Active Duty Military Service
If you have both intervening and nonintervening military service, no more than six years of combined service will be credited.
You can receive credit for time you spend in active duty military service with the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, or Coast Guard. There may or may not be a cost to you, depending on whether your active duty service occurred during (intervening) or outside of (nonintervening) your Michigan public school employment.
Your service is considered intervening service if you leave school employment, directly enter active duty in the U.S. armed forces, including reserve components, and return to employment in a participating public school within 24 months of discharge.
Nonintervening service is active duty service that does not interrupt your Michigan public school service.
- You cannot receive credit for military service if you receive credit for the same service under another retirement system. However, this restriction doesn't apply if you will be eligible to retire from the federal government for service in the reserve component.
- If you are receiving disability benefits from the Veterans Administration and are not eligible to receive a regular age and service retirement benefit now or in the future, you may be eligible to purchase your active duty service. You will need to provide a copy of your most recent Retiree Account Statement (RAS). This can be obtained at https://myPay.dfas.mil, by phoning 800-321-1080, or writing to the address below.
Defense Finance and Accounting Service
U.S. Military Retirement Pay
P.O. Box 7130
London, KY 40742-7130
- If you have both intervening and nonintervening military service, you can't be credited with more than six years combined.
- For additional conditions, go to Adding to Your Service Credit.
- You may receive up to six years of service credit at no cost if you leave school employment, directly enter active duty in the U.S. armed forces, including reserve components and periods of training, and return to Michigan public school employment within 24 months of discharge. If your required service extends beyond 6 years, contact ORS for more information.
- You may use intervening military credit to satisfy vesting requirements.
- Periods of training, the initial six months of basic training, weekend duty, and summer camp time may qualify if the time served interrupted your Michigan public school service.
- If your military leave of absence meets the criteria established under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA)* you will be granted service credit for the time you served in the military (subject to statutory limits) and any creditable decompression time allowed under the following guidelines:
Less than 31 days. Your military service and travel time from the place of service to your residence, plus 8 hours.
31 to 180 days. Your military service and up to 14 days of decompression time.
181 or more. Your military service and up to 90 days of decompression time.
*USERRA is a federal law that provides reemployment rights for individuals who have served in the military.
- If your active duty U.S. military service did not interrupt your public school service, you can purchase up to five years of credit.
- Nonintervening military service may be purchased in any fraction of a year increment.
- Nonintervening military service cannot be used to satisfy vesting requirements.
- You may purchase this service before you are vested, but it will not be credited to you until you reach vested status.
- MIP members retiring under the 60 with 5 provision are not eligible to purchase nonintervening active duty military service.
Weigh Your Cost Versus Benefit
"Buying time" isn't always an easy decision. You have to weigh the costs, with the benefits. Fortunately, there's a terrific tool to help you decide the benefits: our benefit estimator. You can enter any number of "what-if?" scenarios, and the program will give you a pension estimate, quickly and easily.
Intervening service credit: There is no cost for most intervening service credit. For intervening Active duty training and/or inactive Duty Training service, the cost is the amount of retirement contributions that would have been paid had you remained a public school employee.
Nonintervening service credit: Your cost is based on your highest previous school fiscal year's earnings while employed in this system (part-time wages will be equated to full-time), multiplied by 5 percent (.05) for each year of military service purchased.
Submit a Military Service Credit Application (R0081C) with a copy of your military discharge papers (DD214) showing entry and separation dates. Follow the directions provided on the form.
For copies of your military papers, write to: National Personnel Records Center, Military Personnel Records, 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO 63138-1002. You can obtain the request form online by visiting www.archives.gov.
For more information on purchasing service credit, see How to Purchase Service Credit.