Mark my words Internet, I am here to stay. Today I got my annual pension statement and it's just awesome.
I've been a public employee for almost five years but I didn't officially join the retirement system until April, 2007. I am currently in the process of buying back the service credit from the period in which I wasn't a member. I will be done paying that off in a couple of months. This means in April of next year I will be vested in my pension since it will have been five years since I joined but I will have 5.6 years of service credit.
Vesting in HUGE since, in the five short years since I've been a public employee, the state has created one new tier and is about to create another one with a lot less benefits than the tier I am eligible to vest in. Two major things the new tiers won't have that I currently have are the ability to retire at 55 without penalty and the fact that after ten years I will no longer have to make any contributions to my pension.
Thus, I get out so much more than I put in. Here are some numbers:
As of April 1 of this year my pension contributions total $5,999.95. Assuming I make the same salary for the next six years I will have contributed about $14,000 to my pension. Then I stop contributing but keep working for at least ten more years. How much do I get?
Using a final average salary of $49,312, when I am 57 years old I will have 30 years of service credit. I will thus be eligible for a Single Life Allowance of $29,587 a year. That's 60% of my final average salary. All for contributing just $14,000! This is totally morbid but even if I only collect for one year I am getting 2x my money back! Note that I'll probably elect one of the Joint Allowances because I'm married and then it's a little less ($24,900).
Will I make it to thirty years of service? I don't know. I hope so. We're still child free so I assume I will work until my hypothetical kid is in college. Being that they're not born yet that's another 24 years or thereabout. Even if I only worked twenty years I am still eligible for a sizeable pension as well (just not sure how sizeable).
So....twenty six more years to go!