Definition of "Vesting"

Entitlement of a pension plan participant (employee) to receive full benefits at normal retirement age, or a reduced benefit upon early retirement, whether or not the participant still works for the same employer. The employee retirement income security act of 1974 (erisa) mandates vesting under one of these rules: FORTY-FIVE YEAR RULE; FIVE TO FIFTEEN YEAR RULE; TEN YEAR RULEOn January 1, 1989, under the TAX REFORM ACT OF 1986, the above vesting requirements were replaced with the following: full vesting (100%) after a participant completes five years of service with an employer; or vesting of 20% after completion of three years of service with an employer, increasing by 20% for each year of service thereafter, until 100% vesting is achieved at the end of seven years of service.

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