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 collected 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 and 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.