Becoming Vested In State and Federal Jobs (USA)

For a state or federal employee, becoming vested is one of the most important goals that can be reached. Whether you wish to continue working in the public sector until retirement, or simply choose to stay long enough to add to your overall benefits, becoming vested should be given definite consideration.

The process of becoming vested may vary from one state to another, or from agency to agency. In some states, you will only have to work for a particular department for a minimum of five years before becoming vested, while in other situations, the length of time is ten years.

Sometimes, if you pay into your retirement, it is possible to become vested in a shorter amount of time, depending on how much you contribute. In other agencies, the length of time it takes to become vested is significantly shorter, namely one to two years. Either way, it's worth it in the end.

Typically, it takes ten years to become vested with the federal government, but, as with state jobs, the length of time may be dependent on several factors. How much you pay into your own retirement can make a big difference in the length of the entire process. The amount of time may also vary from one occupation to another, but this is less common than with state employment.

What does it mean to become vested? When you are vested, you will be able to draw money from the state or federal government upon your retirement. This amount is dependent upon how much you have put in, and how long you have worked for the public sector. If you are a state employee and are vested, then you decide to go work in the private sector, you will still receive this money upon retirement. The same applies to federal employment as well. Should you ever need to draw disability, this money will be considered a part of your social security, and will be allotted to you every month prior to your retirement at the time you begin receiving your disability.

Should you not become vested, you will not be able to receive any money from working for the public sector upon retirement, and will not be duly compensated should you ever draw disability. That is why becoming vested can prove to be an advantage, and why many people choose to work for the public instead of the private sector.