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What is service credit?

Service credit is retirement credit for time worked. Members earn service credit for each payroll period in which they work and a retirement contribution is made.* Service credit is one of the factors used to calculate the allowance you will receive when you retire. The other factors are your retirement plan, age at retirement, and final compensation.

*Plan E members have different requirements for earning service credit.

The advantages of purchasing service credit

Since years of service credit are one of the factors that determine the monthly allowance you receive when you retire, the more years of service credit you have, the higher your monthly retirement allowance will be.

Service credit also affects the cost of your LACERA-administered retiree healthcare benefits. The County subsidizes retiree medical/dental insurance based on a member's years of service credit; the more service credit you have, the more the County pays toward your premiums.**

**Certain exceptions apply.


Service credit may be purchased for unpaid sick leave, as well as certain types of County and non-County government service performed prior to the date you became eligible for LACERA membership (various eligibility requirements apply). (View descriptions, eligibility requirements, contract terms, and calculation methods of service credit.)

Previous County service may include:

  • Temporary County service
  • Permanent County Time prior to LACERA membership
  • Redeposit of Withdrawn Contributions
  • Sick Without Pay (SWOP)
  • Conversion of prior general service to safety service

Other government service may include employment with:

  • United States of America, State of California, or any Public Entity located within the State of California
  • Other Public Agency (California)
  • Federal/Military
  • Any Public Agency located wholly in the County of Los Angeles

Purchasing Non-County service will increase your total years of service credit, but will not count toward meeting the minimum service credit requirement to retire or to qualify for a nonservice-connected disability, pre-retirement survivor benefits, or to defer your retirement.

Other Service Credit Information