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What are the general procedures to purchase service?
Can I purchase service completed outside of APERS?
Can I get any service credit at no cost?
While some service credit may be available at no cost, most prior service credit must be purchased. Purchasable service credit categories include:
• Repayment of a refund of contributions from previous employment covered by APERS.
• Out of State Government Service
• Federal Government Service.
• Military service (active duty, Armed Forces Reserve duty, or Arkansas National Guard duty).
• Other Service (including educational leave time, time lost due to Worker’s Compensation Injury, or service paid by a federal grant).
• Service with a City that does not belong to APERS.
Can I get my service credit restored after receiving a refund?
If you received a refund of contributions when you left a job covered by the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System, but you are now an active member of APERS or a reciprocal system, you may be able to repay your refund and re-establish the credited service you gave up when you took the refund. This may be done by paying into your account the amount withdrawn, plus regular compounded interest, from the date withdrawn to the date repaid.
Can I repay the refund immediately?
You have to be re-employed for 90 days, work at least 80 hours per month, and have 3 months of current service credit before you may repay the refund. Repayments may be paid in full or by fiscal year increments beginning with the most recent. Interest continues to accrue on the unpaid amount.
How much out of state service may I purchase?
Act 1021 of 2005 allows APERS vested active members to buy up to 5 years of credit for out of state government employment, provided that the worker seeking credit can show the out of state employment (such as teaching or law enforcement) would have been covered by a state retirement system if the work had been in Arkansas.
What do I do to apply to purchase service with another state government?
Members must submit a completed APERS Application for Service Purchase-OOS to document their out of state service to be purchased. APERS will then provide the cost of purchasing the service. Members cannot be receiving or be eligible for benefits from the out of state system.
Can I also purchase federal government service?
Yes. Act 2091 of 2005 also established that vested active members can purchase up to 5 years of federal government employment under the same conditions for out-of-state service.
Can I purchase federal service work as a contract employee?
No. APERS' employees can’t purchase work as a federal contractor, or any other federal work, not eligible at one time for federal retirement benefits.
What application do I use to apply to buy federal service credit?
Members must submit a completed APERS Application for Service Purchase-FED to document their federal service to be purchased. APERS will then provide the cost of purchasing the service. To purchase federal service, members can’t be receiving or be eligible for benefits from the federal system.
Can I purchase active military service?
Active or inactive APERS members may purchase anywhere from one month to 5 years of active duty military time if you:
a) Are vested for a future benefit from APERS
b) Received an honorable discharge; and
c) Have not purchased the same service with another State of Arkansas Plan
If I am receiving disability federal retirement pay, can I purchase active duty military service?
What do I need to do to prove my active duty military service?
To purchase active military duty service, members must submit a DD-Form 214 or other official documents of service that furnishes the beginning and ending dates of the active duty.
Can I purchase National Guard or the Armed Forces Reserves service?
Active members of APERS may purchase up to 3 years of Arkansas National Guard or Armed Forces Reserve duty if they:
a) Have 5 years of actual APERS service (or 5 years of combined service between reciprocal plans);
b) Aren’t receiving, or eligible to receive, at time of purchase federal military retirement pay (other than disability) based on 19 or more years of Arkansas National Guard or Armed Forces Reserve duty, and
c) Are separated from the National Guard or Reserves.
What is the purchasing formula for my National Guard or Armed Forces Reserve duty?
Members may purchase one year of service for every 5 years of satisfactory service in the Guard or Reserves. But members can only purchase three years total.
What is the maximum amount of military service I can purchase?
Members may only purchase a maximum of 5 years total military service (such as a combination of active duty, Guard or Reserves duty).
How do I document my Reserves or Guard duty?
To document Armed Forces Reserve duty, members must submit a DD-Form 214. To document National Guard service, members must submit an NGB Form 22. After confirming the service, APERS will provide the member a cost statement.
What other types of service may a member purchase?
Educational leave time; time lost due to Worker’s Compensation Injury, service to a public employer that was paid by a federal grant; service with a non-participating municipality; service with the U of A system not covered by another plan, and prior service with a participating employer before that employer joined APERS. Please contact APERS Member Services Section for specific information.
Who do I contact for more information on Purchasing Service?
For more information contact:
Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System
124 W. Capitol Ave., Suite 400
Little Rock, AR 72201
501-682-7800 Local Phone
1-800-682-7377 Toll Free
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