Service credit, or allowable service, is the credit you earn each month retirement deductions are withheld from your salary. We use your service credit in a formula to determine your monthly retirement benefit. The more service you have and the higher your annual pay, the higher your monthly benefit.
Combined Service Annuity (CSA)
Many state employees have worked, or will someday work, for a Minnesota city, county, or school district. If you are covered by another Minnesota public retirement plan, this may combine with your service as a state employee. We call this a Combined Service Annuity (CSA).
Under CSA law, the various public retirement plans work together so you get credit for all of your service. Be sure to notify MSRS if you have service with another Minnesota public pension plan.
Minnesota plans covered under CSA law
Minnesota State Retirement System (MSRS)
Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA)
Teachers Retirement Association (TRA)
St. Paul Teachers Retirement Fund Association (SPTRFA)
Duluth Teachers Retirement Fund Association (DTRFA)
Important! When you switch public employers in Minnesota, your contributions and service credit are not rolled into the new plan. The service credit earned will remain with the fund that the service was earned. When you retire, you will receive a check from each public retirement association.
How combined service works
Your service with other Minnesota public pension plans counts for benefit eligibility. You need six years of service to quality for monthly retirement or survivor. If you have two years covered by PERA, and four years under the Legislators Plan, you would be eligible for monthly benefits.
In addition to having the service credit work together, all Minnesota public pension plans use the same high-five average salary to calculate monthly benefits. For example, if you have 12 years covered by the Legislators Plan, and 8 years of previous employment covered by PERA, it is likely that your current salary is higher than when you contributed to PERA. In this example, PERA will use your legislators high-five average salary to calculate benefits based on the 8 years of PERA service. If your high-five average salary was higher using the PERA service, then MSRS would use the PERA high-five salary.
When you retire, you will receive a check from both public retirement plans.
For more details, contact MSRS at 1-800-657-5757.