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Prior Service Cost and Eligibility Periods

Hybrid members: See related Hybrid Retirement Plan resources.

Members in Plan 1

If you are in Plan 1 and you purchase prior service within three years of becoming eligible, your cost will be based on 5 percent of your compensation or average final compensation at the time of purchase, whichever is higher. If you purchase service through a payroll deduction or salary reduction contract, your cost will be based on your compensation, even if your average final compensation is higher. See Payment Methods.

Your eligibility period begins upon employment in a covered position or following an eligible period of leave. If you do not purchase your prior service and leave your job, you will remain eligible to purchase it if you return to covered employment. However, your eligibility period will still be in effect. If you accrue eligible prior service after leaving covered employment and then return to covered employment, the eligibility period for this service will begin upon reemployment.

Three-Year Eligibility Period

If you have not formally arranged with VRS to purchase prior service within three years of becoming eligible, your cost will be based on an actuarial equivalent rate. Actuarial equivalent cost is how much money is needed in today’s dollars to fund the increase in your future retirement benefit or earlier retirement eligibility date resulting from purchasing prior service.

Members in Plan 2

If you are in Plan 2 and purchase prior service within one year of becoming eligible, your cost will be based on an approximate normal cost rate as a percentage of your compensation or average final compensation at the time of purchase, whichever is higher. Normal cost is the average cost of one year of VRS service credit. The current normal cost rates are as follows:

VRS Plan 2 Purchase of Prior Service
Normal Cost Rates Within One Year of Eligibility
Type of Service Rate
State employees, teachers and non-hazardous duty political subdivision employees 9.4%
State police officers covered under SPORS, Virginia law officers covered under VaLORS and political subdivision employees covered under VRS who are eligible for enhanced hazardous duty coverage 14.5%
Judges 27.1%


If you purchase service through a payroll deduction or salary reduction contract, your cost will be based on your compensation, even if your average final compensation is higher. See Payment Methods.

Your eligibility period begins upon employment in a covered position or following an eligible period of leave. If you do not purchase your prior service and leave your job, you will remain eligible to purchase it if you return to covered employment. However, your eligibility period will still be in effect. If you accrue eligible prior service after leaving covered employment and then return to covered employment, the eligibility period for this service will begin upon reemployment.

After the One-Year Eligibility Period

If you have not formally arranged with VRS to purchase prior service within one year of becoming eligible, your cost will be based on an actuarial equivalent rate. Actuarial equivalent cost is how much money is needed in today’s dollars to pay for the increase in your future retirement benefit or earlier retirement eligibility date resulting from purchasing prior service.

VRS Refunded Service

If you left covered employment and took a refund of your member contributions and interest, you can purchase up to the full amount of the VRS service represented by the refund. The cost basis will be 5 percent of your compensation or average final compensation at the time of purchase, depending on the payment method you choose. If you have not purchased refunded service within three years of your rehire date, your cost rate will still be 5 percent, but you will be required to use a lump-sum payment. You do not have to purchase all of your refunded service at the same time as long as you purchase more than one month at a time. For more information, see Leaving Employment.

No-Cost Military Leave

You may receive service credit at no cost for each occurrence of leave from a covered position for active duty military service. You can apply at any time provided you are not dishonorably discharged, return to covered employment within one year of discharge and do not take a refund of your member contributions and interest. If you take a refund, you must purchase your refunded service if you would like to receive service credit for military leave at no cost.

Workers' Compensation

If you go on short-term disability under the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP) or on leave without pay receiving only workers' compensation and retirement contributions are not withheld from your workers' compensation payment, you may be eligible to purchase service credit for the time you are on short-term disability or up to 24 months of your leave period. Your cost will be based on 5 percent of your compensation. Contact your human resource office for more information.

Prior Service Cost Estimates

Estimate your cost to purchase prior service.

If you have prior service you have not formally arranged to purchase, you can use the myVRS Benefit Estimator to create an estimate based on this service credit and one without the additional service credit to see if the increase in your benefit is worth the cost to purchase the prior service. Log in or create a myVRS member account.

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