What is a Vested Balance ?


What is a Vested Balance?

A vested balance is one which an employee has a claim over due to the money saved in a retirement account. Well, when you invest with your employer in a retirement plan such as a 401(k) or pension, the contributions are not always fully vested upon contribution. However the money vests gradually by the vesting schedule. However, they work under the condition that once contributions become fully vested, that money is yours regardless of your employment status.

Vesting of retirement contributions means that an employee is now eligible to receive a specific portion of company contributions made towards a retirement plan.

Vesting helps to ensure that the employees stay in the company long enough the award full benefits. A person is said to be 0% vested when they have not contributed to the 401(k) or pension plan and do not own any of the shares. Over time, one builds up ownership rights over the employer contributions in a graduated plan usually taking 3- 6 years.

For example, a common 401(k) vesting schedule is:For example, a common 401(k) vesting schedule is:

- After 1 year: It is also fully paid up and 25% of the shares are vested.
- After 2 years: It is 50% vested
- After 3 years: 75% vests
- After 4 years: fully vested

This means that you have a 25 percent nonforfeitable right from your first year to any matching contributions that your employer has made. When you reach four years of contributions, you have full ownership of all the employer dollars that you’re allocated in the account.

It is important to note that the vesting schedule only includes employer contributions such as matching and profit-sharing contributions. They include salary deferrals which you contribute to the plan together with any investment gains that are also fully vested.

Why Does Vesting Matter?

The vesting schedule is significant when considering because it defines how much of that retirement money can be taken when moving between different employers before reaching full vesting.

For instance, if you have been employed by a particular company for 2 years and have been making 401(k) contributions of $5000 each year, your account balance stands at $20,000 of which $10,000 is your contribution and $10,000 are your employer’s contributions in form of match. In the vesting schedule, you are considered to be 50 percent vested employer matches after the first 2 years of employment.

This means if you quit this job, you are only allowed to keep $15,000 of the total account balance ($10,000 in employee deposits + $5,000 of vested employer deposits). The remaining $5,000 that has yet to vest would revert to the plan.

Your vested balance enables you to figure out how much of your retirement savings you would be able to transfer to another job or withdraw before you receive full retirement benefits. Vesting periods used as sweeteners usually mean that the employee has to stay put with the employer for as long as it takes to fully own the property.

This article will focus on explaining check vested balance.

You should be able to find vesting information on your 401(k) or pension plan with the help of your administrator, and the information should be easily accessible through your annual benefit statement. This will display the total amount in your account along with the split between you and your employer with the contribution and the percentage of the employer dollars that are now vested.

Another way that one can try to get the check for the vested amount is to contact the HR department or the plan administrator. Ask for your name and specify the amount of dollars that are vested today in your retirement account and the expected vesting from the years of service. Since you are clear on your status, vesting becomes easy to consider when making for any change in your jobs.

The Takeaway

One needs to understand that it is not immediately that contributions to retirement via the employer become fully yours. Vesting schedules ensure that the employees remain with certain companies for long enough to be able to receive full retirement options. The important thing to know is what part of your account balance you can withdraw when you are cashing out from a certain job. Some of the implications include the fact that the employee should consider vesting when making decisions to switch jobs or retire before reaching the 100 percent vesting level.