Earning Service/Service Purchase
Earning Credited Service
Credited service is the period of time you work for an SDRS participating employer, which is considered in your eligibility for benefits and the amount of benefits. Credited service represents complete or partial years of employment (you receive one-fourth of a year of credited service for each calendar quarter in which you make contributions to SDRS), as well as years of employment credited to you by retirement systems before consolidation into SDRS (before July 1, 1974).
Credited service includes time spent on authorized military leave of absence for your initial tour of duty, provided that you:
- Are employed before the leave,
- Return to public service within one year of discharge, and
- Remain employed for at least one year after returning.
Eligible members may purchase additional credited service in order to enhance their SDRS benefit at retirement. The cost to purchase credited service depends on your age at the time of purchase and is an actuarially-determined percentage of your salary.
The types of credited service that may be purchased include:
Prior public employment for which you are not eligible to receive a retirement benefit from for that period of service (subject to verification)
Nonqualified permissive service (air time) can be purchased if a member has at least five years of contributory service. A maximum of five years of air time may be purchased.
For additional information regarding service purchases: Foundation Member Service Purchase brochure
Reinstating Past Credited Service
When you terminate employment and withdraw your accumulated contributions, you will forfeit your right to any benefit under SDRS. If you are later rehired on a permanent, full-time basis, you may reinstate your past credited service if you repay any accumulated contributions you received when you left, plus interest.
The redeposit must be made no later than two years after your rehire and it must be made in a lump-sum payment. You can make the redeposit from your personal funds or by transfer from your individual retirement plan.
If you received a refund of your accumulated contributions when you terminated and do not redeposit your accumulated contributions when you are rehired, you will be treated as a new employee in establishing eligibility for benefits and in determining the amount of your benefits.