FAQ: Vesting for Benefits

Some of the changes to RSA 100-A contained in House Bill 2 (Chapter 224, Laws of 2011) differ among: (a) members in vested status prior to January 1, 2012, (b) members not in vested status prior to January 1, 2012, and (c) members hired on or after July 1, 2011.

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What does it mean to be “vested”?

A member who is vested has earned the right to a future service retirement benefit.

When does a member become vested?

A Group I member becomes vested for retirement benefits upon the earlier of: 
(1) completion of 10 years of NHRS creditable service, or; 
(2) attainment of age 60 if in service prior to July 1, 2011; or, age 65 if service commenced on or after July 1, 2011.

A Group II (Police and Fire) member becomes vested for retirement benefits upon the earlier of: 
(1) completion of 10 years of NHRS creditable service, or;
(2) attainment of age 60.

Notes: 
– Group I members hired on or after July 1, 2011, become eligible for service retirement upon attainment of age 60, but may not begin collecting an unreduced service retirement benefit until age 65; Group I members hired on or after July 1, 2011, may collect a reduced service retirement benefit upon attainment of age 60, provided the member has at least 30 years of creditable service.
– All members must have a minimum of 10 years of service to be eligible for vested deferred retirement and ordinary (non-job-related) disability or death benefits.

What constitutes being in vested status prior to January 1, 2012?

A member who had at least 10 years of service or had attained age 60 prior to January 1, 2012 is considered vested prior to January 1, 2012.

Note: Completed service credit purchases count toward years of creditable service. However, service credit purchases completed on or after January 1, 2012, cannot be used to retroactively “vest” a member with fewer than 10 years of creditable service prior to January 1, 2012.