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Susan Combs  •  Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

Non-Salary Payments
Longevity Pay

Background

Longevity pay is an entitlement based on total state service. It is paid each month in addition to base salary. Longevity was first authorized as an employee entitlement on Sept. 1, 1979.

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Eligibility for Longevity Pay

To be eligible for longevity pay, an individual must:

  • Be a full-time employee (any employee working less than 40 hours per week is considered part-time),
  • Be in paid status on the first workday of the month, and
  • Have accrued 24 months of lifetime service credit not later than the last day of the preceding month.

Note: An employee may receive longevity pay for the month in which he or she has accrued 24 months of lifetime service credit only if the employee’s anniversary falls on the first day of the month. Otherwise, the employee begins receiving longevity pay on the first of the following month.

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Ineligibility for Longevity Pay

Employees who are not eligible for longevity pay:

  • Part-time employees (except certain employees of some institutions of higher education and legislative agencies)
  • Temporary state employees and temporary workers (those who work for an outside company)
  • Members of the Legislature
  • Elected officials of a statewide office
  • Independent contractors
  • Junior and community college employees
  • Academic employees at an institution of higher education
  • Contract employees at the School for the Deaf and School for the Blind who provide direct and educational services to students, supervise employees providing these services or provide other professional educational services
  • Retirees who retired June 1, 2005, or later
  • Retirees who retired prior to June 1, 2005, and did not return prior to Sept. 1, 2005.
  • Retirees who retired prior to June 1, 2005, returned to work prior to Sept. 1, 2005, subsequently terminated and then returned to state employment.

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Rate of Longevity Pay (for Other Than Return-to-Work Retirees)

Longevity pay is paid at the rate of $20 every month for every 24 months of lifetime service credit.

The amount increases on the first of the month following the month the lifetime service accrual reaches a new multiple of 24 months.

A month begins on the same day each month as the effective service date and ends on the day before that day during the next month.

The maximum amount an employee can be paid is $420 per month for 504 months of lifetime service credit.

Example:

Effective service date: Aug. 5, 2009
Lifetime service credit as of Aug. 5, 2011: 24 months
Amount of longevity paid on Oct. 1, 2011: $20 for the September pay period

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Longevity Pay Chart

The chart below shows the monthly amount of longevity to be paid to eligible employees:

At Least But Less Than Amount of Longevity per Month
24 months 48 months $20
48 months 72 months $40
72 months 96 months $60
96 months 120 months $80
120 months 144 months $100
144 months 168 months $120
168 months 192 months $140
192 months 216 months $160
216 months 240 months $180
240 months 264 months $200
264 months 288 months $220
288 months 312 months $240
312 months 336 months $260
336 months 360 months $280
360 months 384 months $300
384 months 408 months $320
408 months 432 months $340
432 months 456 months $360
456 months 480 months $380
480 months 504 months $400
504 months No limit $420

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Return-to-Work Retirees

Special provisions apply to longevity pay for return-to work retirees.

Individuals who retired on or before May 31, 2005, and who returned to state employment before Sept. 1, 2005, are eligible to receive longevity pay equal to the amount to which they were entitled immediately preceding Sept. 1, 2005. That longevity pay amount does not change over time, regardless of the amount of lifetime service credit that is accrued following reemployment.

Important note: If the return-to-work retiree leaves state employment for one day or more, longevity pay is discontinued upon return to state employment.

Individuals who retired from state employment on or after June 1, 2005, are ineligible for longevity pay upon reemployment with the state.

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Hazardous Duty Pay’s Effect on Longevity Pay for Return-to-Work Retirees

If a return-to-work retiree received only hazardous duty pay immediately before Sept. 1, 2005, the return-to-work retiree would be considered ineligible for longevity pay after Sept. 1, 2005, even though he or she might move to a position that is ineligible for hazardous duty pay.

If a return-to-work retiree received both hazardous duty pay and longevity pay (for a period of employment not subject to hazardous duty pay), the return-to-work retiree is only eligible for the amount of longevity that he or she was receiving immediately before Sept. 1, 2005, regardless if the return-to-work retiree moves to a position that is not subject to hazardous duty pay.

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When Longevity Pay Shall be Paid

If the employee is entitled to be paid longevity pay and the employee’s regular salary is: The longevity pay should be included in the:
Monthly Monthly pay
Twice-monthly Pay for the first half of the pay period
Every two weeks Wages paid closest to the pay date for a monthly-paid employee

All of the longevity pay must be paid at the same time; longevity pay may not be split among payments.

The state agency that employs the individual on the first workday of a month must pay any longevity to which the employee is entitled.

Example:

If an employee works for Agency A from March 1 through March 5 and transfers to Agency B on March 6, and if that employee is entitled to $20 in longevity pay, Agency A is required to pay all the longevity pay to which the employee is entitled, and the pay must be included with the compensation earned by the employee while working for Agency A.

