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The Florida Statutes

The 2017 Florida Statutes

Title X
PUBLIC OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, AND RECORDS
Chapter 121
FLORIDA RETIREMENT SYSTEM
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F.S. 121.081
121.081 Past service; prior service; contributions.Conditions under which past service or prior service may be claimed and credited are:
(1)(a) Past service, as defined in s. 121.021, may be claimed as creditable service by officers or employees of a municipality, metropolitan planning organization, charter school, charter technical career center, or special district who become a covered group under this system. The governing body of a covered group in compliance with s. 121.051(2)(b) may elect to provide benefits for past service earned before January 1, 1975, in accordance with this chapter, and the cost for such past service is established by applying the following formula: The member contribution for both regular and special risk members is 4 percent of the gross annual salary for each year of past service claimed, plus 4-percent employer matching contribution, plus 4-percent interest thereon compounded annually, figured on each year of past service, with interest compounded from date of annual salary earned until July 1, 1975, and 6.5-percent interest compounded annually thereafter until date of payment. Once the total cost for a member has been figured to date, then after July 1, 1975, 6.5-percent compounded interest shall be added each June 30 thereafter on any unpaid balance until the cost of such past service liability is paid in full. The following formula shall be used in calculating past service earned before January 1, 1975: (Annual gross salary multiplied by 8 percent) multiplied by the 4-percent or 6.5-percent compound interest table factor, as may be applicable. The resulting product equals cost to date for each particular year of past service.
(b) Past service earned after January 1, 1975, may be claimed by officers or employees of a municipality, metropolitan planning organization, charter school, charter technical career center, or special district who become a covered group under this system. The governing body of a covered group may elect to provide benefits for past service earned after January 1, 1975, in accordance with this chapter. The cost for such past service is established by applying the following formula: The employer shall contribute an amount equal to the employer contribution rate in effect at the time the service was earned and, if applicable, the employee contribution rate, multiplied by the employee’s gross salary for each year of past service claimed, plus 6.5 percent interest thereon, compounded annually, for each year of past service, with interest compounded from date of annual salary earned until date of payment.
(c) If an employer joins the Florida Retirement System and does not elect to provide past service for the member at the time of joining, the member may claim and pay for the service as provided in paragraphs (a) and (b).
(d) Employment prior to January 1, 1968, in the Cuban Refugee Assistance Program administered by the Florida State Department of Public Welfare or the Florida State Board of Health shall be deemed to be included in past service as defined in s. 121.021(18), for the purposes of the Florida Retirement System, any other provisions of law notwithstanding and regardless of the fund from which such employment was paid. If credit for such service has not been granted under any other state or federal system, any member of the Florida Retirement System or any system consolidated therein shall be entitled to receive past-service credit for his or her period of employment in the Cuban Refugee Assistance Program prior to January 1, 1968, in the manner provided in this subsection. However, in no event will eligibility for past service be established unless required contributions are paid into the Florida Retirement System for such period of past service and such contributions are not paid from general revenue funds of the state.
(e) Past service, as defined in s. 121.021, may be claimed as creditable service by a member of the Florida Retirement System who formerly was an officer or employee of a municipality, metropolitan planning organization, charter school, charter technical career center, or special district, notwithstanding the status or form of the retirement system, if any, of that municipality, metropolitan planning organization, charter school, charter technical career center, or special district and irrespective of whether such officers or employees now or hereafter become a covered group under the Florida Retirement System. Such member may claim creditable service and be entitled to the benefits accruing to the regular class of members as provided for the past service claimed under this paragraph by paying into the retirement trust fund an amount equal to the total actuarial cost of providing the additional benefit resulting from such past-service credit, discounted by the applicable actuarial factors to date of retirement.
