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. 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.—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.