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How Does Being Vested Effect My Pension?

Q. Mark A., of Kansas wants to know: "How does being vested effect my pension?

A. Brett, from the QDRO Department of Pension Evaluators & QDROS Of Troyan, Inc Associates Groupreplies: "When one is vested, that employee has an absolute or nonforfeitable right to their pension. When a retirement plan is fully vested, the employee has an absolute right to the entire amount of money in the account. It is a basic right that has been granted, or has accrued, and cannot be taken away.

The portion vested cannot be reclaimed by the employer, nor can it be used to satisfy the employer's debts. Any portion not vested may be forfeited under certain conditions, such as termination of employment. The portion invested is often determined pro-rata.

ERISA plans must contain an approved vesting schedule by which a plan participant attains the rights to a pension.

Union plans, known as multiemployer plans, have a different set of rules. A plan may have a vesting schedule that is more generous, but not one that is more strict.

Some non-ERISA plans do not offer vesting, in that an employee must qualify for retirement to receive a benefit; termination of service, at a time that the employee is not eligible for a pension, results in loss of all benefits."

Brett Disdale

Lead QDRO Consultant

DISCLAIMER: Any legal information on this blog has been prepared by Troyan from informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The material posted on this website is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Note that sending an e-mail to Troyan does not create an attorney-client relationship, and none will be formed unless there is an agreement between the firm and the individual.


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