You’re Vested, Now What?

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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.

To become vested, a member must earn five years (60 months) of service credit within the system. The 60 months may be earned with one LAGERS employer or a combination of LAGERS employers.

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.

 

Dennise Schaben, Accounts Analyst

Dennise Schaben, Accounts Analyst

3 thoughts on “You’re Vested, Now What?

  1. Jeremy says:

    I have 14 years vested in Lagers. I have recently separated from my Lagers employer and I am no longer employed by a Lagers qualified employer. I would like to rollover my Lagers benefits to my IRA account. I am also not near retirement age. What are my options?

    • You may have a couple options. You are guaranteed a monthly lifetime benefit based on your 14 years of service that would begin when you reach your early or normal retirement age. This is what we call a ‘deferred retirement.’ You could also choose to take a refund of your contributions if your employer required you to contribute 4% each month. Doing so would forfeit your service and you would not be entitled to a future monthly benefit. I would suggest calling LAGERS office at 1-800-447-4334 and speaking with a benefit specialist for more information about your specific situation. Thanks!

  2. […] Vesting is important. Make sure you know whether you are vested when you leave because vesting is what determines your options for your LAGERS benefits when quitting a job. […]

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