Code of the District of Columbia

§ 5–704. Creditable service.

(a) A member’s service for the purposes of this subchapter shall mean all police or fire service and such military and government service as is authorized by such sections prior to the date of separation upon which title to annuity is based.

(b)(1) Each member shall be allowed credit for periods of military service served prior to the date of the separation upon which the annuity is based; however, if a member is awarded retired pay on account of military service, such military service shall not be included, unless such retired pay is awarded on account of a service-connected disability:

(A) Incurred in combat with an enemy of the United States; or

(B) Caused by an instrumentality of war and incurred in line of duty during an enlistment or employment as provided in Veterans Regulation No. 1(a), part I, paragraph I, or is awarded under §§ 101, 676, 1001, 1332 to 1337, 1401, 3966, 6017, 6034, 6323, and 8966 of Title 10, United States Code.

(2) Nothing in this subchapter shall affect the rights of members to retired pay, pension, or compensation in addition to the annuity herein provided. Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary, contributions, benefits, and service credit with respect to qualified military service shall be provided in accordance with section 414(u) of the Internal Revenue Code.

(c) Credit shall be allowed for leaves of absence granted a member while performing military service, excluding from credit so much of any other leaves of absence without pay as may exceed 6 months in the aggregate in any calendar year.

(d) A member who, during any war or national emergency as proclaimed by the President or declared by the Congress, has left or leaves his position to enter the military service shall not be considered, for the purposes of this subchapter, as separated from his position by reason of such military service, unless he shall apply for and receive his salary deductions: provided, that such member shall not be considered as retaining such position beyond December 31, 1957, or the expiration of 5 years of such military service, whichever is later.

(e)(1) A member shall be allowed credit for government service performed prior to appointment in any of the departments mentioned in paragraph (1) of § 5-701, if such member deposits a sum equal to the entire amount, including interest (if any), refunded to him for such period of government service. A member who is an officer or member of the Metropolitan Police force or the Fire Department of the District of Columbia shall deposit such sum, plus interest computed in accordance with paragraph (2) of this subsection, with the Custodian of Retirement Funds (as defined in § 1-702(6)) for deposit in the District of Columbia Police Officers and Fire Fighters’ Retirement Fund established by § 1-712. All other members shall deposit such sums with the District of Columbia Retirement Board for credit to the revenues of the District of Columbia. If the member so elects, he may deposit the total amount of such refund in monthly installments not exceeding 24, except that in the case of a member who is an officer or member of the United States Park Police force, the United States Secret Service Uniformed Division, or the United States Secret Service Division, such monthly installments shall be of equal amounts. No deposit shall be required for days of unused sick leave credited under § 5-712.

(2) Interest required on deposits under this subsection for members who are officers or members of the Metropolitan Police force or the Fire Department of the District of Columbia shall be computed as follows:

(A) Interest shall be paid at a rate which (as determined by the District of Columbia Retirement Board) is equal to the average rate of return on investment (adjusted to the nearest one eighth of 1%) for the District of Columbia Police Officers and Fire Fighters’ Retirement Fund (established by § 1-712) for the period beginning on the 1st day of the 1st month which begins after the end of the service with respect to which the deposit is made and ending on the last day of the month which precedes the month during which the deposit is made if he makes a lump-sum payment or during which he makes the 1st monthly payment if he makes monthly payments, except that for so much of any such period which precedes October 1, 1981, the average rate of interest on interest-bearing obligations of the United States forming a part of the public debt (adjusted to the nearest one eighth of 1%) shall be used in determining the interest rate to be paid on deposits under this subsection;

(B) Interest shall be payable for the period beginning on the 1st day of the 1st month which begins after the end of the period of service with respect to which the deposit is made and ending on the last day of the month which precedes the month during which the deposit is made; and

(C) If a member elects to make his deposit in monthly installments, each monthly payment shall include interest on that portion of the refund which is then being redeposited.

(f)(1) Any period of time during which a member who is an officer or member of the Metropolitan Police force or the Fire Department of the District of Columbia is on approved leave without pay to serve as a full-time officer or employee of a labor organization shall be considered to be police or fire service for purposes of this subchapter if such member files an election in accordance with paragraph (2) of this subsection and makes payments as described in paragraph (3) of this subsection. The basic salary in effect at any time for the grade in which a member was serving at the time he entered on approved leave described in the preceding sentence shall be considered to be the basic salary in effect for such member for purposes of this subchapter if the period of time when such member is on approved leave is considered to be police or fire service under this subsection.

(2) To be eligible to have any period of approved leave described in paragraph (1) of this subsection considered to be police or fire service for purposes of this subchapter, a member described in such paragraph must, not later than the end of the 60-day period commencing on the day such member enters on such approved leave or the effective date of this subsection, whichever occurs later, file an election with the [District of Columbia Retirement Board] to have such period of approved leave considered to be police or fire service for purposes of this subchapter.

