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Vested Members

What does "Vested" mean? 
A vested member is old enough or has enough years of service to receive monthly benefits upon his/her retirement. Vesting should not be confused with normal retirement age rules, e.g., Rule of 88 and Rule of 62/20, which determine when an early retirement benefit reduction no longer applies.

How to Become Vested

There are a few different ways to become a vested IPERS member.

Regular Member: Beginning July 1, 2012, you become a vested member when you accrue seven years (28 quarters) of service or are at least age 65 working in covered employment, whichever occurs first. Before July 1, 2012, members became vested with four years (16 quarters) of service or when they were at least age 55 working in covered employment, whichever occurred first. If you were vested before July 2012, you remain vested.

Special Service Member: You are vested when you accrue four years (16 quarters) of service or are at least age 55 working in covered employment, whichever occurs first.

Benefits of Being Vested
Vesting gives you access to a number of IPERS benefits, including:

Disability Benefits: If you receive Social Security disability or Railroad Retirement disability benefits, you may be eligible for disability benefits from IPERS.

Death Benefits: IPERS provides death benefits if you die before you begin receiving your retirement benefits. Death benefits are available to vested and nonvested members, but vested members are eligible for additional death benefits.

Portability of Benefits: If you leave IPERS-covered employment, you can choose to leave your money in IPERS. This may be helpful if you plan to return to covered employment or if you later want to draw monthly benefit payments from IPERS. You also can take a refund or roll over all, or some, of your investment and a portion of your employer’s investment to a qualified plan like a 401(k) or IRA.

Access to Employer Contributions: As an IPERS member, you’re always entitled to 100% of your contributions and interest earnings. After you become vested, if you leave covered employment and take a refund, you will receive a portion of your employer’s contributions made on your behalf, plus interest. The portion of your employer’s contributions you will receive is calculated by dividing your years of service by 30 (22 for Special Service).

Lifetime Retirement Benefits: Vested members may receive lifetime monthly retirement benefits as early as age 55 (50 for sheriffs and deputies with at least 22 years of service).

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