(f) If any person becomes entitled to and participates in one of the retirement systems under this chapter through the consolidation or merger of governments or the transfer of functions between units of government, at the state or local level or between state and local units, or through the assumption of functions or activities by a state or local unit from an employing governmental entity that was not an employer under the system, and such person becomes a member of the Florida Retirement System, such person is entitled to receive past-service credit for the time the person performed services for, and was an employee of, such state or local unit or other governmental employing entity before the transfer, merger, consolidation, or assumption of functions and activities. Past-service credit allowed by this paragraph is also available to any person who becomes a member of an existing system before December 1, 1970, through the transfer, merger, consolidation, or assumption of functions and activities set forth in this paragraph and who subsequently becomes a member of the Florida Retirement System. However, credit for the past service may not be granted until contributions are made in the manner provided in this subsection. If a person rejected Florida Retirement System membership at the time of the transfer, merger, consolidation, or assumption of governmental functions and activities, the required contributions shall be at total actuarial cost as specified in paragraph (e). Such contributions or accrued interest may not be paid from any public funds.
(g) Any person who was enrolled on May 15, 1976, in a state retirement system administered under this chapter and who was, on that date, an officer or employee of a consolidated government which by virtue of its charter had elected status as a municipality for purposes of state retirement systems administered under this chapter and who had not withdrawn his or her contributions shall be deemed to have become a member of that system as of the date he or she began to participate therein, whether employed by the consolidated government or a preceding interim government on that date, and shall be entitled to retain membership in that system so long as he or she continues to be an officer or employee of the consolidated government, regardless of the fact that the consolidated government and interim government were not employers as defined in s. 121.021(10). Any person who was enrolled before May 15, 1976, in a state retirement system administered under this chapter and who was, during the period of enrollment, an officer or employee of a consolidated government which by virtue of its charter had elected status as a municipality for purposes of state retirement systems administered under this chapter, who terminated employment with the consolidated government, and who had not withdrawn his or her contributions shall be deemed to have been a member of the retirement system in which he or she was enrolled during the period of such enrollment and employment by that consolidated government and during any period of enrollment and employment by any interim government which performed the functions of the consolidated government prior to its creation, regardless of the fact that the consolidated government and interim government were not employers as defined in s. 121.021(10). However, in no event shall credit be granted for service rendered in such employment prior to May 15, 1976, unless the contributions required for such credit were paid prior to May 15, 1976.
(h) The following provisions apply to the purchase of past service:
1. Notwithstanding any of the provisions of this subsection, past-service credit may not be purchased under this chapter for any service that is used to obtain a pension or benefit from a local retirement system. Eligibility to receive or the receipt of contributions to a retirement plan made by the employer on behalf of the employee is considered a benefit.
2. A member may not receive past service credit under paragraphs (a), (b), (e), or (f) for any leaves of absence without pay, except that credit for active military service leaves of absence may be claimed under paragraphs (a), (b), and (f), in accordance with s. 121.111(1).
3. A member may not receive past service credit for coemployer service. Coemployer service or a coemployer relationship is employment in a single position simultaneously covered and reported by both a public employer and a private employer.
4. If a member does not want to receive credit for all of his or her past service, the period the member claims must be the most recent past service prior to his or her participation in the Florida Retirement System.
5. The cost of past service purchased by an employing agency for its employees may be amortized over the period of time provided in the agreement, but not to exceed 15 years, calculated in accordance with rule 60S-1.007(5)(f), Florida Administrative Code.
6. The retirement account of each member for whom past service is being provided by his or her employer shall be credited with all past service the employer agrees to purchase as soon as the agreement between the employer and the department is executed.
a. Each member’s account shall also be posted with the total contribution his or her employer agrees to make on the member’s behalf for past service earned before October 1, 1975, excluding those contributions representing the employer’s matching share and the compound interest calculation on the total contribution. However, a portion of any contributions paid by an employer for past service credit earned on and after October 1, 1975, may not be posted to the member’s account.
b. A refund of contributions payable after an employer has made a written agreement to purchase past service for employees of the covered group includes contributions for past service which are posted to the member’s account. However, contributions for past service earned on and after October 1, 1975, are not refundable.
