Online Sunshine Logo
Official Internet Site of the Florida Legislature
September 30, 2014    Search Statutes:      
Interpreter Services for the Hearing Impaired
Go to Senate Kids
Go to MyFlorida House
Select Year:  
The Florida Statutes

The 2014 Florida Statutes

Title X
PUBLIC OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, AND RECORDS
Chapter 121
FLORIDA RETIREMENT SYSTEM
View Entire Chapter
F.S. 121.021
121.021 Definitions.The following words and phrases as used in this chapter have the respective meanings set forth unless a different meaning is plainly required by the context:
(1) Gender-specific language whenever used in this chapter includes the other gender.
(2) “Existing systems” means the State and County Officers and Employees’ Retirement System, the retirement system for school teachers, and the highway patrol pensions and pension trust fund, which are consolidated in s. 121.011(2). On and after July 1, 1972, the term “existing systems” shall also include the retirement system for justices and judges established by former chapter 123 and as consolidated with the Florida Retirement System in s. 121.046.
(3) “Florida Retirement System” or “system” means the general retirement system established by this chapter, including, but not limited to, the defined benefit program administered under this part, referred to as the “Florida Retirement System Pension Plan” or “pension plan,” and the defined contribution program administered under part II of this chapter, referred to as the “Florida Retirement System Investment Plan” or “investment plan.”
(4) “Department” means the Department of Management Services.
(5) “Administrator” means the secretary of the Department of Management Services.
(6) “Actuary” or “state retirement actuary” means a fellow of the Society of Actuaries or a member of the American Academy of Actuaries or an organization of which one or more members is a fellow of the Society of Actuaries or a member of the American Academy of Actuaries or both.
(7) “Division” means the Division of Retirement in the department.
(8) “Unit” means any department, division, or subdivision of a city or any classification of city employees approved for social security coverage, as such, by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, not based on age, sex, or other classification resulting in higher than average costs for retirement benefits.
(9) “Special district” means an independent special district as defined in s. 189.012.
(10) “Employer” means any agency, branch, department, institution, university, institution of higher education, or board of the state, or any county agency, branch, department, board, district school board, municipality, metropolitan planning organization, or special district of the state which participates in the system for the benefit of certain of its employees, or a charter school or charter technical career center that participates as provided in s. 121.051(2)(d). Employers are not agents of the department, the state board, or the Division of Retirement, and the department, the state board, and the division are not responsible for erroneous information provided by representatives of employers.
(11) “Officer or employee” means any person receiving salary payments for work performed in a regularly established position and, if employed by a municipality, a metropolitan planning organization, or a special district, employed in a covered group. The term does not apply to state employees covered by a leasing agreement under s. 110.191, other public employees covered by a leasing agreement, or a coemployer relationship.
(12) “Member” means any officer or employee who is covered or who becomes covered under this system in accordance with this chapter. On and after December 1, 1970, all new members and those members transferring from existing systems shall be divided into the following classes: “Special Risk Class,” as provided in s. 121.0515; “Special Risk Administrative Support Class,” as provided in s. 121.0515(8); “Elected Officers’ Class,” as provided in s. 121.052; “Senior Management Service Class,” as provided in s. 121.055; and “Regular Class,” which consists of all members who are not in the Special Risk Class, Special Risk Administrative Support Class, Elected Officers’ Class, or Senior Management Service Class.
(13) “Disability in line of duty” means an injury or illness arising out of and in the actual performance of duty required by a member’s employment during his or her regularly scheduled working hours or irregular working hours as required by the employer. Disability resulting from drug or alcohol abuse shall not be considered in the line of duty, except when the member is expected to use alcohol in the course of his or her official work in undercover law enforcement, and such use clearly results in the member’s disability. The administrator may require such proof as he or she deems necessary as to the time, date, and cause of any such injury or illness, including evidence from any available witnesses. Workers’ compensation records under the provisions of chapter 440 may also be used.
(14) “Death in line of duty” means death arising out of and in the actual performance of duty required by a member’s employment during his or her regularly scheduled working hours or irregular working hours as required by the employer. The administrator may require such proof as he or she deems necessary as to the time, date, and cause of death, including evidence from any available witnesses. Workers’ compensation records under the provisions of chapter 440 may also be used.
(15) “Special risk member” or “Special Risk Class member” means a member of the Florida Retirement System who meets the eligibility and criteria required under s. 121.0515 for participation in the Special Risk Class.
(16) “Date of participation” means the date on which the officer or employee becomes a member.
