Purchasing Service Credit


Purchasing Service Credit

Several types of prior service may be purchased and included in your total years of service. Purchasing service credit can increase your retirement benefit* and, in some cases, allow you to retire earlier.

VCERA offers two types of service purchases: prior County/District service and prior public service. For purposes of vesting and retirement eligibility, purchased County/District service counts toward these VCERA milestones, but purchased prior public service does not.

Click on a link below for more information about the types of prior service available for members to purchase.

* Purchasing prior service may not increase the pension of a member who is awarded a disability retirement, which is calculated as a percentage of a member’s final average compensation. Depending on various factors, a disability retirement benefit may exceed a service retirement benefit, even with the inclusion of additional service credit due to purchased prior service.

Excluded Service

You may purchase retirement service credit if you previously served in a County or district position that was excluded from VCERA membership, such as:

  • Extra Help or part-time service prior to January 1, 1992, or
  • Pre-membership period between June 30, 1979 and July 10, 1999.

Medical Leave

You may purchase retirement service credit for unpaid personal medical leaves that occurred during your membership. For medical leaves prior to April 25, 2004, you must provide documentation indicating you were unable to work due to a personal medical condition. Intermittent leaves of absence and leaves to care for family members may not be purchased.


Redeposit of Refunded Contributions

You may redeposit retirement contributions that you previously withdrew from an earlier period of membership in VCERA. To restore your forfeited retirement service credit, you must redeposit all previously withdrawn contributions plus the interest that would have accrued on those contributions had they remained on deposit since your date of withdrawal.


Public Service

You may be eligible to purchase service credit for employment in a public agency that occurred before you entered VCERA membership. “Public agency” is defined as:

1.  Any department or agency of the United States government, including active military service.

2.  Any department or agency of the State of California, including school districts.

3.  Any city or county within California.

4.  Any public corporation, municipal corporation or public district situated in whole or in part within Ventura County.

5.  Any local agency formation commission.

6.  Any department or agency within the District of Columbia.