Florida Senate - 2017                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. SB 1500
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                  Comm: RCS            .                                
                  04/03/2017           .                                

       The Committee on Governmental Oversight and Accountability
       (Mayfield) recommended the following:
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete everything after the enacting clause
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 1. Paragraph (b) of subsection (13) of section
    6  121.091, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
    7         121.091 Benefits payable under the system.—Benefits may not
    8  be paid under this section unless the member has terminated
    9  employment as provided in s. 121.021(39)(a) or begun
   10  participation in the Deferred Retirement Option Program as
   11  provided in subsection (13), and a proper application has been
   12  filed in the manner prescribed by the department. The department
   13  may cancel an application for retirement benefits when the
   14  member or beneficiary fails to timely provide the information
   15  and documents required by this chapter and the department’s
   16  rules. The department shall adopt rules establishing procedures
   17  for application for retirement benefits and for the cancellation
   18  of such application when the required information or documents
   19  are not received.
   20         (13) DEFERRED RETIREMENT OPTION PROGRAM.—In general, and
   21  subject to this section, the Deferred Retirement Option Program,
   22  hereinafter referred to as DROP, is a program under which an
   23  eligible member of the Florida Retirement System may elect to
   24  participate, deferring receipt of retirement benefits while
   25  continuing employment with his or her Florida Retirement System
   26  employer. The deferred monthly benefits shall accrue in the
   27  Florida Retirement System on behalf of the member, plus interest
   28  compounded monthly, for the specified period of the DROP
   29  participation, as provided in paragraph (c). Upon termination of
   30  employment, the member shall receive the total DROP benefits and
   31  begin to receive the previously determined normal retirement
   32  benefits. Participation in the DROP does not guarantee
   33  employment for the specified period of DROP. Participation in
   34  DROP by an eligible member beyond the initial 60-month period as
   35  authorized in this subsection shall be on an annual contractual
   36  basis for all participants.
   37         (b) Participation in DROP.—
   38         1.a. An eligible member may elect to participate in DROP
   39  for a period not to exceed a maximum of 60 calendar months.
   40  However, members who are instructional personnel employed by the
   41  Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind and authorized by the
   42  Board of Trustees of the Florida School for the Deaf and the
   43  Blind, who are instructional personnel as defined in s.
   44  1012.01(2)(a)-(d) in grades K-12 and authorized by the district
   45  school superintendent, or who are instructional personnel as
   46  defined in s. 1012.01(2)(a) employed by a developmental research
   47  school and authorized by the school’s director, or if the school
   48  has no director, by the school’s principal, may participate in
   49  DROP for up to 36 calendar months beyond the 60-month period.
   50         b. For instructional personnel and administrative personnel
   51  in grades K-12, as defined in s. 1012.01(2)(a)-(d) and (3),
   52  respectively, who enter DROP before July 1, 2017, the member may
   53  continue to participate in DROP until the last day of the last
   54  calendar month of the school year in which his or her
   55  termination date occurs, notwithstanding the limitations on the
   56  length of participation established in this subsection and the
   57  termination date designated pursuant to sub-subparagraph 2.b.,
   58  if a date other than the last day of the last calendar month of
   59  the school year is designated. The employer shall notify the
   60  division of the change in termination date and the additional
   61  period of DROP participation for each affected member. For
   62  instructional personnel and administrative personnel in grades
   63  K-12, as defined in s. 1012.01(2)(a)-(d) and (3), respectively,
   64  who enter DROP on or after July 1, 2017, the member’s
   65  termination date shall be the last day of the last calendar
   66  month of the school year in which his or her termination date
   67  would otherwise occur in accordance with the limitations on the
   68  length of participation established in this subsection.
   69         2. Upon deciding to participate in DROP, the member shall
   70  submit, on forms required by the division:
   71         a. A written election to participate in DROP;
   72         b. Selection of DROP participation and termination dates
   73  that satisfy the limitations stated in paragraph (a) and
   74  subparagraph 1. The termination date must be in a binding letter
   75  of resignation to the employer establishing a deferred
   76  termination date. The member may change the termination date
   77  within the limitations of subparagraph 1., but only with the
   78  written approval of the employer;
   79         c. A properly completed DROP application for service
   80  retirement as provided in this section; and
   81         d. Any other information required by the division.
   82         3. The DROP participant is a retiree under the Florida
   83  Retirement System for all purposes, except for paragraph (5)(f)
   84  and subsection (9) and ss. 112.3173, 112.363, 121.053, and
   85  121.122. DROP participation is final and may not be canceled by
   86  the participant after the first payment is credited during the
   87  DROP participation period. However, participation in DROP does
   88  not alter the participant’s employment status, and the member is
   89  not deemed retired from employment until his or her deferred
   90  resignation is effective and termination occurs as defined in s.
   91  121.021.
   92         4. Elected officers are eligible to participate in DROP
   93  subject to the following:
   94         a. An elected officer who reaches normal retirement date
   95  during a term of office may defer the election to participate
   96  until the next succeeding term in that office. An elected
   97  officer who exercises this option may participate in DROP for up
   98  to 60 calendar months or no longer than the succeeding term of
   99  office, whichever is less.
  100         b. An elected or a nonelected participant may run for a
  101  term of office while participating in DROP and, if elected,
  102  extend the DROP termination date accordingly; however, if such
  103  additional term of office exceeds the 60-month limitation
  104  established in subparagraph 1., and the officer does not resign
  105  from office within such 60-month limitation, the retirement and
  106  the participant’s DROP is null and void as provided in sub
  107  subparagraph (c)5.d.
  108         c. An elected officer who is dually employed and elects to
  109  participate in DROP must terminate all employment relationships
  110  as provided in s. 121.021(39) for the nonelected position within
  111  the original 60-month period or maximum participation period as
  112  provided in subparagraph 1. For DROP participation ending:
  113         (I) Before July 1, 2010, the officer may continue
  114  employment as an elected officer as provided in s. 121.053. The
  115  elected officer shall be enrolled as a renewed member in the
  116  Elected Officers’ Class or the Regular Class, as provided in ss.
  117  121.053 and 121.122, on the first day of the month after
  118  termination of employment in the nonelected position and
  119  termination of DROP. Distribution of the DROP benefits shall be
  120  made as provided in paragraph (c).
  121         (II) On or after July 1, 2010, the officer may continue
  122  employment as an elected officer but must defer termination as
  123  provided in s. 121.053.
  124         Section 2. The Legislature finds that a proper and
  125  legitimate state purpose is served when employees and retirees
  126  of the state and its political subdivisions, and the dependents,
  127  survivors, and beneficiaries of such employees and retirees, are
  128  extended the basic protections afforded by governmental
  129  retirement systems. These persons must be provided benefits that
  130  are fair and adequate and that are managed, administered, and
  131  funded in an actuarially sound manner, as required by s. 14,
  132  Article X of the State Constitution and part VII of chapter 112,
  133  Florida Statutes. Therefore, the Legislature determines and
  134  declares that this act fulfills an important state interest.
  135         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.
  137  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  138  And the title is amended as follows:
  139         Delete everything before the enacting clause
  140  and insert:
  141                        A bill to be entitled                      
  142         An act relating to retirement of instructional
  143         personnel and administrative personnel; amending s.
  144         121.091, F.S.; revising limitations on the maximum
  145         length of participation in the Deferred Retirement
  146         Option Program for certain instructional personnel and
  147         administrative personnel; requiring an employer to
  148         notify the Division of Retirement of the Department of
  149         Management Services regarding any change in
  150         termination date and program participation for each
  151         affected member; providing a statement of important
  152         state interest; providing an effective date.