VCERA members become “vested” after attaining five years of retirement service credit. Vesting can be achieved through employment as a VCERA member, eligible service purchases and reciprocal service. A vested member is eligible to receive a lifetime retirement benefit from VCERA after meeting the minimum age and service requirements. Additional advantages of being vested include:
- A vested member who terminates employment may elect deferred status until meeting VCERA’s minimum eligibility requirements for a service retirement. In contrast, a non-vested member who terminates employment may only apply for a service retirement at age 70.
- A vested active member is eligible to purchase retirement service credit while in deferred status. In contrast, a non-vested member who terminates employment is not eligible to make service purchases.
- A vested member who terminates employment and establishes reciprocity in a qualifying retirement system will become immediately vested in the new system.