A description for a vesting schedule. With graded vesting, you own an increasing portion of your matching contribution each year you are with your company. In a four-year graded plan, you own 25 percent of your employer's matching contributions each year (25 percent x 4 years = 100 percent). For 2001, a graded vesting schedule cannot exceed seven years. The limit will fall to six years on Jan. 1, 2002.