Purchase Military or Public Service

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If you are an active member who served in the military or were employed by another public agency, you may be able to purchase that time under the Public Service Purchase (PSP) Program, subject to the requirements and limitations established by the PSP Ordinance.

Why Purchase Military or Public Service?

The service purchased will add to your total years of service credit and therefore, increase the monthly pension allowance that you and your qualified survivors would receive from the Los Angeles Fire and Police Pension (LAFPP) Plan. Learn more about the PSP Program.

Use the steps below to purchase military or public service.

Step 1

Obtain a Cost Estimate. Log in to MyLAFPP and click on the ”+” symbol next to Benefits & Calculators. Click on Get a PSP/Buyback Estimate/Application, then click on Public Service Purchase Estimate. Enter the information in the required fields and click Submit to generate a cost estimate.

Step 2

Submit an Application to Purchase the Service.  If service with a public employer is being purchased, an Application to Purchase Public Service is required to verify service with the prior public employer.  If military time is being purchased, an Application to Purchase Military Service must be submitted along with a “Form DD-214, Report of Separation”.  Submit your application and any required documents to LAFPP Active Member Services

Step 3

Select Payment Method(s).  After verifying the service, LAFPP staff will calculate the cost of the certified service time based on information obtained from the member, such as expected retirement date, number of survivors, etc.  LAFPP will process the purchase according to the member’s method(s) of payment.  Members may select from the following payment options:

  • Lump-sum
  • Payroll Deduction
  • Transfer from the City’s Deferred Compensation Plan or another eligible retirement plan.

Please note: The time required to verify service is ideally 30 – 90 days. However, it may take longer depending on how quickly the public agency responds to LAFPP’s request for information.

Step 4

True-up the Cost.  Under the following circumstances, a “true-up” or recalculation of the cost for the purchased service will be made prior to the date of retirement on a service pension or date of DROP entry:

  • An advance purchase was made 180 days or more prior to the actual date of retirement on a service pension or DROP entry; or,
  • If the retirement or DROP entry date differs from that specified at the time of purchase; or,
  • If there is a change in the number of known eligible survivors from that specified at the time of purchase; or,
  • In the event the pension base differs from that estimated at the time of purchase.

If the trued-up cost is less than the amount the member has paid, including assumed investment earnings, the difference can be refunded upon member’s separation from City service or used to purchase additional eligible service.

If the trued-up cost exceeds what the member has paid, including assumed investment earnings, it will be possible to make a lump-sum payment prior to retirement/DROP entry to complete the purchase or receive pro-rated service based on the amount already paid.

In the event the pension base should change after a purchase has been finalized, the years of service purchased will be adjusted, not the monthly benefit.

Step 5

Credit of Service Purchased.   Time will be added to the member’s record upon receipt of a lump sum payment or rollover transfer. If the member elected payroll deductions, service will be added incrementally as payments are received.

Things to Consider:

  • If you have less than five years of service, you can only purchase time through a transfer from the City’s Deferred Compensation Plan or another eligible retirement plan.
  • If you select the option to transfer funds from your Deferred Compensation account or another eligible retirement plan, you will receive a Trustee-to-Trustee/Direct Rollover Form.  You must complete the “Member” section and then request the plan’s administrator to complete the “Plan Sponsor” section of the form.  Please note that for transfers from the City’s Deferred Compensation Plan, Voya Financial is the plan administrator and they will return your form to Active Member Services to complete the transfer.
  • Purchasing your service can be a fairly lengthy process. 

Please submit your request at least six months before your anticipated retirement or DROP entry date.      

Questions?

If you have any questions, you may contact the Active Member Services Section at (213) 279-3140 or (844) 88-LAFPP (52377) ext. 93140.

REFERENCED DOCUMENTS

PSP Ordinance

Application to Purchase Public Service

Application to Purchase Military Service