From Our Members: What happens to my benefit if I change jobs?

from our members picA member recently emailed the following: I am currently a vested member and am possibly getting ready to change jobs to an employer that does not have Lagers.  I want to keep my Lagers because I am a vested member, how do I do that?  

Once you become vested in LAGERS, meaning you have earned at least 60 months of LAGERS service, you will be eligible to receive a monthly benefit at retirement.  For some, this may mean going directly from LAGERS-covered employment to retirement.  For others, there may be a non-LAGERS covered job along the way.  If you find yourself changing jobs prior to retirement, the good news is that your LAGERS benefit will be there for you once you reach retirement age!

When you leave LAGERS-covered employment, vested members can apply for a deferred retirement.  You can do this on your myLAGERS account or by downloading the Application for Retirement Form.  A deferred retirement simply means that you are no longer accruing a benefit in LAGERS, but will draw a benefit on your vested account once you reach retirement age.  By applying for a deferred benefit, we can go ahead and take care of your wage certifications that we require from your employer at retirement, helping to ensure a smooth retirement process in the future! 

If you leave LAGERS-covered employment, and we don't hear from you, you will automatically default to deferred status, and you would be eligible to apply for your benefit in the future. 

If you are not vested when you leave LAGERS-covered employment, or you wonder if you would qualify for a lump sum payout, visit our Leaving LAGERS Employment page to learn more!

A couple other things to keep in mind: If you are a deferred member and reemploy with a LAGERS employer in the future, your service accruals would pick right up where you left off, and you would simply reapply for retirement once you stopped working.  If you never return to LAGERS coverage, you can expect to hear from us a few months before you reach your early retirement age and again a few months before you reach your full retirement age just to remind you that you are now eligible to begin drawing your benefit. You will be eligible to begin drawing a monthly benefit at retirement age even it you are still working somewhere outside the LAGERS system!

As always, our friendly benefit specialists are just a phone call away, so if you have a question about your specific circumstance, please don't hesitate to give us a call!

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Tagged vesting, Retirement Benefits, quitting; leaving; terminating; employment

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