I receive countless calls from LAGERS members inquiring on when they will become vested and what it means when they are. I must admit that before I started working for LAGERS I had very little knowledge on how retirement vesting works and how it would affect me. What I have learned is the importance of becoming vested and how it will allow for me to receive a benefit in the future. If you are unsure or only know what a co-worker or friend has told you, hopefully the following will help clear up the subject of vesting.
So what does it mean to be vested with LAGERS?
Once a member is vested with LAGERS, they are guaranteed to receive a benefit whether they continue their employment with a LAGERS employer until retirement age or terminate and employ outside the LAGERS system.
So what happens if a member leaves employment before they are vested?
If a non-vested member terminates, they have 10 years from their termination date to re-employ with the same or another LAGERS employer. If they do, the service credit they earned with the previous LAGERS employer would be counted towards their vesting with their future LAGERS employer. If the member chose to take a refund of contributions when they left employment and forfeited that service, they would have the option to return the amount of the refund plus interest to LAGERS in order to reinstate that service.
For example, if a member terminates from Employer A with 3 years (36 months) of service then reemploys with Employer B (within ten years from their last day with Employer A), they would only need another 2 years (24 months) to become vested.
It is that simple! If you have any questions regarding vesting and your account, you may log onto your myLAGERS account to view the status or give us a call.