Code of the District of Columbia

§ 38–2021.08. Basis for determining annuity amount.

(a) The years of service which form the basis for determining the amount of the annuity provided in § 38-2021.05(a) shall be computed from the date of original appointment as a teacher in the public schools of the District of Columbia, including so much of any authorized leaves of absence without pay as does not exceed 6 months in the aggregate in a fiscal year, plus service credit that may be allowed under the provisions of this section. A teacher or former teacher who returns to duty after a period of separation is deemed, for the purpose of this section, to have been on a leave of absence without pay for that part of the period in which he or she was receiving benefits under subchapter I of 5 U.S.C. Chapter 81, or any earlier statute on which the subchapter is based. In computing an annuity under § 38-2021.05(a), the total service of a teacher shall include days of unused sick leave credited to him. No deposit may be required for days of unused sick leave included in a teacher’s total service under the preceding sentence. Days of unused sick leave shall not be counted in determining a teacher’s average salary or his eligibility for an annuity. In computing the length of service of retiring teachers credit may be given, year for year, for:

(1) Public school service or its equivalent outside the District of Columbia but not to exceed 10 years;

(2) Continuous temporary service in the public schools of the District immediately before probationary appointment;

(3) Service in the District government or the government of the United States allowable under subchapter III of 5 U.S.C. § 83;

(4) Periods of honorable active service in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard of the United States (but not the National Guard except when ordered to active duty in the service of the United States) before the date of the separation upon which title to annuity is based; provided, that if a teacher is awarded retired pay on account of military service, the teacher’s military service shall not be included unless the 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 the line of duty during an enlistment or employment as provided in Veterans Regulation No. 1(a), part 1, paragraph 1, or is awarded under 10 U.S.C. § 12736;

(5) Educational leaves of absence with part pay authorized by the Board of Education in accordance with §§ 1-612.01, 1-612.02, and 1-612.03; and

(6) Continuous temporary service as an employee of a cafeteria or lunchroom operated in the public school buildings of the District of Columbia during a period before the date on which the cafeteria or lunchroom is placed under the Office of Central Management, Department of Food Services, District of Columbia, and immediately before appointment as a teacher in the public schools of the District of Columbia; provided, that portion of the annuity which results from credit for service allowable under paragraphs (1) and (3) of this subsection shall be reduced by the amount of any annuity that the retired teacher is entitled to receive under a federal, state, or municipal retirement or pension system with respect to the service, except that that portion of the annuity after reduction shall not be less than the annuity purchasable with the deposit that the teacher is required to make under the provisions of this section in order to obtain credit for such service; provided further, that no credit for service prescribed in this section, with the exception of periods of honorable service in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard of the United States and all educational leaves of absence with part pay authorized by the Board of Education in accordance with §§ 1-612.01, 1-612.02, and 1-612.03, shall be given to a teacher until the teacher shall have deposited to the credit of the District of Columbia Teachers’ Retirement Fund a sum equal to:

(A) The accumulated contributions that the teacher would have had credited to the teacher’s individual account if the service had been rendered on active duty in the public schools of the District of Columbia, the contributions to be based on the average annual salary of the class to which the teacher is appointed; and

(B) Interest thereon computed in accordance with § 38-2021.24(b); provided further, that contributions to the retirement fund made by a teacher on education leave with part pay shall be determined in accordance with the provisions of § 38-2021.01, but otherwise no provision of this part shall be interpreted to deprive a teacher employed by the Board of Education of any rights or benefits allowable under §§ 1-612.01, 1-612.02, and 1-612.03. If the teacher so elects, the teacher may deposit the required sum in the District of Columbia Teachers’ Retirement Fund in monthly installments, upon making a claim with the District of Columbia Retirement Board. Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary, contributions, benefits, and service credit with respect to qualified military service will be provided in accordance with section 414(u) of the Internal Revenue Code. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, this section shall not be construed to allow any teacher more than one year’s credit for all services rendered in any one fiscal year.

(b) A teacher who during the period of any war, or of any national emergency as proclaimed by the President or declared by the Congress, has left or leaves his position to enter the military service, as defined in this section, shall not be considered, for the purposes of this part, as separated from his teaching position by reason of such military service, unless he shall apply for and receive a lump-sum benefit under this part, except that such teacher shall not be considered as retaining his teaching position beyond 6 months after June 4, 1957, or the expiration of 5 years of such military service, whichever is later.

(c) Nothing in this part shall affect the right of a teacher to retired pay, pension, or compensation in addition to the annuity herein provided.

(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, any teacher who is entitled to purchase service credit under the provisions of § 38-1970(d) shall purchase such credit based on the salary received from the Board of Higher Education during the period of service to be credited.


(Aug. 7, 1946, 60 Stat. 879, ch. 779, § 8; Mar. 6, 1952, 66 Stat. 19, ch. 95,§ 7; Aug. 5, 1955, 69 Stat. 536, ch. 575, § 2; June 4, 1957, 71 Stat. 47, Pub. L. 85-46, § 1; Dec. 29, 1967, 81 Stat. 748, Pub. L. 90-231, § 1(5); May 22, 1970, 84 Stat. 257, Pub. L. 91-263, § 1(b); Oct. 21, 1972, 86 Stat. 1013, Pub. L. 92-518, title II, §§ 201(3), 202(a)(1), 203(b); Nov. 17, 1979, 93 Stat. 866, Pub. L. 96-122, § 253(a)(3); May 10, 1989, D.C. Law 7-231, § 34(a), 36 DCR 492; Apr. 13, 2005, D.C. Law 15-354, § 55(d), 52; May 1, 2013, D.C. Law 19-312, § 2(f), 60 DCR 3434.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-1230.

