For me, the most advantageous strategy to purchase years was by directly transferring money from my 403b to my account at the PSRS. I didn’t really see that as a cost, because in essence, I really just transferred money from one pocket (403b) to another pocket (my PSRS account).
- Note: For individuals who do not have tax deferred dollars (403b, 457, IRA) accrued, there are other strategies that could possibly be implored IF purchasing years is right for you, however, it all depends on YOUR financial picture.
The paperwork for this process was simple with the guidance of my Ameritime team of Educator Specialists. My Ameritime team helped me attain, complete, and submit the paperwork needed by Social Security and PSRS:
- I obtained a detailed earnings statement of my employment history from Social Security.
- I sent this statement, along with an application to purchase service to the PSRS.
- The PSRS reviewed my purchase application and Social Security earnings information to determine my purchase eligibility.
- PSRS then sent me a “Cost Calculation” for that eligible purchase (which meant I could buy some, all or none of those years with the intent to enhance my pension, retire early, or maybe even accomplish both).
Once officially approved to purchase years, I was able to roll my 403B money over to my PSRS account to add the service credit I wanted. I am ever thankful for the guidance of my Ameritime Team. Otherwise I am not sure I would have had the confidence and the know how to complete the various steps.
Expensive? Well, that’s a good question…I would say, “It depends on what expensive means to you?
- I started enjoying full retirement benefits at the age of 47 years. If I would have left my money in the 403b, I would not yet be retired, nor would I have full access to those 403b dollars until 59.5 years. Therefore, for me, the transfer of money from was well worth the cost!
Note: There are different types of service credit that provide purchase eligibility. For me it was Social Security time. For others, it might be: maternity time, armed forces, private school, out of state public school, other public service. There are also other effective strategies for “buying service.” For me it just happened to be transferring y existing tax-deferred (403b) dollars.