Board Communique: September 16, 2021

Members have a new option to buy service for a layoff


The Municipal Pension Board of Trustees decided in June 2021 to categorize a period of layoff as a general leave of absence.

You now have the option to buy a period of layoff that began on or after January 1, 2020. If you are eligible, you can buy the service for the time you were laid off for any reason, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

What is the advantage of buying service?

Buying service may increase your pension when you retire or get you closer to an unreduced pension. When you buy service, you increase your pensionable and contributory service. Pensionable service is used to calculate your pension at retirement. Contributory service determines if your pension will be reduced and by how much.

Who is eligible?

You may be eligible to buy this service if the layoff started on or after January 1, 2020, and you meet both the following criteria:

  • The period of layoff is temporary (you are expected to or did return to your regular work schedule)
  • You remained in an employment relationship with your employer during all or a portion of the period of layoff

What are the deadlines and costs?

You must apply to buy the leave period within five years of returning to work or within 30 days after ending employment with the employer with whom the layoff occurred, whichever comes first.

The cost for general leaves is based on your salary and member and employer contribution rates at the time you buy the service. Since your payment cost is based on current salary and contribution rates, buying your service earlier may be less expensive than waiting, when your salary may increase. You are responsible for paying the full cost; your employer does not contribute.

Sign in to My Account and use the personalized purchase cost estimator to find out how much it may cost to purchase your leave as a lump sum.