If after working for a company for 42 years and fully vested in a pension plan a person is fired a few months from retirement, do they lose their pension or are they still entitled to benefits?

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If after working for a company for 42 years and fully vested in a pension plan a person is fired a few months from retirement, do they lose their pension or are they still entitled to benefits?

Asked on November 3, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If "fully vested" they would retain their benefits: that's what "fully vested" means--that whatever benefits/pension have been earned, accrued, etc. up to that point belong to the employee. However, since every plan is unique and is governed by its own terms (e.g. it's own plan documents), the employee needs to review the plan in detail to see if he/she was actually fully vested when fired and the amount to which they would be entitled.


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