Florida Senate - 2018                                    SB 1240
       By Senator Mayfield
       17-00421A-18                                          20181240__
    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.Except as provided in this
   49  paragraph, an eligible member may elect to participate in DROP
   50  for a period not to exceed a maximum of 60 calendar months.
   51         1.a. An eligible member may elect to participate in DROP
   52  for a period not to exceed a maximum of 60 calendar months.
   53  However, members who are instructional personnel employed by the
   54  Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind and authorized by the
   55  Board of Trustees of the Florida School for the Deaf and the
   56  Blind, who are instructional personnel as defined in s.
   57  1012.01(2)(a)-(d) in grades K-12 and authorized by the district
   58  school superintendent, or who are instructional personnel as
   59  defined in s. 1012.01(2)(a) employed by a developmental research
   60  school and authorized by the school’s director, or if the school
   61  has no director, by the school’s principal, may participate in
   62  DROP for up to 36 calendar months beyond the 60-month period.
   63  Effective July 1, 2018, instructional personnel who are
   64  authorized to extend DROP participation beyond the 60-month
   65  period must have a termination date that is the last day of the
   66  last calendar month of the school year within the DROP extension
   67  granted by the employer. If, on July 1, 2018, the member’s DROP
   68  participation has already been extended for the maximum 36
   69  calendar months and the extension period concludes before the
   70  end of the school year, the member’s DROP participation may be
   71  extended through the last day of the last calendar month of that
   72  school year. The employer shall notify the division of the
   73  change in termination date and the additional period of DROP
   74  participation for the affected instructional personnel.
   75         b. Administrative personnel in grades K-12, as defined in
   76  s. 1012.01(3), who have a DROP termination date on or after July
   77  1, 2018, may be authorized to extend DROP participation beyond
   78  the initial 60 calendar month period if the administrative
   79  personnel’s termination date is before the end of the school
   80  year. Such administrative personnel may have DROP participation
   81  extended until the last day of the last calendar month of the
   82  school year in which their original DROP termination date
   83  occurred if a date other than the last day of the last calendar
   84  month of the school year is designated. The employer shall
   85  notify the division of the change in termination date and the
   86  additional period of DROP participation for the affected
   87  administrative personnel.
   88         2. Upon deciding to participate in DROP, the member shall
   89  submit, on forms required by the division:
   90         a. A written election to participate in DROP;
   91         b. Selection of DROP participation and termination dates
   92  that satisfy the limitations stated in paragraph (a) and
   93  subparagraph 1. The termination date must be in a binding letter
   94  of resignation to the employer establishing a deferred
   95  termination date. The member may change the termination date
   96  within the limitations of subparagraph 1., but only with the
   97  written approval of the employer;
   98         c. A properly completed DROP application for service
   99  retirement as provided in this section; and
  100         d. Any other information required by the division.
  101         3. The DROP participant is a retiree under the Florida
  102  Retirement System for all purposes, except for paragraph (5)(f)
  103  and subsection (9) and ss. 112.3173, 112.363, 121.053, and
  104  121.122. DROP participation is final and may not be canceled by
  105  the participant after the first payment is credited during the
  106  DROP participation period. However, participation in DROP does
  107  not alter the participant’s employment status, and the member is
  108  not deemed retired from employment until his or her deferred
  109  resignation is effective and termination occurs as defined in s.
  110  121.021.
  111         4. Elected officers are eligible to participate in DROP
  112  subject to the following:
  113         a. An elected officer who reaches normal retirement date
  114  during a term of office may defer the election to participate
  115  until the next succeeding term in that office. An elected
  116  officer who exercises this option may participate in DROP for up
  117  to 60 calendar months or no longer than the succeeding term of
  118  office, whichever is less.
  119         b. An elected or a nonelected participant may run for a
  120  term of office while participating in DROP and, if elected,
  121  extend the DROP termination date accordingly; however, if such
  122  additional term of office exceeds the 60-month limitation
  123  established in subparagraph 1., and the officer does not resign
  124  from office within such 60-month limitation, the retirement and
  125  the participant’s DROP is null and void as provided in sub
  126  subparagraph (c)5.d.
  127         c. An elected officer who is dually employed and elects to
  128  participate in DROP must terminate all employment relationships
  129  as provided in s. 121.021(39) for the nonelected position within
  130  the original 60-month period or maximum participation period as
  131  provided in subparagraph 1. For DROP participation ending:
  132         (I) Before July 1, 2010, the officer may continue
  133  employment as an elected officer as provided in s. 121.053. The
  134  elected officer shall be enrolled as a renewed member in the
  135  Elected Officers’ Class or the Regular Class, as provided in ss.
  136  121.053 and 121.122, on the first day of the month after
  137  termination of employment in the nonelected position and
  138  termination of DROP. Distribution of the DROP benefits shall be
  139  made as provided in paragraph (c).
  140         (II) On or after July 1, 2010, the officer may continue
  141  employment as an elected officer but must defer termination as
  142  provided in s. 121.053.
  143         Section 2. The Legislature finds that a proper and
  144  legitimate state purpose is served when employees and retirees
  145  of the state and its political subdivisions, and the dependents,
  146  survivors, and beneficiaries of such employees and retirees, are
  147  extended the basic protections afforded by governmental
  148  retirement systems. These persons must be provided benefits that
  149  are fair and adequate and that are managed, administered, and
  150  funded in an actuarially sound manner, as required by s. 14,
  151  Article X of the State Constitution and part VII of chapter 112,
  152  Florida Statutes. Therefore, the Legislature determines and
  153  declares that this act fulfills an important state interest.
  154         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2018.