You are eligible for a vested retirement benefit if you leave public employment before age 55 and you have ten or more years of credited service. This means that when you reach age 55, you will be entitled to a retirement benefit based on your service and your earnings when you were an active member.
Your full vested benefit is payable at age 62, but you can choose to retire as early as age 55. With the exception of uniformed court officers or peace officers employed by the Uniformed Court System, if you choose to retire prior to 62, your benefit will be permanently reduced. Uniformed court officers or peace officers employed by the Uniformed Court System can retire prior to 62 without a reduction for early retirement if they have 30 years of service credit.
Your Vested Benefit
Your vested retirement benefit would be calculated in the same way as the service retirement benefit. For an explanation of the benefit, please refer to the Service Retirement Benefit section.
The vested retirement benefit is payable for your lifetime. You must elect one of the available payment options, some of which provide for a continuing payment to a designated beneficiary of your choosing after your death.
To receive your vested retirement benefit at the earliest possible date, file a retirement application within 90 days before your 55th birthday. If we receive your retirement application after your 55th birthday, your vested retirement will be effective the date the application is received.
Once you have reached the age at which you are eligible for an unreduced benefit, any delay in filing will not increase your retirement benefit. Remember, it is up to you to file a retirement application when you become eligible and wish to receive your benefit.