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As a PERF-covered employee, you receive two interlocking benefits as part of your compensation: the pension (defined pension benefit) and the Annuity Savings Account or ASA (defined contribution benefit).
The two benefits are different in how they are funded, how they are paid after you retire, and what you may take with you if you leave PERF-covered employment before you retire. With both benefits, however, the longer you work for an employer who participates in the Fund, the greater your retirement benefit will be. As long as you are working for a PERF-covered employer, you cannot receive payments from either benefit.
The pension benefit is paid only to those who are eligible because they have accumulated at least 10 years of covered service and have reached an eligible retirement age. Pensions are paid in equal monthly amounts for life.
The ASA is a tax-deferred account administered by PERF in an employee’s name. The account increases through mandatory, and possibly voluntary, contributions. The ASA belongs to the employee, and may be paid out as part of a retirement, as a distribution if the employee leaves service, or may be left invested with PERF.
Important terms to remember: