COMBINED SERVICE ANNUITY
What is a ‘CSA’?
Under the Combined Service Annuity (CSA) law, Minnesota public pension plans work together so all of your state government service can be used for benefit eligibility.
If you change jobs in state government and your pension coverage switches to a different public fund, your contributions and service credit are not transferred into the new plan—they stay in the plan where the contributions and service credit were earned. While each plan uses its own formula to calculate your retirement benefit, all plans use the same high-five salary.
Q. WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES?
If you have service with another Minnesota public pension fund, you may receive a higher benefit payment overall because of your combined service. Combined service might help you meet vesting requirements, maximize your high-five salary, and reach your retirement target date. TRA counselors will calculate estimates for all possible scenarios and provide you with the highest allowable benefit for your combined service.
Q. Am I eligible?
You might be eligible if you have at least six months of allowable service credit with one or more of Minnesota’s public pension funds:
- Minnesota State Retirement System
- Public Employees Retirement Association
- and/or St. Paul Teachers Retirement Fund Association.
To receive a combined service annuity payment, you must:
- Have at least six months of service with each plan in which you were/are a member.
- Meet each fund’s vesting requirement.
- Terminate all public service.
- Must submit a separate applications to each fund.
Q. How does it work?
Upon retirement, you may receive a separate check from each fund with which you have at least six months of service. When calculating your benefit, each plan uses your high-five average salary from the highest five consecutive years, no matter when it was earned.
Q. WHAT ELSE DO I NEED TO KNOW?
- Under certain circumstances, you may continue working in a covered position AND draw a benefit from a previous position covered by a different retirement system. Ask us about it.
- If you took a refund from another Minnesota pension fund, repaying that refund may increase your benefit payment.