(3)(A) To have any period of approved leave described in paragraph (1) of this subsection occurring after the effective date of this subchapter considered to be police or fire service, a member described in such paragraph must each month deposit with the Custodian of Retirement Funds (as defined in § 1-702(6)) for deposit in the District of Columbia Police Officers and Fire Fighters’ Retirement Fund established by § 1-712 a sum equal to one-twelfth the annual new entrant normal cost of the annuity of a member receiving the basic salary in effect during such month for the grade in which such member was serving at the time such member entered on such leave.

(B) To have any period of approved leave described in paragraph (1) of this subsection which occurred before the effective date of this subchapter considered to be police or fire service, a member described in such paragraph must deposit with the Custodian of Retirement Funds (as defined in § 1-702(6)) for deposit in the District of Columbia Police Officers and Fire Fighters’ Retirement Fund established by § 1-712, in a manner to be determined by the District of Columbia Retirement Board, a sum equal to the new entrant normal cost of the annuity of a member receiving the basic salary in effect during the period of such leave for the grade in which such member was serving at the time such member entered on such leave.

(C) The District of Columbia Retirement Board shall make an annual determination of the new entrant normal cost for purposes of subparagraphs (A) and (B) of this paragraph according to information supplied by the actuary retained pursuant to § 1-722.

(4) For purposes of this subsection, the term “labor organization” means any labor organization recognized as an exclusive representative of members or officers of the Metropolitan Police force or the Fire Department of the District of Columbia for purposes of collective bargaining pursuant to § 1-617.10.

(g) The total service of a member shall be the full years and 12th parts thereof, excluding from the aggregate any fractional part of a month.

(h)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, notwithstanding any other provision of this section, any military service (other than military service covered by military leave with pay from a civilian position) performed by an individual after December 1956 shall be excluded in determining the aggregate period of service upon which an annuity payable under this chapter to such individual or to the surviving spouse or child is to be based, if such individual or the surviving spouse or child is entitled (or would upon proper application be entitled), at the time of such determination, to monthly old age or survivors benefits under § 202 of the Social Security Act based on such individual’s wages and self-employment income. If in the case of the individual or the surviving spouse such military service is not excluded under the preceding sentence, but upon attaining retirement age (as defined in § 216(a) of the Social Security Act) he or she becomes entitled (or would upon proper application be entitled) to such benefits, the District of Columbia Retirement Board shall re-determine the aggregate period of service upon which such annuity is based, effective as of the 1st day of the month in which he or she attains such age, so as to exclude such service. The Secretary of Health and Human Services shall, upon the request of the Mayor, inform the Mayor whether or not any such individual or the surviving spouse or child is entitled at any specified time to such benefits; and the Mayor shall forward this information to the District of Columbia Retirement Board.

(2)(A)(i) Except as provided in sub-subparagraph (ii) of this subparagraph, and subject to subparagraph (D) of this paragraph, each member or former member who has performed military service before the date of the separation on which the entitlement to any annuity under this chapter is based may elect to retain credit for the service by paying (in accordance with such regulations as the District of Columbia Retirement Board shall issue) to the office by which the member is employed (or, in the case of a former member, to the appropriate benefits administrator) an amount equal to 7 percent of the amount of the basic pay paid under section 204 of title 37, United States Code, to the member for each period of military service after December 1956. The amount of such payments shall be based on such evidence of basic pay for military service as the member may provide, or, if the District of Columbia Retirement Board determines sufficient evidence has not been so provided to adequately determine basic pay for military service, such payment shall be based upon estimates of such basic pay provided to the District of Columbia Retirement Board under subparagraph (C) of this paragraph. Payment of such amount by an active member must be completed prior to the member’s date of retirement or October 1, 2006, whichever is later, for the member to retain credit for the service.

(ii) In any case where military service interrupts creditable service under this section and reemployment pursuant to chapter 43 of title 38, United States Code [38 U.S.C. § 4301 et seq.], occurs on or after August 1, 1990, the deposit payable under this subparagraph may not exceed the amount that would have been deducted and withheld under this chapter from basic pay during the period of creditable service if the member had not performed the period of military service.

(B) Any deposit made under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph more than 2 years after the later of:

(i) October 1, 2004; or

(ii) The date on which the member making the deposit first becomes a member following the period of military service for which such deposit is due, shall include interest on such amount computed and compounded annually beginning on the date of the expiration of the 2-year period. The interest rate that is applicable in computing interest in any year under this subsection shall be equal to the interest rate that is applicable for such year under subsection (e)(2).

