FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are the two FRS retirement plan options?
The two FRS plan options are the Pension Plan and the Investment Plan.
Your retirement benefit with the FRS Pension Plan is a guaranteed benefit based on a formula that includes your age, FRS membership class (e.g. regular class, special risk class, etc.), your years of FRS service and the average of your 5 years highest pay. You will receive guaranteed monthly checks for life, increasing each July due to a 3% cost-of-living adjustment.
If you elect the Pension Plan you will be eligible for the Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP)after reaching normal retirement eligibility.
Your retirement benefit with the FRS Investment Plan is based on your account balance, which consists of employer contributions to your account plus or minus investment returns (gains and losses) minus expenses and fees. You have flexible distribution options as long as your accrued balance is vested and is more than $1000.
Note: If you elect the Investment Plan you will not be eligible for the Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP).
How long do I have to select my FRS plan option?
You must select an option within the first 5 months from your hire date.
What happens if I do not make a selection within the allotted time?
If you do not make an election you will automatically be placed in the Pension Plan.
Can I change my plan option election?
After the first 5 months of service you have one chance to change to your election.
When do I become vested?
You are vested in the Pension Plan after 6 years of service and you are invested in the Investment Plan after 1 year of service.
What is the normal FRS retirement age?
The normal retirement age under the FRS is 62 years of age or 30 years of service.
What are the payout options?
The payout options depend upon the retirement plan you choose – either the Pension Plan or the Investment Plan.
There are 4 payout options for the Pension Plan:
- Option 1 – Single Life Annuity
- Option 2 – Reduced Life Annuity
- Option 3 – Reduced Joint and Survivor Annuity
- Option 4 – Reduced Annuity with 2/3 Survivor
Additionally, the Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP) is only available with the Pension Plan.
The payout options for the Investment Plan include the following:
- Lump Sum
- Fixed Annuity
- Variable Annuity
- Joint and Survivor Annuity
- Systematic Withdrawals
What Retirement Option Should I Choose?
One of the most important and sometimes difficult decisions a Florida Retirement System (FRS) member must make at the time of retirement is selecting a benefit option. Some factors affecting your option selection include the age and general physical condition of both you and your spouse, the existence of other financial dependents, the amount of your savings, additional income and other resources, outstanding financial obligations such as mortgages and other conditions which will influence your financial situation during retirement.
Once you cash or deposit a benefit payment, or begin the Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP), your option selection cannot be changed. Therefore, it is important to carefully study your personal circumstances before making your decision.
To find out which option best fits your particular situation please contact our office and schedule a personal consultation.