- Fixed; accrued; settled; absolute; complete. Having the character or given the rights of absolute ownership; not contingent; not subject to be defeated by a condition precedent. Rights are "vested" when right to enjoyment, present or prospective, has become property of some particular person or persons as present interest; mere expectancy of future benefits, or contingent interest in property founded on anticipated continuance of existing laws, does not constitute "vested right." (vested rights) Vaughn v. Nadel, 228 Kan. 469, 618 P.2d 778, 783.See also accrue- vest, and specific types of vested interests, infra@ vested deviseSee devise@ vested estateAn interest clothed with a present, legal, and existing right of alienation. Chaison v. Chaison, Tex.Civ.App., 154 S.W.2d 961, 964.Any estate, whether in possession or not, which is not subject to any condition precedent and unperformed. The interest may be either a present and immediate interest, or it may be a future but uncontingent, and therefore transmissible, interest. Estate by which present interest is invariably fixed to remain to determinate person on determination of preceding freehold estate. An estate, when the person or the class which takes the remainder is in existence or is capable of being ascertained when the prior estate vests, Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Kellogg, C.C.A.3, 119 F.2d 54, 57; or when there is an immediate right of present enjoyment or a present right of future enjoyment+ vested estateA vested estate is one in which there is an immediate right of present enjoyment or a present fixed right of future enjoyment; an estate as to which there is a person in being who would have an immediate right to the possession upon the ceasing of some intermediate or precedent estate.@ vested giftA gift that is absolute and not contingent or conditional. A gift is vested if it is immediate, notwithstanding that its enjoyment may be postponed. A future gift when the right to receive it is not subject to a condition precedent@ vested in interestA legal term applied to a present fixed right of future enjoyment; as reversions, vested remainders, such executory devises, future uses, conditional limitations, and other future interests as are not referred to, or made to depend on, a period or event that is uncertain@ vested in possessionA legal term applied to a right of present enjoyment actually existing.See vest@ vested interestA present right or title to a thing, which carries with it an existing right of alienation, even though the right to possession or enjoyment may be postponed to some uncertain time in the future, as distinguished from a future right, which may never materialize or ripen into title, and it matters not how long or for what length of time the future possession or right of enjoyment may be postponed, if the present right exists to alienate and pass title. Fugazzi v. Fugazzi's Committee, 275 Ky. 62, 120 S.W.2d 779, 781.A future interest not dependent on an uncertain period or event, or a fixed present right of future enjoyment. When a person has a right to immediate possession on determination of preceding or particular estate. One in which there is a present fixed right, either of present enjoyment or of future enjoyment. Painter v. Herschberger, 340 Mo. 347, 100 S.W.2d 532, 535.It is not the uncertainty of enjoyment in the future, but the uncertainty of the right of enjoyment, which makes the difference between a "vested" and a "contingent" interest. A future interest is vested when there is a person in being who would have a right, defeasible or indefeasible, to the immediate possession of the property, upon the ceasing of the intermediate or precedent interest@ vested legacyA legacy given in such terms that there is a fixed, indefeasible right to its payment. A legacy payable at a future time, certain to arrive, and not subject to conditions precedent, is vested, where there is a person in esse at the testator's death capable of taking when the time arrives, though his interest may be altogether defeated by his own death. A legacy is said to be vested when the words of the testator making the bequest convey a transmissible interest, whether present or future, to the legatee in the legacy. Thus a legacy to one to be paid when he attains the age of twenty-one years is a vested legacy, because it is given unconditionally and absolutely, and therefore vests an immediate interest in the legatee, of which the enjoyment only is deferred or postponed@ vested pensionSaid of a pension plan when an employee (or his or her estate) has rights to all the benefits purchased with the employer's contributions to the plan even if the employee is not employed by this employer at the time of retirement. One in which the right to be paid is not subject to forfeiture if the employment relationship terminates before the employee retires. Johnson v. Johnson, 131 Ariz. 38, 638 P.2d 705, 708.Vesting of qualified pension plans is governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).See also vesting@ vested rightsIn constitutional law, rights which have so completely and definitely accrued to or settled in a person that they are not subject to be defeated or canceled by the act of any other private person, and which it is right and equitable that the government should recognize and protect, as being lawful in themselves, and settled according to the then current rules of law, and of which the individual could not be deprived arbitrarily without injustice, or of which he could not justly be deprived otherwise than by the established methods of procedure and for the public welfare. Such interests as cannot be interfered with by retrospective laws; interests which it is proper for state to recognize and protect and of which individual cannot be deprived arbitrarily without injustice. American States Water Service Co. of California v. Johnson, 31 Cal.App.2d 606, 88 P.2d 770, 774.Immediate or fixed right to present or future enjoyment and one that does not depend on an event that is uncertain. A right complete and consummated, and of such character that it cannot be divested without the consent of the person to whom it belongs, and fixed or established, and no longer open to controversy. State ex rel. Milligan v. Ritter's Estate, Ind.App., 46 N.E.2d 736, 743@
Black's law dictionary. HENRY CAMPBELL BLACK, M. A.. 1990.