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Steps to Pay Longevity Pay

When an agency hires an employee, the agency must research if the employee has previous state employment. If there is prior state employment, the agency must:

  • Confirm the amount of lifetime service credit, and
  • Compute the correct amount of longevity pay entitlement.

If the agency fails to do this, the lifetime service credit for longevity will be based on the employment date at the new agency and the eligible employee may be underpaid longevity pay.

If a state agency fails to verify prior state service or delays paying longevity pay until the prior state service credit is verified, the agency must pay the employee’s longevity pay for the period the employee was owed but not paid the longevity pay.

See “Lifetime Service Credit” in the Definitions section of this statement for clarification on the method to determine the total lifetime service credit.

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Longevity Pay for State Judges and Justices

Texas judges and justices are eligible for longevity pay if they meet certain requirements.

The monthly amount of longevity pay is the product of 0.031 multiplied by the amount of the judge’s or justice’s monthly state salary.

Longevity is calculated and becomes payable beginning with the month following the month the judge or justice completes 16 years of retirement service credit.

To be eligible to earn longevity, judges and justices must:

  1. Be paid salary by the state of Texas,
  2. Be a member of the Judicial Retirement System of Texas Plan One or Plan Two, and
  3. Be an active judge as defined in Texas Government Code 74.041.

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Longevity Pay for Institution of Higher Education Employees

All eligibility requirements apply to institutions of higher education. For purposes of institutions of higher education, a “full-time state employee” is one who is normally scheduled to work at least 40 hours per week in one non-academic position.

However, there are situations in which the definition of "one non-academic position" can vary and the institution of higher education (institution) employee may still be eligible for longevity pay.

Each institution and/or board of regents for each system must determine if each non-academic position or appointment is to be considered a separate appointment for purposes of determining full-time employment for an employee with multiple appointments within the institution or system. The institution and/or board of regents must:

  • Ensure that employees are aware of the determination, and
  • Provide written notice of the decision to the Comptroller’s office.

Provide written notice of the decision to the Comptroller’s office at:

Comptroller of Public Accounts
Fiscal Management Division, Payroll Policy
111 East 17th Street, 9th floor
Austin, Texas 78774

To submit your request electronically, please send a letter on agency letterhead to shrpa.mail@cpa.state.tx.us.

Determining full-time status of employees of institutions of higher education:

  1. If an institution determines that all hours worked in each non-academic position or appointment are to be added together to determine whether the employee is full-time or not, an eligible employee may be paid longevity pay if the sum of the scheduled work hours in all non-academic appointments is 40 or more hours.
  2. If an institution determines that each non-academic appointment is to be considered separately, then an eligible employee must be scheduled to work at least 40 hours per week in one non-academic appointment before they can be paid longevity pay.
  3. If a board of regents for a system determines that non-academic appointments with different institutions within the system that are governed by the same board of regents can be added together to determine whether the employee is full-time or not, an eligible employee may be paid longevity pay if the sum of the scheduled work hours in all non-academic appointments is 40 or more hours.
  4. If the board of regents determines that the non-academic appointments with different institutions within the same system (governed by the same board of regents) must be considered separately, an eligible employee must be scheduled to work at least 40 hours per week in one non-academic appointment with one institution before they can be paid longevity pay.
  5. If the institutions are not within the same system (governed by the same board of regents), an employee who holds non-academic appointments with two or more institutions must be scheduled to work at least 40 hours in a single non-academic appointment before they can be considered a full-time employee and be paid longevity pay.

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Definitions

Effective service date
Derived by subtracting total days of lifetime service credit from most recent employment date. The date is used to determine when longevity pay is to be increased.
Full-time state employee
  1. A state employee who works in the executive or judicial branch of state government, other than a state institution of higher education, and who is normally scheduled to work a total of at least 40 hours a week for a single state agency.
  2. A state employee who works for a state institution of higher education and who is normally scheduled to work a total of at least 40 hours a week in one position, as determined under Government Code, Section 659.0411.
  3. A state employee who works in the legislative branch of state government and is normally scheduled to work a total of 40 or more hours a week in all positions held in the legislative branch.
Lifetime service credit
The sum of all periods of employment that render the individual eligible for longevity pay. Lifetime service credit is used in the calculation of the effective service date.
Part-time state employee
A state employee who is not a full-time state employee.

Sources

Government Code, Chapter 74 (Section 74.041), Chapter 659 and Subchapter D (Sections 659.041 through 659.047).

Document Changes

04/25/2013 Clarified full-time state employee status of non-academic positions in institutions of higher education.
11/27/2012 Updated to include information regarding hazardous duty pay’s effect on longevity pay for return-to-work retirees.

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Susan Combs
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Questions? Contact statewide.accounting@cpa.state.tx.us
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