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Creditable Service Overview

“Creditable service” is used to calculate the amount of your benefit under the CERF Pension Plan. For this reason, it is very important for you to understand how service is determined.

Creditable service is any period of employment in an eligible position and in a participating county. Absences for sickness or injury that are less than 12 months in duration also count as creditable service, provided your absence is considered a medical leave by the county and you have not terminated employment. You will also receive creditable service for qualified leaves of absence for military service.

There are, however, periods of employment that do not count as creditable service unless the service is purchased. These periods include:

  • A period during which you opted out of the plan;
  • If you are rehired, any service that you lost because you terminated employment before becoming vested;
  • If you are a part-time employee, the period of service in which you obtained 1,000 hours before you became a plan participant; or
  • Any period in which you fail to make the required contributions for any reason (i.e., if you want to receive credit for service during a military leave, you must buy back your service for this period of time).