Prior Service Credit 

If you are eligible for the Basic and Matching Plans, and if you worked at a 501(c)(3) nonprofit* prior to Penn, you may be eligible for a waiver of the one-year waiting period for employer contributions. 

The requirements are:

  • Your employer immediately prior to Penn was eligible to sponsor, or did sponsor, a 403(b) plan (typically an educational institution, hospital, religious organization, or charity); and 
  • you were eligible to participate in the above employer's retirement plan; and
  • you were in that eligible position for at least one year; and
  • you were hired by Penn directly from the nonprofit organization with no intervening employment; and
  • you return this form within 6 months of your hire date. If your form is not submitted within 6 months, you will be subject to the one-year waiting period.

* When an employee comes from a foreign employer, the Plan Administrator will evaluate the individual circumstances to determine eligibility for prior service credit.

Penn’s contributions will begin after the completed form is received and processed by the Benefits Office.

How to Apply

To apply for Prior Service Credit, you and your prior employer will need to complete the Certification of Prior Employment. Submit the completed form by email to

Prior Service at Penn or UPHS

Prior service with Penn or the University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS) counts toward the one-year wait for University contributions. 


Prior service at Penn is determined differently for monthly-paid and weekly-paid service.

  • Monthly – 12 months of employment generally counts at as one year of service and satisfies the waiting period
  • Weekly – 1,000 hours of service in a calendar year counts at one year of service and satisfies the waiting period

Counting the accrual of these periods of employment can be complicated, especially when breaks in service have occurred. The Benefits Office evaluates each instance of prior employment individually and makes a final determination.

Prior service at Penn is ordinarily updated in Penn’s system automatically. If you have been rehired by Penn and believe you meet the criteria above, but have not started receiving contributions from Penn, please contact the Benefits Office online.


If you were employed for at least one year by UPHS, please contact the Benefits Office at 215-898-4436, or contact the Benefits Office online.