May 10, 2012
Re: Peacetime Military Service and Pension Credits
The Division of Pensions and Benefits recently proposed an amendment to their procedure regarding service credits in state pension systems for those employees who perform peacetime military service.
The rules governing this currently read, in relevant part:
b) A member reemployed under this section shall be treated as not having incurred a break in service with the employer by reason of the member's period of service in the uniformed services only for the purposes of vesting or determining eligibility for retirement and health benefits.
The Division proposes to change this to read:
b) A member reemployed under this section shall be treated as not having incurred a break in service with the employer by reason of the member's period of service in the uniformed services. A member that authorizes payroll deductions or makes a lump sum payment for the USERRA-eligible service will receive the pension service credit with the State-administered retirement system. The actual calculation of retirement benefits will include the time of uniformed service. Payment to the retirement system of any contributions for USERRA-eligible service is optional and voluntary on the part of the member.
The Division also stresses that it “is the employer's responsibility to notify employees of the benefit protection provided by USERRA.”
We urge you to discuss this with your chief financial officer.
Please do not hesitate to contact our Staff Attorney Matthew Weng at 609-695-3481 ext. 137 if you have any questions.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.