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In order to collect on a pension, one must be a vested employee in that pension plan
. While each pension plan has its own vesting period, under ERISA
the maximum time for vesting is 10-12 years (depending on the type of plan). If your plan description states you are vested in 5 years, then according to ERISA you would not be eligible to collect anything from that pension until you had worked a minimum of 5 years.
If you are a non-vested employee, you need to read the plan description because you would be entitled to receive back any money you put into the plan yourself.
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