(i) An employee of a state agency who was a member of a state-administered retirement system and who was granted educational leave with pay pursuant to a written educational leave-with-pay policy may claim such period of educational leave as past service subject to the following conditions:
1. The educational leave must have occurred prior to December 31, 1971;
2. The member must have completed at least 6 years of creditable service excluding the period of the educational leave;
3. The employee must have returned to employment with a state agency employer who participated in the retirement system, which return was immediately upon termination of the educational leave, and must have remained on the employer’s payroll for at least 1 calendar month following the return to employment;
4. The employee must be a member of the Florida Retirement System at the time he or she claims such service;
5. Not more than 24 months of creditable service may be claimed for such period of educational leave with pay;
6. The service must not be claimed under any other state or federal retirement system; and
7. The member must pay to the retirement trust fund for claiming such past-service credit an amount equal to 8 percent of his or her gross annual salary immediately prior to the educational leave with pay for each year of past service claimed, plus 4-percent interest thereon compounded annually each June 30 from the first year of service claimed until July 1, 1975, and 6.5-percent interest thereafter on the unpaid balance compounded annually each June 30 until paid.
(j) A member may claim and receive past-service credit under this system for employment in a multiple offender project funded by a grant from the Federal Government to a local government, which local government is not covered by this chapter, if the project was implemented by a state attorney who had the authority for hiring and firing the employees of the project and the member worked under the supervision of the state attorney or his or her subordinate. Creditable service shall be granted upon certification by the state attorney of the preceding conditions and payment by the member or the state attorney’s office of the amount due for the period of employment, based on the contribution rates in effect for regular or special risk members, as appropriate, at the time such service is claimed, plus interest compounded annually each June 30 at the rate of 4 percent until July 1, 1975, and 6.5 percent thereafter. Such creditable service shall not be available to any member who receives a benefit from another state or local retirement system which is derived in whole or in part from the same service.
(k) Employees of the Fourth Judicial Circuit who were in an employee-employer relationship with the City of Jacksonville on June 30, 2004, and who became employees of the State Courts System on July 1, 2004, as a result of implementation of Revision 7 to Article V of the State Constitution shall be deemed to be included in past service as defined in s. 121.021(18), for the purposes of the Florida Retirement System, any other provisions of law notwithstanding. If credit for such service has not been granted under any other retirement system, any member of the Florida Retirement System therein shall be entitled to receive past-service credit for his or her period of employment with the City of Jacksonville prior to July 1, 2004, in the manner provided in this subsection. However, in no event will eligibility for past service be established unless required contributions are paid into the Florida Retirement System for such period of past service, and such contributions may be paid by the member or prior employer on behalf of the member.
(2) Prior service, as defined in s. 121.021, may be claimed as creditable service under the Florida Retirement System after a member has been reemployed for 1 complete year of creditable service, except as provided in paragraph (c). Service performed as a member of the optional retirement program for the State University System under s. 121.35 or the Senior Management Service Optional Annuity Program under s. 121.055 may be used to satisfy the reemployment requirement of 1 complete year of creditable service. The member shall not be permitted to make any contributions for prior service until after completion of the 1 year of creditable service. If a member does not wish to claim credit for all of his or her prior service, the service the member claims must be the most recent period of service. The required contributions for claiming the various types of prior service are:
(a) For prior service performed before the date the system becomes noncontributory for the member and for which the member had credit under one of the existing retirement systems and received a refund of contributions upon termination of employment, the member shall contribute 4 percent of all salary received during the period being claimed, plus 4 percent interest compounded annually from date of refund until July 1, 1975, and 6.5 percent interest compounded annually thereafter, until full payment is made to the Florida Retirement System Trust Fund, and receive credit in the Regular Class. A member who elected to transfer to the Florida Retirement System from an existing system may receive credit for prior service under the existing system if he or she was eligible under the existing system to claim the prior service at the time of the transfer. Contributions for such prior service shall be determined by the applicable provisions of the system under which the prior service is claimed and shall be paid by the member, with matching contributions paid by the employer at the time the service was performed. Effective July 1, 1978, the account of a person who terminated under s. 238.05(3) may not be charged interest for contributions that remained on deposit in the Annuity Savings Trust Fund established under chapter 238, upon retirement under this chapter or chapter 238.
