If you rendered any of the types of service listed below, you may be eligible to purchase credit for your service. If you wish to purchase credit, you must complete and submit the appropriate service purchase applications, along with any required documentation. We will review your application, determine your eligibility to purchase your service, and send you an invoice.

Please note:

  • You must be an active member at the time of application: As of July 3, 2014, to be eligible to purchase service, at the time you submit your service purchase application, you must be a member in service with the MTRS (exception: you do not need to be a member in service at the time you wish to purchase Peace Corps service and refund buybacks). Generally, you are a “member in service” if you are: actively teaching; receiving Workers’ Compensation for total incapacity; on a sick leave; or, on an authorized unpaid leave of less than one year). Please note that if you are no longer a member in service at the time your initial invoice is due, then in order to be eligible to purchase your service, you must EITHER pay the total amount by the due date indicated, OR enter into our five-year installment plan, pay the first installment amount by the due date indicated, and make all future installment payments in full and on time. If you do not take either action after receiving your initial invoice, you will not be able to purchase your service unless and until you again become a member in service, at which time you will need to request an updated invoice from us and your purchase will be subject to additional interest at the rate then in effect.
  • If your due date has passed, you must request an updated invoice: If you previously applied to purchase creditable service and received an invoice, but then decided to postpone purchasing your service until a later date, you may still be eligible to purchase your service, but at an increased cost due to interest charges.
    (Request for an updated invoice for a prior service purchase)
  • You must make full payment before your retirement date: All service purchases must be paid for in full prior to your date of retirement; late payments will delay your date of retirement—and because retirement benefits are retroactive only to your date of retirement, late payments will cause you to lose money!

We strongly encourage you to start the service purchase process early because it often takes some time for you and your prior employers to gather documentation of your past service.

Types of purchasable service and application formsMaximum time creditableApplicable interest rate
Other MA public service with the MTRS or a MA town, city, state, county or regional authority, during which…
20 years
No maximum
As of January 1, 2022, actuarial interest (currently, 7.0%)1
Substitute, temporary or part-time public school service in Massachusetts20 years
Out-of-state public school teaching service 2, 410 years
Nonpublic, private school teaching service BEFORE 1973 2, 3, 410 years
Overseas dependent school teaching service 2, 45 years
Vocational education work experience
(for Chapter 74 certified educators)
3 yearsBuyback interest for all members (currently, 3.5%)
Nonpublic school teaching service in a MA publicly-funded school 3, 410 years
Peace Corps service3 years
Pre-1975 maternity leave (except in rare situations, you must have purchased this service by 12/31/2001; however, if you believe you may qualify, please contact our office)4 years
Active military service in U.S. armed forces, MA National Guard or Active Reserves, other than a military leave of absence during membership in a MA contributory retirement system
(Chapter 71 military service application)
Generally 4 yearsNo interest charged on first invoice, first due date; thereafter, buyback interest
  1. EXCEPTION: If you established membership in a Massachusetts public retirement system on or after April 2, 2012, and you had previously been a member of a Massachusetts public retirement system and taken a refund of your account, you will have one year from the date that you re-entered public service to apply and pay for your service purchase at the lower “buyback” interest rate (currently, 3.5%). After your first year of re-entry to membership, you will be subject to actuarial interest.
  2. You may purchase a combined total maximum of ten years of out-of-state service (i.e., service rendered: in an out-of-state public school; before 1973 in an out-of-state nonpublic school; or, in an overseas dependent school).
  3. You may purchase a combined total maximum of ten years of nonpublic school service.
  4. In order to receive credit for your out-of-state and/or nonpublic school purchases toward your retirement benefit calculation, you must—at the time of retirement—also have at least as many years of “matching” Massachusetts membership service; you may not count your same years of “matching” Massachusetts membership service toward both the out-of-state and nonpublic school “matching” service requirements.