New York state recently extended the ability to purchase military service credit to to all veterans who are members of the New York State retirement system.
On May 31, 2016, legislation that removes the requirement that military service occur during specific periods of hostilities was signed into law.
The new law will allow all honorably discharged veterans to buy back up to three years of their military service to credit their pensions for military service performed. Effective immediately, the law includes all who have been honorably discharged rather than those who have served in certain military campaigns.
Prior to this change in the state’s Retirement and Social Security Law, New York had an arbitrary system where some veterans could take advantage of the buyback while others could not. For example, prior to this change in the law, a veteran who served in the Vietnam War could purchase service credit, while a veteran who served in the conflicts in Afghanistan could not.
Because the new law removes the combat requirements, women veterans who were previously ineligible will qualify for the military buyback.
Under the new law veterans must:
- Have been honorably discharged;
- Have at least five years of credited service in the Retirement System;
- Have not received credit for this service in any other public retirement system in New York State; and
- Apply for and purchase military service credit prior to retirement.
For more information, visit the New York State Comptroller website at http://www.osc.state.ny.us/retire/members/military-service-credit.php.
For more information about state specific veterans benefits in New York State see our New York State Veteran's Benefits page. For more information about specific veterans benefits in your state see State Veteran's Benefits page.