HARRISBURG – Sen. Greg Rothman (R-34) and Sen. Katie Muth (D-44) today introduced bipartisan legislation to ensure Pennsylvania teachers who serve in the military have adequate time to purchase military service toward their Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS) benefits.
“Our service members face so many unique challenges after separating from military service and returning to civilian life,” Rothman said. “This bill would ensure they have adequate time to make an informed decision about their retirement benefits.”
Senate Bill 1033 would give all active PSERS members who had activated military service between July 1, 1990, and June 30, 2013, until their date of termination of service to purchase service credit for activated military service.
“After honorably serving our country, returning home and transitioning back into our communities, our servicemembers should not have to also immediately make decisions about their retirement benefits,” Muth said. “This bill would ensure that any teachers who were called into active duty in the midst of their professional career have the same opportunities to purchase that service time toward their retirement benefit as educators who had served in our military prior to their teaching career.”
Under current law, military service members are given until termination of service to purchase non-intervening military service – or military service prior to becoming a PSERS member – toward their PSERS retirement benefit. If, however, between July 1, 1990, and June 30, 2013, a PSERS member was called to active duty and did not continue contributions to PSERS while deployed, they had only one year after returning to Pennsylvania public school service from their activated military service to apply to PSERS to purchase the service credit. Military service after June 30, 2013, falls under the guidelines of the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.
Senator Rothman and Senator Muth both serve as members of the PSERS Board of Trustees.
CONTACT: Morgan Wagner