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.
   14  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   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.