MMC Benefits Handbook
Vesting Service
Being vested means you have earned a non-forfeitable right to your Accrued Benefit. Vesting Service is generally based on your employment with the Company and its World-wide Controlled Group.
Vesting Service includes all periods of employment with the Company and its World-Wide Controlled Group including employment after December 31, 2016, the date benefit accruals were discontinued under the Plan.
Consider the example of Alberto. Alberto was hired on February 1, 2013. He is not vested yet when the plan is frozen on December 30, 2016 because he only has 47 months of vesting service at that time. However, when he terminates employment on April 30, 2018, he will have more than 60 months of vesting service and will therefore be vested in his accrued benefit.
When You are Vested
You are vested in your Accrued Benefit in the Plan when you earn 60 months (5 years) of Vesting Service. If you terminate employment voluntarily or involuntarily with less than 60 months (5 years) of service, you are not vested in your retirement benefit and no benefit is payable from the Plan.
If you are a participant in the Plan and not already vested, you are automatically vested if you are actively employed at your Normal Retirement Date with a company in the Marsh & McLennan Companies World-wide Controlled Group. Your Normal Commencement Date is the first of the month coincident with or next following your 65th birthday.
You will be fully vested in your Accrued Benefit (to the extent funded) if the Plan has a full or partial termination.
You will be fully vested in your Accrued Benefit in the event that there is a change in control of the Company (e.g., corporate acquisition or liquidation, or certain other changes in controlling interests, as specified in the Plan document).
You are also fully vested in the portion of your Accrued Benefit attributable to any employee contributions you made to a prior plan that was merged with the Plan.
How Does the Plan Measure Vesting Service?
Current Rules: Vesting Service Rules in Effect on and after January 1, 2010
On and after January 1, 2010, Vesting Service is calculated using the elapsed-time method of service credit determination. More details on the elapsed-time method are below, but under this method, generally, your Vesting Service includes the number of months of your employment as a regular or temporary employee of a company that is a member of the Marsh & McLennan Companies World-wide Controlled Group. This means that for each month in which you have at least one hour of paid employment (or deemed paid employment) with Marsh & McLennan Companies or one of its affiliates, you earn one month of Vesting Service. Before January 1, 2010, different rules applied (described below) depending on whether you were classified as an hourly or a Salaried Employee.
Prior Rules: Vesting Service Rules in Effect between January 1, 1985 and December 31, 2009
During the period from January 1, 1985 through December 31, 2009, the Plan used either of two methods for measuring Vesting Service, depending on whether you were classified as a salaried or hourly employee. These methods were the elapsed-time method and the hours-counting method. Vesting Service for periods of paid employment (or deemed paid employment) during which an employee was classified as a Salaried Employee was measured using the elapsed-time method. Vesting Service for periods of paid employment (or deemed paid employment) during which an employee was classified as an hourly employee (including internships) was measured using the hours-counting method.
Vesting Service Under the Elapsed-Time Method
As noted, the elapsed-time method of determining Vesting Service applied:
  • For periods of employment from January 1985 through December 2009, if you were a salaried employee, and
  • For all periods of employment beginning on and after January 1, 2010, whether or not you were a salaried employee.
Under the elapsed-time method, you earn one month of Vesting Service for each month during which you had an active employee status and had at least one hour of paid service (or deemed paid service). This means that even if your first day of employment is the last day of a calendar month, or your last day of employment is the first day of a calendar month, you will earn one month of Vesting Service for that calendar month.
Under the elapsed-time method, Vesting Service is also generally earned during the first twelve months of any approved leave of absence. In the case of an approved disability leave or a military leave that qualifies under federal laws protecting veterans' reemployment rights, Vesting Service may be credited for a longer period.
Under the elapsed-time method, if you terminate employment but are subsequently rehired by the Company within twelve months of your termination date, your service will be deemed to be continuous during the period that elapsed between your termination and rehire and you will be deemed to have earned a month of Vesting Service for each month of your break. If your break in employment lasts longer than twelve months, then your service will not be deemed continuous and you will not be deemed to have earned Vesting Service for any month in which you did not perform at least one hour of paid employment.
For periods of hourly-paid service on or after January 1, 2010, Vesting Service is earned for each month that you have an active employment status and perform paid services. If you do not have any paid hours in a month, you will still earn Vesting Service provided the unpaid period is not longer than twelve consecutive months.