(C) The Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Transportation, the Secretary of Commerce, or the Secretary of Health and Human Services, as appropriate, shall furnish such information to the District of Columbia Retirement Board as the District of Columbia Retirement Board may determine to be necessary for the administration of this section; and the Mayor shall forward this information to the District of Columbia Retirement Board.

(D) Effective with respect to any period of military service after November 10, 1996, the percentage of basic pay under 37 U.S.C. § 204, payable under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph shall be equal to the same percentage as would be applicable under § 5-706 for that same period for service as a member subject to subparagraph (A)(2) of this paragraph.

(i)(1) Any member who is an officer or member of the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department who was transferred pursuant to § 5-409.01, and who elects to, shall be covered by Chapter 9 of Title 1, and shall receive credit for prior years of service within the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department as provided in subparagraphs (2), (3), and (4) of this subsection.

(2) Solely for the purposes of determining vesting and retirement eligibility, members shall receive credit for prior service with the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department.

(3)(A) Members shall be eligible to purchase benefit accrual service for some or all of the time they were employed by the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department. The member shall deposit to the credit of the District of Columbia Police Officers and Fire Fighters’ Retirement Fund an amount that is equal to the dollar increase in the present value of future benefits which results from crediting the prior service. The present value of future benefits shall be calculated on the actuarial assumptions and methods used to calculate the present value of future benefits pursuant to § 1-907.03(a)(3)(B) for the applicable fiscal year. Upon separation from District of Columbia employment for reasons other than retirement, any firefighter who purchased prior service credit shall receive that purchased amount along with any interest credited to the amount. Any firefighter who withdraws the purchased amount and is later reinstated shall not be entitled to this prior service credit until the purchased amount plus interest is again deposited.

(B) If a member was a participant in the defined contribution plan established pursuant to § 1-626.05(3), the member may transfer all or a portion of his or her defined contribution plan account balance into the District of Columbia Police Officers and Fire Fighters' Retirement Fund toward his or her purchase of prior service with the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department.

(4) For the purposes of this section, the term “prior service” means any prior service in the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department, regardless of whether there is a break in service.

(j) Service as a retired police officer hired pursuant to § 5-761, shall not count as creditable service for the purposes of this section.

(k)(1) An employee hired as a lateral law enforcement officer pursuant to § 1-610.72, shall be covered by Chapter 9 of Title 1. These lateral law enforcement officers shall be treated as new hires for retirement purposes and for the purposes of this section except as provided by law for federal government and military service and as provided by subparagraph (B) of this paragraph.

(2) In computing length of service of a retiring lateral law enforcement officer hired pursuant to § 1-610.72, credit shall be granted for prior law enforcement service outside the Metropolitan Police Department only if the lateral law enforcement officer has deposited to the credit of the Police Officers’ and Firefighters’ Retirement Fund an amount equal to the dollar increase in the present value of future benefits that results from crediting the prior service. The calculation of the present value of future benefits shall be based on the actuarial assumptions and methods used to calculate the present value of future benefits pursuant to § 1-907.03(a)(3)(B) for the applicable fiscal year. Upon separation from District law enforcement duty for reasons other than retirement, any law enforcement officer who purchased prior service credit shall receive that purchase amount along with any interest credited on the amount. Any law enforcement officer that withdraws the purchase amount and is later reinstated shall not be entitled to this prior service credit until the purchase amount plus interest is again deposited.

(l) Service as a former Metropolitan Police Department detective hired as a detective advisor pursuant to § 5-129.31 [expired] shall not count as creditable service for the purposes of this section.


(Sept. 1, 1916, ch. 433, § 12(c); Aug. 21, 1957, 71 Stat. 392, Pub. L. 85-157, § 3; Aug. 29, 1972, 86 Stat. 641, Pub. L. 92-410, title II, § 201(a)(2); Oct. 1, 1976, D.C. Law 1-87, § 9, 23 DCR 2544; Nov. 15, 1977, 91 Stat. 1371, Pub. L. 95-179; Nov. 17, 1979, 93 Stat. 866, Pub. L. 96-122,§§ 202(a), 208(a)(2); Mar. 24, 1990, D.C. Law 8-97, § 5, 37 DCR 1046; Oct. 3, 2001, D.C. Law 14-28, § 203, 48 DCR 6981; Nov. 22, 2003, 117 Stat. 1386, Pub. L. 108-133, § 2; Mar. 13, 2004, D.C. Law 15-105, § 39, 51 DCR 881; Apr. 13, 2005, D.C. Law 15-354, § 13(a), 52 DCR 2638; Mar. 2, 2007, D.C. Law 16-191, § 27(a), 53 DCR 6794; Mar. 31, 2009, D.C. Law 17-356, § 3(b), 56 DCR 1614; May 1, 2013, D.C. Law 19-314, § 2(b), 60 DCR 3466; Dec. 13, 2017, D.C. Law 22-33, § 7046, 64 DCR 7652; Feb. 22, 2019, D.C. Law 22-215, § 2(b), 65 DCR 12958.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 4-610.

