Buyback Opportunities

When you retire, a key element in determining the amount of your benefit is service credit. SFERS provides current members with opportunities to voluntarily purchase service credit. Generally, an increase in service credit may enhance retirement benefits.

You may voluntarily purchase credit for the following service:

  • Service with CCSF as a Temporary Employee
  • Eligible time you worked for CCSF that is covered for SFERS membership, but were not a member of the Retirement System. If you do purchase this service, the retirement benefit that you receive for it is based on Miscellaneous Plan benefit provisions. The cost of purchasing the service credit is the contributions you would have made had you been a member of SFERS at the rate in effect at the time the service was rendered, plus interest.
  • Redeposited Miscellaneous Plan Service
  • Current SFERS members may elect to redeposit contributions previously withdrawn from SFERS for periods of prior membership.
  • Unpaid Parental Leave
    Periods you were on unpaid parental leave status with CCSF prior to July 1, 2003, provided that you returned to work for CCSF for at least six months immediately after the expiration data of your unpaid parental leave.
  •  Qualifying Public Service
    Time you worked for the federal government (non-military), the State of California, or other public agency in California prior to SFERS membership.
  • Military Service
    Service with the armed forces during times of war or conflicts while a member of the retirement plan or, while you are on a San Francisco Civil Service list and reached for certification for a permanent appointment.
  • Union Representative Service
    Time you worked as a full-time employee representative for a recognized CCSF employee organization while a member of the retirement plan on leave of absence from your normal CCSF position.

Account Shortage

If you are a miscellaneous member who elected to pay retirement contributions at a reduced rate rather than at the 7.5% or 8.0% base rate, you may have an account shortage. The “missing contributions” is the difference between the actual rate you paid and the set base rate, plus plan interest.

You may repay an account shortage in full, or in part at any time before retirement. If you do not repay all of the shortage, your retirement benefit will be reduced by an amount determined by an actuarial calculation.

Repaying a Debt to the Plan

If you dissolve a marriage or domestic partnership (you divorce) before retirement, your retirement benefit may be subject to a community property claim by your former spouse/domestic partner. Under community property laws, a former spouse/domestic partner may be eligible to receive a share of your retirement benefit when you first become eligible for a retirement benefit, even if you do not retire.

  green bullet If the Retirement System makes benefit payments to a former spouse/domestic partner before you retire, you will incur a debt to the Plan called a “Gillmore” debt.
  green bullet You may agree to pay back the amount of the Gillmore debt plus interest in order to receive your full retirement benefit. The Gillmore debt may be paid in full or in part prior to your effective retirement date.

Buyback opportunities are identified on your Annual Member Statement. To initiate a purchase agreement for a buyback opportunity identified on your Annual Member Statement, make an appointment through our online Buyback Appointment Scheduler. If you have a question concerning a buyback opportunity, contact SFERS’ Member Services.




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