As long as you do not withdraw your contributions, you will have earned the right to receive a pension once you meet the minimum requirement of five years of service credit, even if you discontinue your public employment.
Vesting is automatic — you do not have to fill out any paperwork or file an application to become vested. As a vested member, you may leave public employment and, at a later date, apply for and receive a vested retirement benefit.
You can choose to begin receiving your vested retirement benefit at your early retirement age or when you reach age 55. Your early retirement age is the age at which you would have completed 20 years of service credit.
The amount of your vested benefit will be based on your service, age at retirement and the salary you earned when you were an active member.