Leaving Covered Employment

If you leave LAGERS covered employment, there are several options for your LAGERS benefit. The available options will depend on how and when you separate from LAGERS covered employment.

Less than 5 Years of Service upon Separation, Regardless of Age

If you leave employment before becoming vested (60 months of service), you may:


5-10 Years of Service, more than 10 years away from normal retirement

If you are vested (60 months of service) with less than 10 years of service and are more than 10 years from your normal retirement age, you may:


5+ Years of Service, younger than Early Retirement

If you are vested (60 months of service), are younger than early retirement age and either have more than 10 years of service or are less than 10 years away from retirement, you may:


5+ Years of Service, over Early Retirement Age under Normal Retirement Age

If you are vested (60 months of service) and are in between your normal and early retirement ages, you may:


5+ Years of Service beyond Rule of 80 or Normal Retirement Age

If you are vested (60 months of service) and are beyond your rule of 80 age or normal retirement age, you are eligible at any time to begin receiving your monthly LAGERS benefit.

If you’re vested, leaving the LAGERS system, have less than 10 years of service credit, and are more than 10 years from normal retirement age, you may receive a lump-sum payment.  The amount of the lump sum is calculated as the actuarial equivalent of the reserve value of your deferred monthly payment.  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 you 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 retirement benefit. A deferred retirement means 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 retirement benefit, you may apply for your LAGERS benefits at any time upon attainment of your earliest retirement age. The temporary allowance payable under the LT programs does not apply to deferred benefits.

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