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Service Credit

Service credit impacts your eligibility for benefits and the amount of your benefits.

For teaching service performed after June 30, 2012 (K-12 organizations), service credit is calculated using your salary relative to an “annual base salary” based at the lowest BA level, full-time teacher base contract salary in each district. Click here for examples.

As defined by Minnesota Statutes:

Paid sick leave, vacation days and all required paid attendance days and hours (such as workshops) are counted toward service credit.

MnSCU employees

For MnSCU employees who have elected TRA as their retirement plan, service credit is calculated as follows:

Full-time service credit for MnSCU members is determined by the definition of full-time employment in the collective bargaining agreement or in the applicable personnel or salary plan. Part-time service credit is the proration of equivalent full-time service. TRA defines service credit and earned salary on a fiscal year basis (July 1 through June 30).

Prior service purchase

The authority to purchase prior military service is described in Minnesota Statutes 354.543.

Vesting requirements

As a Minnesota teacher in TRA, you start building your retirement benefit your very first day in the classroom. Vesting simply means you have earned enough service credit to be eligible for a benefit other than a refund of your contributions.

If you performed TRA-covered service after May 15, 1989, you are vested after only three years of teaching service, and are eligible for normal or early retirement benefits, disability benefits and joint and survivor benefits. Most benefits increase in value with additional service credit beyond the required minimum.

If you performed TRA-covered service after June 30, 1987, but not after May 15, 1989, you are vested after five years of service and if you have not performed TRA-covered service since June 30, 1987, the vesting requirement is 10 years.

You may be eligible for a combined service annuity upon retirement if you have met the vesting requirements and have at least one-half year of allowable service credit with one or more of the other Minnesota public pension fund. Your combined service credit can be used to meet your vesting requirement.

Combined Service Annuity (CSA)

A combined service annuity is a retirement benefit based upon allowable service earned in two or more of the Minnesota public pension funds. If your combined service meets your vesting requirement of 3, 5 or 10 years, you may elect at retirement to receive a combined service annuity from each fund in which you have at least one-half year of allowable service.

Application for a combined service annuity must be made to each retirement fund individually and the effective dates of your retirement with each of the public pension funds must be within a one year period.

Allowable service earned in any fund listed here may be used with TRA allowable service to qualify for combined service:

St. Paul Teachers Retirement Fund Association

Minnesota State Retirement System

State Employees Retirement Fund

Legislator's Retirement Plan

Correctional Employees Retirement Program

Unclassified Employees Retirement Plan

State Patrol Retirement Fund

Judges Retirement Fund

Elective State Officers' Retirement Plan

Public Employees Retirement Association

Minnesota Employees Retirement Fund
    (a division of PERA as of as of July 1, 2010)

Public Employees Retirement Fund

Public Employees Police and Fire Fund

Public Employees Local Government Correctional Service Retirement Plan

A worksheet to help you decide if a CSA is best for you is available in our brochure, Combined Service Annuity vs. Coverage by More Than One Fund.



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