Retirement law allows you the opportunity to purchase credit for the time you were on a military leave of absence. Your retirement benefit is based in part on your length of service. Obtaining credit for the time you were on a leave may increase your retirement benefit.

Military service during state employment

If you leave state service to serve in the military and return to state employment within 90 days of discharge, you may buy your service credit for that time. There is a limited time to purchase this service credit, so it is important to contact MSRS as soon as you return.

To receive service credit for military leave,

  • you may pay into the retirement fund the retirement salary deductions you would have contributed had you been employed by the State during your time of military service.

  • your employer will pay the employer share of the retirement contribution plus interest.

Deadline to buy your service credit:

  • You must make payment within a period equal to three times the length of the leave (not to exceed five years), or before you terminate state service, whichever is earlier. For example, if you were on leave for one year, payment for this time must be made within three years.
  • If you miss this deadline, you may be able to purchase service credit under the "Military service prior to state employment" rules (see below).

Contact MSRS to request a calculation of the cost to purchase the service credit. You must provide a copy of your DD Form 214 or a copy of your original duty orders before we can do the calculation.

Military service prior to state employment

Legislation passed during the 2022 Minnesota legislative session provides MSRS participants the option to purchase service credit for one or more periods while in the uniformed services, as defined in the United States Code, title 38, section 4303(13). The eligible purchase is for military leave period(s) that occurred:

  • Before becoming a public employee; or
  • During public employment covered by an MSRS pension plan if you missed the original purchase timeframe under Minn. Stat. 352.27.

To learn more