Office.

Click here for the Prior City Service Credit Application

 

Military Service

Active members of the Cincinnati Retirement System can purchase up to three years of service credit for actrive duty military service PERFORMED PRIOR to becoming a member of the Cincinnati Retirement System. To be eligible for purchase of military service credit, you must have been honorably discharged and provide the Retirement System with a copy of discharge form DD214 and complete an application form. You may only purchase retirement service credit for active duty as a member of the armed forces of the United States. This includes service in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Auxiliary Corps as established by Congress, or member of the Army Nurse Corps, Navy Nurse Corps, or Red Cross Nurse who has served in the Army, Navy or hospital service of the United States. Military service credit purchases must be completed prior to your retirement. The minimum amount of military service you can purchase is one (1) year, and the maximum amount of military service credit you can purchase is three (3) years. Military service credit purchased in the Cincinnati Retirement System counts towards healthcare eligibility (15 years minimum service credit must be earned in the Cincinnati Retirement System). Retirement healthcare benefits are always subject to change and are not a vested benefit.
 

Click here for the Military Service Credit Application


Prior Service with Another Ohio Retirement System for State and Local Employees

Active members of the Cincinnati Retirement System (CRS) who have at least 18 months service credit may purchase or transfer prior service credit earned as a member of one of the five Ohio statewide public retirement systems prior to their employment with the City of Cincinnati. In December 2001, the Cincinnati Retirement System entered into Reciprocity agreements with the five statewide Ohio public retirement systems (OPERS, STRS, SERS, OP&F, and State Highway Patrol) making it possible for active members of these systems to purchase service credit if they were former members of any Ohio public retirement system. If contributions were not withdrawn, there may be little or no cost to transfer the service credit. If contributions were withdrawn, those contributions plus interest must be repaid in order to obtain credit for the prior service. If the prior service occurred prior to July 1, 1991, the position you held must have been a full-time permanent position to be eligible for purchase of prior service. Part-time, seasonal, or co-op positions held prior to July 1, 1991 are not eligible for purchase of prior service credit. Any service credit (full time or part-time) earned after July 1, 1991 is eligible to be re-purchased. Concurrent service (service credit earned in one of the five statewide Ohio public retirement systems with another employer WHILE you were employed by the City of Cincinnati and a member of the Cincinnati Retirement System) is not eligible for purchase.

Service credit purchased or transfers must be completed prior to your retirement. Ohio service credit purchased or transferred to the Cincinnati Retirement System counts towards retirement eligibility, but does NOT count towards healthcare eligibility (15 years service credit must be earned in the Cincinnati Retirement System).  Retirement healthcare benefits are always subject to change and are not a vested benefit.

Click here for the Prior Ohio Service Credit Application
 

Out of State/Federal Service

Active members of the Cincinnati Retirement System (CRS) who have at least 18 months service credit may purchase up to five years of service credit for their employment with the Federal Government or with a public entity in another state (other than Ohio) which occurred prior to their membership in the Cincinnati Retirement System AND during which time they were enrolled in a Defined Benefit Pension Plan. Eligible service must have occurred PRIOR to your membership in the Cincinnati Retirement System and cannot be used in the calculation of retirement benefits under any other retirement system. Your pension contributions to your former employer’s Defined Benefit Plan must have been refunded to you. Contributions to Social Security are not eligible for the purchase of prior Federal or Out of State service credit.  If the prior service occurred prior to July 1, 1991, the position you held must have been a full-time permanent position to be eligible for purchase of prior service. Part-time, seasonal, or co-op positions held prior to July 1, 1991 are not eligible for purchase of prior service credit. All service credit earned after July 1, 1991 is eligible to be re-purchased. Federal and Out of State service credit purchased counts towards retirement eligibility, but does NOT count towards healthcare eligibility (15 years service credit must be earned in the Cincinnati Retirement System).  Retirement healthcare benefits are always subject to change and are not a vested benefit.
The purchase of Federal or Out of State service credit must be completed prior to your retirement. A cost calculation will be prepared by the Retirement System’s actuary and will specify the total cost. Members must pay a non-refundable application fee of $250 to request a cost calculation for the purchase of Federal/Out of State service credit. Cost calculations are valid only for 30 days from the date they were issued to the member. If you choose to proceed with the service purchase, the $250 application fee will be applied towards the cost of purchasing the Federal or Out-of-State service credit. If you do not notify the CRS within the 30 day time limit and choose to proceed with a purchase, an additional $250 application fee will be required to generate an updated cost calculation and only one (1) of those application fees paid will be applied towards your purchase of the Federal or Out of State service credit.
In addition to the completed application and fee payment, you must provide the Retirement System with a signed and dated certification from your previous public employer which includes:
   
• The employing agency name, address, telephone, and contact person;
• Your name and Social Security Number;
• Your date of hire and date of termination;
• Your gross earnings and pension contributions by calendar year;
• Verification of part-time or full time status in your prior position;
• Certification that pension contributions have been refunded (including refund date and amount);
• Verification that the service credit will not be used in the calculation of a retirement benefit.

Click Below to access the CRS Federal/Out of State Service Credit Application Form:

CRS Federal/Out of State Service Credit Application