(b) For prior service performed before the date the system becomes noncontributory for the member and for which the member had credit under the Florida Retirement System and received a refund of contributions upon termination of employment, the member shall contribute at the rate that was required of him or her during the period of service being claimed, on all salary received during such period, plus 4 percent interest compounded annually from date of refund until July 1, 1975, and 6.5 percent interest compounded annually thereafter, until the full payment is made to the Florida Retirement System Trust Fund, and receive credit in the membership class in which the member participated during the period claimed.
(c) For prior service as defined in s. 121.021(19)(b) and (c) during which no contributions were made because the member did not participate in a retirement system, the member shall contribute 14.38 percent of all salary received during such period or 14.38 percent of $100 per month during such period, whichever is greater, plus 4 percent interest compounded annually from the first year of service claimed until July 1, 1975, and 6.5 percent interest compounded annually thereafter, until full payment is made to the Retirement Trust Fund, and shall receive credit in the Regular Class.
(d) In order to claim credit for prior service as defined in s. 121.021(19)(d) for which no retirement contributions were paid during the period of such service, the member shall contribute the total employee and employer contributions which were required to be made to the Highway Patrol Pension Trust Fund, as provided in chapter 321, during the period claimed, plus 4 percent interest compounded annually from the first year of service until July 1, 1975, and 6.5 percent interest compounded annually thereafter, until full payment is made to the Retirement Trust Fund. However, any governmental entity that employed such member may elect to pay up to 50 percent of the contributions and interest required to purchase the prior service credit. The service shall be credited in accordance with the Highway Patrol Pension Plan in effect during the period claimed unless the member terminated and withdrew his or her retirement contributions and was thereafter enrolled in the State and County Officers and Employees’ Retirement System or the Florida Retirement System, in which case the service shall be credited as Regular Class service.
(e) For service performed under the Florida Retirement System after December 1, 1970, which was never reported to the division or the department due to error, retirement credit may be claimed by a member of the Florida Retirement System. The department shall adopt rules establishing criteria for claiming such credit and detailing the documentation required to substantiate the error.
(f) For prior service performed on or after July 1, 2011, for which the member had credit under the Florida Retirement System and received a refund of contributions 3 calendar months after termination of employment, the member shall contribute at the rate that was required during the period of service being claimed, plus 6.5 percent interest, compounded annually on each June 30 from date of refund until the full payment is made to the Florida Retirement System Trust Fund, and receive credit in the membership class in which the member participated during the period claimed.
(g) The employer may not be required to make contributions for prior service credit for any member, except that the employer shall pay the employer portion of contributions for any legislator who elects to withdraw from the Florida Retirement System and later rejoins the system and pays any employee contributions required in accordance with s. 121.052(3)(d).
History.s. 8, ch. 70-112; s. 27, ch. 71-355; s. 1, ch. 72-168; s. 1, ch. 74-158; s. 5, ch. 74-302; s. 1, ch. 75-260; s. 2, ch. 76-226; s. 3, ch. 77-469; s. 5, ch. 79-377; s. 7, ch. 80-242; s. 2, ch. 80-243; s. 4, ch. 81-214; s. 9, ch. 84-266; s. 5, ch. 85-246; s. 12, ch. 88-382; s. 6, ch. 92-122; s. 772, ch. 95-147; s. 8, ch. 98-138; s. 36, ch. 99-255; s. 10, ch. 99-392; s. 9, ch. 2000-169; s. 5, ch. 2000-347; s. 8, ch. 2004-347; s. 10, ch. 2007-196; s. 8, ch. 2009-209; s. 14, ch. 2010-5; s. 14, ch. 2011-68.