Florida Senate - 2017 CS for SB 1500 By the Committee on Governmental Oversight and Accountability; and Senator Mayfield 585-03376-17 20171500c1 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to retirement of instructional 3 personnel and administrative personnel; amending s. 4 121.091, F.S.; revising limitations on the maximum 5 length of participation in the Deferred Retirement 6 Option Program for certain instructional personnel and 7 administrative personnel; requiring an employer to 8 notify the Division of Retirement of the Department of 9 Management Services regarding any change in 10 termination date and program participation for each 11 affected member; providing a statement of important 12 state interest; providing an effective date. 13 14 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 15 16 Section 1. Paragraph (b) of subsection (13) of section 17 121.091, Florida Statutes, is amended to read: 18 121.091 Benefits payable under the system.—Benefits may not 19 be paid under this section unless the member has terminated 20 employment as provided in s. 121.021(39)(a) or begun 21 participation in the Deferred Retirement Option Program as 22 provided in subsection (13), and a proper application has been 23 filed in the manner prescribed by the department. The department 24 may cancel an application for retirement benefits when the 25 member or beneficiary fails to timely provide the information 26 and documents required by this chapter and the department’s 27 rules. The department shall adopt rules establishing procedures 28 for application for retirement benefits and for the cancellation 29 of such application when the required information or documents 30 are not received. 31 (13) DEFERRED RETIREMENT OPTION PROGRAM.—In general, and 32 subject to this section, the Deferred Retirement Option Program, 33 hereinafter referred to as DROP, is a program under which an 34 eligible member of the Florida Retirement System may elect to 35 participate, deferring receipt of retirement benefits while 36 continuing employment with his or her Florida Retirement System 37 employer. The deferred monthly benefits shall accrue in the 38 Florida Retirement System on behalf of the member, plus interest 39 compounded monthly, for the specified period of the DROP 40 participation, as provided in paragraph (c). Upon termination of 41 employment, the member shall receive the total DROP benefits and 42 begin to receive the previously determined normal retirement 43 benefits. Participation in the DROP does not guarantee 44 employment for the specified period of DROP. Participation in 45 DROP by an eligible member beyond the initial 60-month period as 46 authorized in this subsection shall be on an annual contractual 47 basis for all participants. 48 (b) Participation in DROP.— 49 1.a. An eligible member may elect to participate in DROP 50 for a period not to exceed a maximum of 60 calendar months. 51 However, members who are instructional personnel employed by the 52 Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind and authorized by the 53 Board of Trustees of the Florida School for the Deaf and the 54 Blind, who are instructional personnel as defined in s. 55 1012.01(2)(a)-(d) in grades K-12 and authorized by the district 56 school superintendent, or who are instructional personnel as 57 defined in s. 1012.01(2)(a) employed by a developmental research 58 school and authorized by the school’s director, or if the school 59 has no director, by the school’s principal, may participate in 60 DROP for up to 36 calendar months beyond the 60-month period. 61 b. For instructional personnel and administrative personnel 62 in grades K-12, as defined in s. 1012.01(2)(a)-(d) and (3), 63 respectively, who enter DROP before July 1, 2017, the member may 64 continue to participate in DROP until the last day of the last 65 calendar month of the school year in which his or her 66 termination date occurs, notwithstanding the limitations on the 67 length of participation established in this subsection and the 68 termination date designated pursuant to sub-subparagraph 2.b., 69 if a date other than the last day of the last calendar month of 70 the school year is designated. The employer shall notify the 71 division of the change in termination date and the additional 72 period of DROP participation for each affected member. For 73 instructional personnel and administrative personnel in grades 74 K-12, as defined in s. 1012.01(2)(a)-(d) and (3), respectively, 75 who enter DROP on or after July 1, 2017, the member’s 76 termination date shall be the last day of the last calendar 77 month of the school year in which his or her termination date 78 would otherwise occur in accordance with the limitations on the 79 length of participation established in this subsection. 80 2. Upon deciding to participate in DROP, the member shall 81 submit, on forms required by the division: 82 a. A written election to participate in DROP; 83 b. Selection of DROP participation and termination dates 84 that satisfy the limitations stated in paragraph (a) and 85 subparagraph 1. The termination date must be in a binding letter 86 of resignation to the employer establishing a deferred 87 termination date. The member may change the termination date 88 within the limitations of subparagraph 1., but only with the 89 written approval of the employer; 90 c. A properly completed DROP application for service 91 retirement as provided in this section; and 92 d. Any other information required by the division. 93 3. The DROP participant is a retiree under the Florida 94 Retirement System for all purposes, except for paragraph (5)(f) 95 and subsection (9) and ss. 112.3173, 112.363, 121.053, and 96 121.122. DROP participation is final and may not be canceled by 97 the participant after the first payment is credited during the 98 DROP participation period. However, participation in DROP does 99 not alter the participant’s employment status, and the member is 100 not deemed retired from employment until his or her deferred 101 resignation is effective and termination occurs as defined in s. 102 121.021. 103 4. Elected officers are eligible to participate in DROP 104 subject to the following: 105 a. An elected officer who reaches normal retirement date 106 during a term of office may defer the election to participate 107 until the next succeeding term in that office. An elected 108 officer who exercises this option may participate in DROP for up 109 to 60 calendar months or no longer than the succeeding term of 110 office, whichever is less. 111 b. An elected or a nonelected participant may run for a 112 term of office while participating in DROP and, if elected, 113 extend the DROP termination date accordingly; however, if such 114 additional term of office exceeds the 60-month limitation 115 established in subparagraph 1., and the officer does not resign 116 from office within such 60-month limitation, the retirement and 117 the participant’s DROP is null and void as provided in sub 118 subparagraph (c)5.d. 119 c. An elected officer who is dually employed and elects to 120 participate in DROP must terminate all employment relationships 121 as provided in s. 121.021(39) for the nonelected position within 122 the original 60-month period or maximum participation period as 123 provided in subparagraph 1. For DROP participation ending: 124 (I) Before July 1, 2010, the officer may continue 125 employment as an elected officer as provided in s. 121.053. The 126 elected officer shall be enrolled as a renewed member in the 127 Elected Officers’ Class or the Regular Class, as provided in ss. 128 121.053 and 121.122, on the first day of the month after 129 termination of employment in the nonelected position and 130 termination of DROP. Distribution of the DROP benefits shall be 131 made as provided in paragraph (c). 132 (II) On or after July 1, 2010, the officer may continue 133 employment as an elected officer but must defer termination as 134 provided in s. 121.053. 135 Section 2. The Legislature finds that a proper and 136 legitimate state purpose is served when employees and retirees 137 of the state and its political subdivisions, and the dependents, 138 survivors, and beneficiaries of such employees and retirees, are 139 extended the basic protections afforded by governmental 140 retirement systems. These persons must be provided benefits that 141 are fair and adequate and that are managed, administered, and 142 funded in an actuarially sound manner, as required by s. 14, 143 Article X of the State Constitution and part VII of chapter 112, 144 Florida Statutes. Therefore, the Legislature determines and 145 declares that this act fulfills an important state interest. 146 Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.