If a LAGERS member leaves LAGERS covered employment, there are several options with his or her LAGERS benefit. The available options will depend on how and when the member separates from LAGERS covered employment.
An employee with less than 5 years (60 months) of cumulative LAGERS service credit is not vested and therefore not eligible for a monthly retirement benefit. He or she may:
An employee has 5 or more years of LAGERS service credit, is vested with the system, and will be eligible for a monthly retirement benefit. However, he or she may be eligible for several options.
An employee who has over 5 years of LAGERS service and is between his or her early and normal retirement ages is eligible at any time to begin receiving their monthly LAGERS benefit. He or she may:
An employee who has over 5 years of LAGERS service and is over his or her normal retirement age is eligible at any time to begin receiving their monthly LAGERS benefit.
A member may apply for and receive a refund of his or her accumulated contributions, which includes any applicable interest, should he or she leave LAGERS covered employment prior to the time he or she is eligible to receive a monthly benefit (his early retirement age). Once an employee is eligible to receive a monthly allowance, the state law no longer allows for a refund, only the monthly benefit. The member must have a minimum break in LAGERS covered service of one month to be eligible for a refund.
Taking a refund of accumulated contributions forfeits your LAGERS service credit.
It normally requires between 60 and 90 days to process a request for a refund. Checks are generated on the first of a month. Refunds for terminated members cannot be processed until the employer report showing no wages paid to the member is received by the LAGERS office (to be certain all contributions have been reported).
Refund payments, as well as monthly benefits, are not subject to garnishment, execution or bankruptcy proceedings except in the case of certain crimes.
If a member takes a refund and later reemploys with a LAGERS employer within 10 years, he or she may redeposit those funds, plus any applicable interest, to reinstate that prior service credit.
Contact the LAGERS office if you are interested in reinstating service credit.
Vested members leaving the LAGERS system who have less than 10 years of service credit and are more than 10 years from normal retirement age may receive a lump sum payment. The amount of the member’s lump sum is calculated as the actuarial equivalent of the reserve value of member’s deferred monthly allowance. Any lump sum payment will result in forfeiture of a future monthly benefit at retirement. It will also result in the forfeiture of any service credit should the member ever reemploy within the LAGERS system.
If you have 5 or more years of credited service and leave LAGERS coverage before your early retirement age, you may be eligible for a deferred allowance. A deferred retirement means that you are vested with the LAGERS system, therefore guaranteed a monthly benefit, but are not yet age eligible to begin receiving it.
If you have a deferred allowance, you may apply for your LAGERS benefits at any time upon attainment of your earliest retirement age.
The temporary allowance payable under the LT-4(62), LT-5(62) and LT-8(62) or LT-4(65), LT-5(65), LT-8(65), LT-10(65), and LT14(65) do not apply to deferred allowances.