The Impact of Long Vesting Periods on State and Local Workers

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The brief’s key findings are:

  • Public sector defined benefit plans provide short-tenure workers with little or no pension benefits.
  • One reason is that these plans have long vesting periods – the years of service needed to qualify for any benefit.
  • The longer the vesting period, the less likely an employee will remain long enough to vest.
  • This effect helps explain why nearly half of workers depart without any promise of future benefits.