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Vesting (Deferring Retirement)

Vesting (deferring retirement) postpones receipt of your monthly retirement benefit until a later date.  Vesting your account may eliminate penalties of an early retirement.  It may also protect a death benefit greater than the value of your contributions and interest for your beneficiary.

You may request a refund even if you are eligible to vest and receive a monthly benefit. This may be beneficial if you are currently working in another state that has regulations requiring the forfeiture of vested benefits prior to purchasing out-of-state service. By requesting a refund and not a retirement benefit, you will only receive your contributions and interest, forfeiting your lifetime monthly retirement payment and death benefit.

Different membership classes have different eligibility requirements for vesting. 

  • Class T-C* and Class T-D members must have 5 or more years of service.
  • Class T-E and Class T-F members must have 10 or more years of service.  

While your contributions and interest remain in your PSERS account, they will continue to earn four percent interest compounded annually.  You do not need to contact PSERS if you terminate Pennsylvania public school employment and choose to vest your account.  This will happen automatically once you reach the vesting eligibility requirements.  You will need to contact PSERS when you are ready to begin receiving your retirement benefit.  Click here for information on the retirement process.   

* Special conditions may apply for those who terminated active PSERS-covered employment prior to July 1, 2001. Contact PSERS for more information.