"Service” is one of the most important terms in APERS’ retirement plan. Service is used to determine retirement eligibility as well as the amount of the benefit you will receive. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most complicated and misunderstood terms we use.
Term: Actual Service
Actual service is defined as “service credited at the rate of one month for each month of service.” This simply means that for each month you work full time (at least 80 hours) you earn one month’s actual service credit in the retirement system covering your employment. For example, if you work 10 years for an APERS covered employer, you earn 10 years actual service credit in APERS.
Term: Enhanced Service
Enhanced service refers to service that is credited at more than a one-to-one ratio for people in certain positions. For example, elected county and municipal officials earn two months service for every one month they work in their elected position.
Some types of service can be purchased. Examples include service earned working for another state government or for the federal government as well as military service (active duty, Armed Forces Reserve duty, or Arkansas National Guard duty). Also, contributory members who leave covered employment and take a refund of their employee contributions can purchase the service they forfeited if they return.
Reciprocal service is service earned in other state-sponsored systems. For APERS members, service earned in a reciprocal system like the Arkansas Teachers’ Retirement System or the Arkansas State Highway Employees Retirement System can only be used to meet eligibility requirements for vesting and retirement in APERS.
Credited Service is a total of any combination of the services listed above. Credited service is used to meet eligibility requirements for vesting and retirement.
Did you Know that active members can check their current service totals in the Member's Self-Service Portal? After logging in, click the Your Account link on the top menu, and then scroll down to the Account Information tab and select the Details link. If you haven't already activated your account and established your username and password, view our blog Setting up Your Online Account.
For more information on how service is used to establish eligibility for retirement, view our FAQ-Retirement Eligibility page.
For more information on how service is used to calculate benefits, view our blog Understanding the Benefit Formula.
For more information on purchasing service, visit our FAQ-Purchasing Service page.