The following was included in TCTA's 2020-21 Survival Guide, the ultimate reference tool for Texas educators, and is current as of September 2020 but is subject to change.
An employee who is not retiring must work at least 90 days during the school year to receive a year of service credit. An exception is made for individuals in their final year before retirement; they can receive the year of credit for working the full fall semester, even if it is less than 90 days. The “school year” for TRS purposes begins Sept. 1, so the 90-day count does not include any days worked prior to Sept. 1.
Teachers can purchase different types of service credit in the retirement system, including:
There are limits on the aggregate amount of time purchased, and the cost of different types of service credit varies among individuals (TRS can provide assistance in calculating the cost). Purchased service credit counts toward the requirement to meet the Rule of 80 for TRS-Care eligibility.
A person with unreported service (including substitute service) must verify the service within five years of when it was rendered for it to be creditable.
If your TRS annual statement excludes any eligible service or compensation credit, you must correct the error no later than May 31 of the year following the year in which the service was rendered in order to avoid paying an additional cost. After that time (but within the five-year period) you will pay the actuarial cost of the service, which will increase every year — so take care of the issue as quickly as possible.