In general, vested means fixed or absolute. The term "vested" is most often used to refer to the ability of an employee to take employer contributed retirement benefits from a retirement plan when the employee leaves the company. Employees can always take their own contributions from a plan when they leave a company, so employee contributions are always 100 percent vested. Vesting can occur anywhere from 5 to 10 years after hire, depending on the provisions of the individual company retirement plan.[/p/]
Some employer retirement plans allow contributions to become vested in increasing percentages over time. This process is termed "vesting."