Employers' Pensions and Benefits Administration Manual (EPBAM)
Winter 2003
   

 

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U. S. Government Service Purchases When the Service Is from Employment with American International or Overseas Schools


When receiving an application to purchase United States government service from employment with an American International or Overseas School, the Division of Pensions and Benefits will use the following guidelines in determining the member's eligibility for the service credit purchase:

If the former employer returns the Federal Retirement System Retirement Verification Form, indicating the employee was a member of the Federal Retirement System or was entitled to receive a pension from the federal pension system, the employer verification portion of the service credit purchase process has been completed (see below).

If the former employer returns the Federal Retirement System Retirement Verification Form, indicating the employee was not a member of the Federal Retirement System, nor was the employee entitled to receive a pension from the federal pension system, the service credit purchase is not automatically denied:

At that time, the Purchase Bureau will review the Office of Overseas Schools - United States Department of State's Web site, at http://www.state.gov/m/a/os/ to determine whether the school where the member held employment is considered “accredited” or recognized by the United States Department of State. NOTE: Schools are listed by region (Africa, East Asia and Pacific, Near East, Europe, Western Hemisphere, etc.) on the United States Department of State's Web site; also, several different variations of the school's name may have to be entered before finding it among the overseas schools that are listed as "accredited."

If the school does not appear on the Office of Overseas Schools - United States Department of State's Web site as an "accredited" school, the Division's Purchase Bureau will then contact Mr. Keith Miller, Director of the Overseas Schools, at millerkd2@state.gov or at (202) 261-8200 to determine whether the school where the member had been employed belongs on the approved listing of "accredited schools".

Once the Division of Pensions and Benefits establishes that the school is “accredited”by the United States Department of State, (either it appears as an "accredited" school on the Office of Overseas Schools - United States Department of State's Web site, or the Director of the Overseas Schools has verified the school's "accredited" status), the Division of Pensions and Benefits will then verify that the member had also earned the minimum salary required, according to statute. If the minimum salary requirements for the employment period to be purchased are also met, the service is eligible for purchase.

If the school is not accredited and minimum salary requirements are not met, the service is not eligible for purchase. A denial letter will be issued to the member.

Please note: Members may purchase a maximum of ten years of combined U.S. government, military, and/or out-of-state service.

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Last Updated: November 1, 2005