You are eligible for a vested retirement benefit if you leave public employment before age 55 and you have met the minimum service requirement. Tier 3 and 4 members must have five years of credited service. Tier 5 and 6 members must have ten years of credited service. When you reach age 55, you will be entitled to a retirement benefit based on your age, service and your earnings when you were an active member.
Tier 3 and 4 members with less than 30 years of service credit may receive their full vested benefit at age 62, or may choose early retirement between ages 55 and 62 and receive a reduced retirement benefit. Under Article 15, with 30 or more years of service, Tier 3 and 4 members can retire as early as age 55 without a benefit reduction.
Tier 5 and 6 members may retire as early as age 55 and receive a reduced retirement benefit, or delay retirement until age 62 for Tier 5 members or age 63 for Tier 6 members, and collect their full benefit.
Your Vested Benefit
If you retire with less than 20 years of service credit, your full vested retirement benefit will equal 1/60th (1.66 percent) of your FAS, multiplied by your years of service. If you retire with 20 or more years of service credit, your full benefit will equal 1/50th (2 percent) of your FAS multiplied by your years of service.
If you retire under circumstances that provide a reduced benefit (under your employer’s regular plan), consult that plan’s booklet for the benefit reduction rates for your membership tier.
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.