Only active KCERA members may purchase and receive retirement service credit for allowable prior public, prior County or prior District service.
Please click on one of the options below to view specific information about purchasing prior service.
If you were in public service before becoming a member of KCERA, you may elect to purchase and receive retirement service credit for allowable public service time. Allowable prior public service includes service with the federal government, including active military service, service with the State of California, service with
any county or city in California, or service with any public district in Kern County. Generally, you may not purchase prior public service with KCERA if you are eligible to receive a pension from your public agency employer because of the service rendered for that agency.
You must make application to the KCERA office in order to purchase prior public service time. No prior public service can be purchased unless the previous
employer can certify the time. While it is the employee's responsibility to provide certification of employment, the KCERA office will assist the employee by forwarding completed applications to the previous employer retirement system for certification. To expedite processing, please provide accurate information
about your former public employer's retirement system.
Your prior public service time must be certified before KCERA can compute a cost for purchase. Following are the accepted methods for certification:
- Please complete Section 1 of the Certification of Prior Public Service application and return it to the KCERA office.
- You must complete a separate application for each employer.
- If you are applying to purchase active military service, you must include a copy of your DD214.
Purchased prior public service does not count toward the five years of service required for vesting in KCERA, nor does it count toward the ten years of service required for your eligibility for retirement. Service credit received for the purchase of prior public service is added after eligibility for vesting and retirement are determined.
- Certification from your previous employer's retirement system.
- Alternatively, certification from your previous employer's Personnel, Human Resources or Payroll department.
IMPORTANT: Prior to July 1997, you must have been employed by Kern County on or before November 13, 1969 to be eligible to purchase prior public service. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) adopted in July 1997 allows all eligible members to purchase prior public service time. Certain special districts did not adopt all provisions of this MOU and, in such cases, you may be ineligible to purchase prior public service.
You may purchase and receive retirement service credit in KCERA for any Kern County or special district service that you rendered prior to becoming a member. Such service includes extra help, per diem, temporary and part-time service. You may not purchase and receive service credit for employment as an independent contractor or employment for which you are eligible to participate in another retirement system.
If you have reentered KCERA after terminating and withdrawing contributions, you may redeposit any contributions previously refunded and regain service credit
for your previous service.
If you have any medical Leaves of Absence without pay, you may purchase and receive service credit for such leaves once you have returned to duty with your employer. You may not purchase Leaves of Absence for any non-medical leaves, including family care leaves. Maternity leaves are only purchasable to the extent that it is medically necessary for the member to be off work.
If you were laid off and re-employed within one year under your employer's procedures for returning laid off employees to work, you may purchase and receive credit for the period of the layoff.
KCERA will assist you with obtaining certification of your prior Kern County service by searching Personnel and Auditor-Controller records. If you have any copies of your Notices of Employment or Changes in Employee Status, you may include those copies to expedite processing of your request. Purchased prior Kern County or prior special district service counts toward the five years required for vesting in KCERA and toward the ten years required for retirement.
- Please complete a Certification of Prior Kern County/District Service and return it to the KCERA office.
- Please include the dates for the service you wish to purchase and the department you were working for.
- Please include any previous names that service may have been rendered under.
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