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.1
Tier 1, 2, 3 and 5 members who are off public payroll may collect a vested retirement benefit at age 55. Tier 6 members who are off public payroll may collect a vested retirement benefit at age 63. The amount of your vested benefit is based on your service, age at retirement and the salary you earned 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 an application to begin receiving your vested benefit.