1973 Ed., § 31-728.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 38-2021.03, § 38-2021.27, and § 38-2023.14.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-354, in subsec. (b)(2), substituted “District of Columbia Retirement Board” for “Mayor of the District of Columbia, or his designated agent”.

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-312 rewrote (a).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of (a), see § 2(f) of the Retirement of Public-School Teachers Omnibus Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-584, January 1, 2013, 60 DCR 134).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(f) of the Retirement of Public-School Teachers Omnibus Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-41, March 25, 2013, 60 DCR 5361, 20 DCSTAT 527).

Temporary Legislation

Section 2(f) of D.C. Law 19-313 amended subsection (a) to read as follows:

“(a) The years of service which form the basis for determining the amount of the annuity provided in section 5(a) shall be computed from the date of original appointment as a teacher in the public schools of the District of Columbia, including so much of any authorized leaves of absence without pay as does not exceed 6 months in the aggregate in a fiscal year, plus service credit that may be allowed under the provisions of this section. A teacher or former teacher who returns to duty after a period of separation is deemed, for the purpose of this section, to have been on a leave of absence without pay for that part of the period in which he or she was receiving benefits under subchapter I of 5 U.S.C. Chapter 81, or any earlier statute on which the subchapter is based. In computing an annuity under section 5(a), the total service of a teacher shall include days of unused sick leave credited to him. No deposit may be required for days of unused sick leave included in a teacher’s total service under the preceding sentence. Days of unused sick leave shall not be counted in determining a teacher’s average salary or his eligibility for an annuity. In computing the length of service of retiring teachers credit may be given, year for year, for:

“(1) Public school service or its equivalent outside the District of Columbia but not to exceed 10 years;

“(2) Continuous temporary service in the public schools of the District immediately before probationary appointment;

“(3) Service in the District government or the government of the United States allowable under subchapter III of 5 U.S.C. § 83;

“(4) Periods of honorable active service in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard of the United States (but not the National Guard except when ordered to active duty in the service of the United States) before the date of the separation upon which title to annuity is based; provided, that if a teacher is awarded retired pay on account of military service, the teacher’s military service shall not be included unless the 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 the line of duty during an enlistment or employment as provided in Veterans Regulation No. 1(a), part 1, paragraph 1, or is awarded under 10 U.S.C. § 12736;

“(5) Educational leaves of absence with part pay authorized by the Board of Education in accordance with sections 1201, 1202, and 1203 of the District of Columbia Government Comprehensive Merit Personnel Act of 1978, effective March 3, 1979 (D.C. Law 2-139; D.C. Official Code § 1-612.01, 1-612.02, and 1-612.03); and

“(6) Continuous temporary service as an employee of a cafeteria or lunchroom operated in the public school buildings of the District of Columbia during a period before the date on which the cafeteria or lunchroom is placed under the Office of Central Management, Department of Food Services, District of Columbia, and immediately before appointment as a teacher in the public schools of the District of Columbia; provided, that portion of the annuity which results from credit for service allowable under paragraphs (1) and (3) of this subsection shall be reduced by the amount of any annuity that the retired teacher is entitled to receive under a federal, state, or municipal retirement or pension system with respect to the service, except that that portion of the annuity after reduction shall not be less than the annuity purchasable with the deposit that the teacher is required to make under the provisions of this section in order to obtain credit for such service; provided further, that no credit for service prescribed in this section, with the exception of periods of honorable service in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard of the United States and all educational leaves of absence with part pay authorized by the Board of Education in accordance with sections 1201, 1202, and 1203 of the District of Columbia Government Comprehensive Merit Personnel Act of 1978, effective October 1, 1987 (D.C. Law 2-139; D.C. Official Code § 1-612.01, 1-612.02, 1-612.03), shall be given to a teacher until the teacher shall have deposited to the credit of the District of Columbia Teachers’ Retirement Fund a sum equal to:

“(A) The accumulated contributions that the teacher would have had credited to the teacher’s individual account if the service had been rendered on active duty in the public schools of the District of Columbia, the contributions to be based on the average annual salary of the class to which the teacher is appointed; and

“(B) Interest thereon computed in accordance with section 24(b); provided further, that contributions to the retirement fund made by a teacher on education leave with part pay shall be determined in accordance with the provisions of section 1, but otherwise no provision of this act shall be interpreted to deprive a teacher employed by the Board of Education of any rights or benefits allowable under sections 1201, 1202, and 1203 of the District of Columbia Government Comprehensive Merit Personnel Act of 1978, effective March 3, 1979 (D.C. Law 2-139; D.C. Official Code § 1-612.01, 1-612.02, 1-612.03). If the teacher so elects, the teacher may deposit the required sum in the District of Columbia Teachers’ Retirement Fund in monthly installments, upon making a claim with the District of Columbia Retirement Board. Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary, contributions, benefits, and service credit with respect to qualified military service will be provided in accordance with section 414(u) of the Internal Revenue Code. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, this section shall not be construed to allow any teacher more than one year’s credit for all services rendered in any one fiscal year.”

Section 4(b) of D.C. Law 19-313 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

References in Text

“Veterans Regulation No. 1(a), part 1, paragraph 1,” referred to in subsection (a)(4)(B) of this section, was repealed by the Act of June 17, 1957, 71 Stat. 167, Pub. L. 85-56, title XXII, § 2202(129), (217).

“Title III of Public Law 810, 80th Congress,” referred to in subsection (a)(4)(B) of this section, refers to the Act of June 29, 1948, 62 Stat. 1087, ch. 708, title III, §§ 301 to 313, which was repealed by the Act of August 10, 1956, 70A Stat. 64, ch. 1041, § 53, and the Act of September 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1569, Pub. L. 85-861, § 36A.

“ Section 31-1132(d),” referred to in subsection (d), was repealed by D.C. Law 4-78, effective March 16, 1982.

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.