Multiple Service Membership
An employee who was previously employed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania may request to have that service combined with his or her PSERS service. Initiating the act of combining your PSERS and State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS) accounts is referred to as electing multiple service membership. Being granted multiple service membership almost always enhances the retirement benefit for those who choose to do so.
If you at one time worked for a Commonwealth agency such as the Department of Education, the Department of Labor and Industry, PennDot, the Department of Health and Welfare, the State Liquor Control Board, the Department of Corrections, the Pennsylvania Game Commission, etc., you may have service credit with SERS and should consider applying to combine your accounts.
Electing Multiple Service Membership
If you are a new member of PSERS, you have
365 days from the date of your notification from PSERS
to elect multiple service membership. You may only elect multiple service membership during this time unless you have a break in service. When you subsequently become a member of PSERS, you have 365 days from the date of reemployment to elect multiple service membership.
If the request is not received within 365 days, you will forfeit your right to elect multiple service.
The election must also occur while you are an active contributing member of PSERS. Therefore, PSERS must receive your request for multiple service membership
within 365 days of the date of the initial membership letter or prior to termination, whichever is earlier.
As a new member, you were sent the
Application for Multiple Service Membership (PDF) with the packet of information PSERS sends to new members. You can also print the form directly from the PSERS website by using the above link, or contact PSERS to receive a copy.
Important Facts about the Election of Multiple Service
- The election for multiple service membership is irrevocable.
- If you are currently receiving a monthly benefit from SERS and you are granted multiple service membership, your SERS pension will be stopped immediately.
- Your contributions and interest will continue to earn interest as long as you remain active in either of the two Systems, or you are vested.
- Your record of service, contributions, and interest will remain separate in each System until you terminate service and apply for a refund or retirement.
- If you are granted multiple service and you contributed to both PSERS and SERS at the same time within the same year, you may initially have received credit for more than one year of service. This is known as having overlapping service. When you retire, only one year of service credit will be given per year.
You should check your service credit with each System prior to retirement, as when overlapping service is leveled to one year of service credit per year, you may have less service than you anticipated.
- When you apply for retirement, each system independently calculates your retirement benefit. The retirement is based on the average of your three highest years’ salary in either System, your combined contributions, interest, and years of credited service. The System from which you are retiring will pay you a combined retirement benefit.
- You will receive a refund of your contributions and interest from each System if you are not entitled to a monthly benefit.