Your Turn to Ask

May 2023
A man smiles and points his finger at the viewer on the left. On the right is text which reads your turn to ask.

Your Turn to Ask: Am I able to purchase service to use for PLOP eligibility?

In short, no – you may not use purchased service toward eligibility for a Partial Lump-Sum Option Payment (PLOP), which is a benefit payout option available to you at retirement. You must be actively working for at least one year beyond your retirement date for unreduced benefits to be eligible for the PLOP. Let’s break down a few key terms to better understand the answer.

Benefit Payout Options: When you retire, you will receive a monthly benefit according to the payout option you choose when applying for retirement.

PLOP: If you work at least one year beyond the date you are eligible for an unreduced retirement benefit, you may elect to receive a one-time PLOP at retirement. You may elect up to three times the amount of your annual Basic Benefit. The amount depends on how long you work beyond your eligibility for an unreduced retirement. The funds are paid from your member contribution account. This benefit payout option reduces your monthly benefit. You can elect the PLOP option with the Basic Benefit or Survivor Option. Prior service credit or granted service credit cannot substitute for this active service.

Purchase of Prior Service: If applicable, you may purchase service from previous public employment, active duty miliary service, an eligible period of leave or VRS refunded service as service credit in your plan. Prior service credit counts toward your eligibility for retirement and the health insurance credit, as well as the five years of service you need to become vested. However, to recap, you cannot purchase service to receive a PLOP. To be eligible to purchase prior service, you must be an active VRS member.