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Glenn Hegar  ·  Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

General Provisions
Lifetime Service Credit

Lifetime Service Credit reflects an employee’s entire time of state service and is used to determine the amount of longevity pay an individual may be eligible to receive. Any periods of time spent in a hazardous duty position are accounted for separately.

Eligible Employments

An individual accrues lifetime service credit:

  • As a full-time, part-time or temporary state employee or while otherwise serving as an employee of the state, regardless of whether the individual was a student during that service,
  • As a full-time, salaried, non-elected member of a governing body,
  • As a member of the legislature,
  • While holding a statewide office that is normally filled by vote of the people,
  • While in an academic position at an institution of higher education, or
  • As a Texas National Guard technician before Jan. 1, 1969.

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Employments Excluded from Accruing Lifetime Service Credit

An individual does not accrue lifetime service credit for the period in which the individual was:

  • An officer or employee of a public junior college or
  • A part-time member of a state board or commission (e.g., a non-salaried compensatory per diem board member).

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Leave Without Pay

An employee who is on leave without pay for an entire calendar month does not accrue lifetime service credit for that month.

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Simultaneously Holding More than One Position

An individual who is dually employed accrues lifetime service credit for only one of the positions.

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Starting Work on the First Workday of a Month

An individual who begins working on the first workday of a month in a position that accrues lifetime service credit is considered to have begun working on the first day of the month.

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Hazardous Duty Pay

The lifetime service credit of an individual for longevity pay purposes does not include the period served in any position that requires the performance of hazardous duty, if that position entitles the individual to receive hazardous duty pay.

The lifetime service credit of an individual includes the period served in a position that requires the performance of hazardous duty but does not entitle the individual to receive hazardous duty pay.

During the one year that a state employee serves in a hazardous duty position before becoming eligible or entitled to receive hazardous duty pay, the employee accrues lifetime service credit for longevity pay purposes. However, the lifetime service credit used to calculate the amount of longevity pay received by the employee while receiving hazardous duty pay does not include the one year waiting period.

Please see Hazardous Duty Pay for more detailed information.

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Employees Who Work Less Than a Full Year under a Formal Written Contract

An individual who works for a state agency under a formal written contract for less than 12 months each year accrues 12 months of lifetime service credit each year if the individual is constantly under contract during the months the individual does not work.

The individual is constantly under contract if the individual’s contract for the next work period is entered into before the end of the existing work period, even though the individual will not work during the interim period.

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Accrual of Lifetime Service Credit for Certain Military Service

If an individual left a position that accrued lifetime service credit to serve in the military and if the individual was reemployed with the state after completing that service in accordance with any applicable federal or state veterans’ reemployment law, then the individual accrued lifetime service credit during that time.

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Calculating Lifetime Service Credit

The amount of lifetime service credit accrued by a state employee is the sum of the number of days served during each period of state employment. The employee gets one full day of credit for any part of a day served. Do not count the number of days in any full calendar month that the employee was on leave without pay. Count all days served in all previous periods of employment with the state.

An employee’s state effective service date is determined by counting backwards the total number of days served starting from the first day of the employee’s current continuous employment with the state.

Example calculation:

An employee hired on Aug. 5, 2012 has previously been employed by the state from Oct. 8, 2003 to Aug. 31, 2009 and had no periods on leave without pay (LWOP). The state effective service date is calculated as follows:

Prior State Service:
10/8/2003 to 8/31/2009
Current Employment Date:
8/5/2012
State Effective Service Date:
9/11/2006
 
 
1. Add the number of days of prior employment:
2,155
2. Subtract the number of days for full calendar month(s) of LWOP:
0
 
 
3. Equals number of days served
2,155
 
 
Adjusted State Effective Service Date:
9/11/2006

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Comparison with Retirement Service Credit

The amount of service credit an individual has accrued for retirement purposes can be different from the amount of lifetime service credit the individual has accrued for longevity pay purposes.

For example, when an individual purchases military service credit for retirement purposes, the purchase does not increase the amount of the individual’s lifetime service credit for longevity pay purposes.

Or when an employee terminates state employment and withdraws contributions to the retirement system, the retirement system may not include that time for retirement purposes until the employee repurchases the credit, but the time will count towards lifetime service credit for longevity pay.

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Definitions

Effective service date
Derived by subtracting total days of lifetime service credit from most recent employment date. The date is used to determine when longevity pay is to be increased.
Full-time state employee
A state employee who works in the executive or judicial branch of state government, other than a state institution of higher education, and who is normally scheduled to work a total of at least 40 hours a week for a single state agency.

A state employee who works for a state institution of higher education and who is normally scheduled to work a total of at least 40 hours a week in one position, as determined under Government Code, Section 659.0411.

A state employee who works in the legislative branch of state government and is normally scheduled to work a total of 40 or more hours a week in all positions held in the legislative branch.

Part-time state employee
A state employee who is not a full-time state employee.

Sources

Government Code, Chapter 659.046 and 661.904.

Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Questions? Contact statewide.accounting@cpa.texas.gov
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