Once you have accrued five years of credited service, you will be vested. This means you have earned the right to receive a retirement benefit, even if you leave public employment.
If you are enrolled in the age 60 retirement plan, you can begin receiving your vested retirement benefit when you reach age 60. If you are enrolled in the alternative age 55 retirement plan, you can begin receiving your vested retirement benefit when you reach age 55. The amount of your vested benefit is based on your service and your earnings when you were an active member.
Vesting is automatic — you do not have to fill out any paperwork or file an application to become vested. However, you will need to file a retirement application to begin receiving your vested benefit.