1973 Ed., § 4-523.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-903.01, § 5-544.01, § 5-701, § 5-705, § 5-706, § 5-723.01, § 5-761, § 5-762, § 6-223, and § 10-505.05.

Effect of Amendments

Section 7046 of D.C. Law 22-33 repealed Law 17-356.

D.C. Law 14-28 added subsec. (i).

Pub. L. 108-133, in subsec. (h), substituted “(h)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, notwithstanding” for “(h) Notwithstanding”, and added paragraph (2).

D.C. Law 15-105 validated a previously made technical correction.

D.C. Law 15-354, in subsec. (e), substituted “District of Columbia Retirement Board” for “Mayor of the District of Columbia”; in subsec. (f)(3), substituted “District of Columbia Retirement Board” for “Mayor”; in subsec. (h)(1), substituted “the District of Columbia Retirement Board shall re-determine” for “the Mayor shall redetermine”, and added “; and the Mayor shall forward this information to the District of Columbia Retirement Board” at the end of the last sentence; in subsec. (h)(2)(A)(i), substituted “District of Columbia Retirement Board” for “Mayor”; in subsec. (h)(2)(C), added “; and the Mayor shall forward this information to the District of Columbia Retirement Board” at the end of the last sentence; and added subsecs. (j),(k), and (l).

D.C. Law 16-191, in subsec. (l), validated a previously made technical correction.

D.C. Law 17-356 rewrote subsec. (i).

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-314 added the last sentence in (b)(2).

Cross References

District of Columbia police officers and firefighters retirement fund, see § 1-712.

Retirement fund for police officers and fire fighters, see § 1-903.01.

Transfer from Metropolitan Police to Capitol Police, “metropolitan police force” and “police service” defined, see § 10-505.05.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7046 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-167, Oct. 24, 2017, 64 DCR 10802).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7046 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-104, July 20, 2017, 64 DCR 7032).

For temporary eligibility of police officers retired from the Metropolitan Police Force to be rehired at the discretion of the Superintendent of the D.C. Public Schools as D.C. public school security personnel without jeopardy to their retirement benefits, see § 2 of the Retired Police Officer Public Schools Security Personnel Deployment Emergency Amendment Act of 1993 (D.C. Act 10-21, April 29, 1993, 40 DCR 2864).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 203 of Fiscal Year 2002 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-124, August 3, 2001, 48 DCR 7861).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 2(a) of the Police and Firefighter’s Retirement and Disability Omnibus Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-585, January 1, 2013, 60 DCR 151).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(b) of the Police and Firefighter’s Retirement and Disability Omnibus Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-33, March 19, 2013, 60 DCR 4630, 20 DCSTAT 493).

References in Text

Veterans Regulation No. 1(a), part I, paragraph I, referred to in subsection (b)(1)(B) of this section, was promulgated by Executive Order No. 6156, June 6, 1933 and was repealed by the Act of June 17, 1957, 71 Stat. 167, Pub. L. 85-56, § 2202.

The “effective date of this subsection,” referred to in subsection (f)(2), is prescribed by § 202(b) of the Act of November 17, 1979, 93 Stat. 914, Pub. L. 96-122.

The “effective date of §§ 5-701 to 5-724,” referred to twice in subsection (f)(3), is prescribed by § 202(b) of the Act of November 17, 1979, 93 Stat. 914, Pub. L. 96-122.

Section 202 of the Social Security Act, referred to in subsection (h) of this section, is codified as 42 U.S.C. § 402.

Former subsection (a) of § 216 of the Social Security Act, which defined retirement age and which is referred to in subsection (h) of this section, was repealed by § 102(c)(1) of the Act of June 30, 1961, 75 Stat. 134, Pub. L. 87-64. Retirement age is defined by 42 U.S.C. § 416(e).

“This act,” referred to in subsection (h) of this section, means the Act of September 1, 1916, ch. 433.

Secretary of Health and Human Services, referred to in subsection (h) of this section, was substituted for Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare pursuant to the Act of October 17, 1979, 93 Stat. 695, Pub. L. 96-88, § 509.

Editor's Notes

Policemen and Firemen’s Retirement and Disability Act: Section 3(r) of Pub. L. 85-157 provided that this section may be cited as part of the Policemen and Firemen’s Retirement and Disability Act.

Coverage Under Federal Employees’ Retirement Act: See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 5-742.

Section 4 of D.C. Law 17-356 provided that this act shall apply upon the inclusion of its fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan.

The Budget Director of the Council of the District of Columbia has determined, as of February 15, 2012, that the fiscal effect of Law 17-356 has not been included in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore, the provisions of this section, enacted by Law 17-356, are not in effect.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.