For example, let's say Harry was hired for a specific project that began in March and he was paid for services performed in March and April. Harry completed the project and his employment was terminated on April 30. Harry was employed again on August 1st for another project, and was paid for services performed in August. In this example, Harry would accrue Vesting Service for March, April and August because he had an active employment status in those months. In addition, Harry would be credited with Vesting Service for May, June and July even though he did not perform any paid services in those months, because the period of unpaid services was not greater than twelve months.
Vesting Service Under the Hours-Counting Method
As noted, the hours-counting method of determining Vesting Service applied:
  • For periods of employment from January 1985 through December 2009, if you were an hourly employee.
Under the hours-counting method, Vesting Service was earned depending on the number of paid hours of employment that you completed within a twelve-month measurement period, referred to as an Employment Year. If you performed at least 1,000 hours of paid employment during an Employment Year, you earned twelve months of Vesting Service for that Employment Year. If you did not complete at least 1,000 hours in an Employment Year, you did not earn any months of Vesting Service for that Employment Year.
Your Employment Year is the twelve month period starting with the month in which you were first employed by the Company and ending with the month prior to your anniversary date. For example, if you first performed an hour of paid service for the Company on June 7, then your Employment Year will start with the month of June and end with the month of May, even if you terminate employment and are subsequently rehired in a different month of the following calendar year. Your hours of paid service are generally applied to a month based on the effective date of the payroll. If you were first employed by the Company as an hourly employee before January 1, 2010, then you were automatically credited with at least 190 hours for your first month of employment.
A special transition rule was applied for hourly-paid employees whose Employment Year began in 2009 but ended after January 1, 2010, provided that they had at least one hour of paid service during the portion of that Employment Year that occurred before January 1, 2010 and the portion that occurred on or after January 1, 2010. In those cases, employees were deemed to have 12 months of service for that Employment Year regardless of the number of hours worked in that Employment Year.
Determining Vesting Service (before January 1, 2010) if Employee Had Periods of Employment as both a Salaried Employee and an Hourly Employee
The method for measuring service that applied to an Employment Year depends on your status during that Employment Year.
  • The elapsed-time method applies to any Employment Year during which you were employed as a salaried employee throughout that Employment Year.
  • The hours-counting method applies to any Employment Year during which you were employed as an hourly employee throughout that Employment Year.
If you had an Employment Year in which you were classified on payroll as both a salaried and an hourly employee, then special rules apply. These rules consider your service under both methods to ensure that your Vesting Service is not less than what you would have earned had you remained employed in the same status for the entire Employment Year. For example, if you were classified as an Hourly Employee at the beginning of the Employment Year and transferred to a salaried status and continued your employment through the end of the Employment Year as a Salaried Employee, then your service during the full twelve month Employment Year will be considered under the hours-counting method and compared with the Vesting Service you earned under the elapsed-time method for each month you were employed as a Salaried Employee.
Service with Acquired Companies
If you had service with an acquired company, you might be deemed to have earned Vesting Service for periods of employment with the acquired company prior to its acquisition, based on Vesting Service recognized under a merged plan, or even for periods of service before you became an employee (i.e., a non-employee performing service as a contingent worker) if you were employed by the Company directly following your contingent service.
If you were employed by Sedgwick prior to the date Sedgwick became an affiliate of Marsh & McLennan Companies (November 3, 1998) and you had not elected to enroll in the Sedgwick Retirement Plan following your one year eligibility period, you will not be credited with Vesting Service for any month of employment with Sedgwick after you completed the one-year eligibility period and prior to the month in which Sedgwick became an affiliate of Marsh & McLennan Companies. See "Acquired Companies" for details about how service with an acquired company is considered.
Transfers to Transamerica Retirement Solutions, LLC
If you were an employee of Mercer HR Services, LLC and employed in its defined contribution record keeping and benefits administration business through the end of December 31, 2015 and were transferred to Transamerica Retirement Solutions, LLC on or about January 1, 2016, you will be 100% vested in your Accrued Benefit.
Use of Vesting Service
Vesting Service is used to determine:
  • when you are eligible for the Plan.
  • when you are entitled to a non-forfeitable right to a benefit under the Plan.