When employees are called to active duty military service, employers should review and communicate potential impact on VRS benefits and also take the necessary reporting steps as the employee goes on leave and later when the employee returns to the workplace. Learn more about how military leave interacts with service credit, prior service purchases, insurance and defined contribution plans.
If you are called to active duty military service, you will have time served granted to you at no cost, if you receive an other than dishonorable discharge and return to covered employment within a year of discharge from active duty. See your human resource office for more information.
The following benefits are available to you:
Service Retirement: Pays a monthly benefit for life, upon reaching age and service requirements.
Eligibility: You do not accrue service credit while on leave without pay for active duty military service.
When You Return: Active duty military service can be granted at no cost and be counted toward vesting and a service retirement benefit upon reentry into a covered position. You must return to covered employment within 12 months of a discharge that is other than dishonorable. You must submit a copy of your DD214 and apply for the service by filling out an Application for Purchase of Prior Service Credit VRS-26 .
Purchase of Prior Service: Prior service credit counts toward the five years needed to become vested and eligible for retirement.
Eligibility: When on leave, after-tax purchase agreements terminate after two months if payment is not received. Pretax purchase agreements freeze in an active status while on leave without pay; no payroll deductions can be made.
When You Return: If you were purchasing service with an after-tax agreement, you must reapply to purchase the remaining service. If you were purchasing service with a pretax agreement, deductions should resume immediately upon your return to active employment in a VRS-covered position.
Basic Group Life Insurance: Does not pay accidental death and dismemberment benefits if death results from an act of war.
Eligibility: If you are on military leave without pay, you may continue basic group life insurance coverage for the duration of the leave period if the premiums are paid. If you pay the premium, your employer will collect the premium and remit it to VRS on your behalf. If your employer pays the premium, your employer will remit the premium to VRS. If you do not pay the required premium, coverage ceases during the leave period. Coverage is reinstated once you return to a covered position.
When You Return: Benefits and payment methods continue as before leave without pay.
Eligibility: If you are on military leave without pay, you may continue optional life coverage for the duration of the leave period if the premiums are paid. If you do not pay the required premium, coverage ceases during the leave period.
When You Return: Coverage continues with premiums paid through payroll deduction. You may drop optional coverage while on leave without pay for active military service and be reinstated without having to provide evidence of good health for the same or lesser amount. The deduction must resume immediately upon your reemployment in a covered position.
Mandatory Contributions to the Hybrid Retirement Plan: Member and employer mandatory contributions and employer matching contributions are deposited to the defined contribution component of your plan.
Eligibility: No employer match is made while you are on leave without pay. If you receive a paycheck and contribute to the DCP while on active duty, you continue receiving matching employer contributions.
When You Return: If you elect to make up the contributions missed during your period of leave, you are eligible to receive the cash match associated with those contributions. If you are employed by a college or university where eligibility for the cash match is based on contributions to a 403(b), contact your human resource office for information on qualifying for the cash match
Voluntary Contributions to the Hybrid Retirement Plan: Member voluntary contributions are deposited to the defined contribution component of your plan.
Eligibility: Contributions cease while you are on leave without pay for active duty military service. If you continue to receive a paycheck while on active duty, you may continue to make contributions to DCP.
When You Return: If you meet the requirements of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA), you may make up contributions you missed during the period of service.
Virginia Sickness & Disability Program (VSDP): Provides income replacement in the event of short-term or long-term disability.
Eligibility: You may use family and personal leave to extend active employment status to retain coverage. You will not receive sick leave and family and personal leave while on leave without pay.
When You Return: VSDP sick and family and personal leave resumes with new balances.
Virginia Local Disability Program (VLDP): Provides income protection if you can’t work because of a non-work-related or work-related illness, injury or other condition.
Eligibility: If you are a political subdivision or school division employee covered under the Hybrid Retirement Plan, you are enrolled automatically in VLDP or a comparable program provided by your employer.
When You Return: VLDP assists you with your recovery and helps you make a safe return to your full duties if you are able. The VLDP benefit is not offset by any disability insurance you purchase directly or by military disability payments you receive.
Death-in-Service: Pays any member contributions and interest in your defined benefit member contribution account to your named beneficiary or to your spouse, minor child or parent in the event of your death as an active member. This payment is in addition to any VRS group life insurance benefits you may have.
Eligibility: Continues while you are on leave without pay for active duty military service.
Health Insurance Credit: Assists with health insurance premiums you pay for single coverage under qualifying health plans.
Eligibility: Retirement with at least 15 years of service credit.
Health Insurance: Coverage is the same as during regular employment.
Eligibility: Extended coverage (under COBRA) continues for 18 months while you are on leave for active duty military service.