(17)(a) “Creditable service” of any member means the sum of his or her past service, prior service, military service, out-of-state or non-FRS in-state service, workers’ compensation credit, leave-of-absence credit and future service allowed within the provisions of this chapter if all required contributions have been paid and all other requirements of this chapter have been met. However, in no case shall a member receive credit for more than a year’s service during any 12-month period. Service by a teacher, a nonacademic employee of a school board, or an employee of a participating employer other than a school board whose total employment is to provide services to a school board for the school year only shall be based on contract years of employment or school term years of employment, as provided in chapters 122 and 238, rather than 12-month periods of employment.
(b) For purposes of the definition of “creditable service,” monthly service credit under the Florida Retirement System and existing state systems shall be awarded as follows:
1. One month of service credit shall be awarded for each month of service performed prior to July 1, 1974.
2. One month of service credit shall be awarded for each month of service performed on and after July 1, 1974, in which the member was paid a salary of $100 or more. If the member was paid less than $100 during a month of employment, the service credit for that month shall be a fraction of one month of credit, such fraction to be determined by dividing the actual salary by $100.
3. One month of service credit shall be awarded for each month of service performed on and after July 1, 1979, for which the member was paid a salary of $250 or more, including any amount which was set aside for participation in a deferred compensation plan. If the member was paid less than $250 during a month of employment, the service credit for that month shall be a fraction of one month of credit, such fraction to be determined by dividing the actual salary payment by $250.
4. On and after July 1, 1985, one month of service credit shall be awarded for each month salary is paid for service performed.
(18) “Past service” of any member, as provided in s. 121.081(1), means the number of years and complete months and any fractional part of a month, recognized and credited by an employer and approved by the administrator, during which the member was in the active employ of a governmental employer and for which the employee is not entitled to a benefit before his or her date of participation.
(19) “Prior service” under part I of this chapter means:
(a) Service for which the member had credit under one of the existing systems and received a refund of his or her contributions upon termination of employment. Prior service also includes service for which the member had credit under the Florida Retirement System and received a refund of his or her contributions upon termination of employment.
(b) Service prior to an employee’s membership in the Florida Retirement System with an employer, either before or during the employer’s participation in an existing system. The word “service” as used in this paragraph and paragraph (c) means employment service prior to December 1, 1970, which, at the time it is claimed as prior service, satisfies the requirements for a regularly established position, as defined by rules of the Florida Retirement System.
(c) Service as described in paragraph (b) for which no contributions were made due to the fact that the employee made a written rejection of an existing system. If such person withdraws the rejection, the person may purchase retirement credit for all his or her service during the period of rejection. Any governmental entity may contribute up to 50 percent of the amount required to purchase any prior service under paragraph (b) and this paragraph.
(d) Service which was performed in a Florida Highway Patrol recruit training school or the Florida Highway Patrol Training Academy, prior to taking the constitutional oath of office, by any Florida highway patrol officer who was hired on or after November 1, 1939, and before July 1, 1968, and for which no retirement contributions were paid.
(20) “Military service” of any member means:
(a) Service in the Armed Forces of the United States under the conditions set forth in s. 121.111(1); or
(b) Actual “wartime service” in the Armed Forces of the United States, as defined by s. 1.01(14), or “wartime service” in the Allied Forces, not to exceed 4 years, if credit for such service has not been granted under any other federal or state system, and provided such service is not used in any other retirement system; however, this paragraph does not prohibit the use of such service as creditable service if granted and used in a pension system under chapter 67 of Title 10 of the United States Code.
(21) “Future service” of any member means service subsequent to date of the member’s participation and may include authorized leaves of absence as provided in s. 121.121.
(22) “Compensation” means the monthly salary paid a member by his or her employer for work performed arising from that employment.
(a) Compensation shall include:
1. Overtime payments paid from a salary fund.
2. Accumulated annual leave payments.
3. Payments in addition to the employee’s base rate of pay if all the following apply:
a. The payments are paid according to a formal written policy that applies to all eligible employees equally;
b. The policy provides that payments shall commence no later than the 11th year of employment;
c. The payments are paid for as long as the employee continues his or her employment; and
d. The payments are paid at least annually.
4. Amounts withheld for tax sheltered annuities or deferred compensation programs, or any other type of salary reduction plan authorized under the Internal Revenue Code.
5. Payments made in lieu of a permanent increase in the base rate of pay, whether made annually or in 12 or 26 equal payments within a 12-month period, when the member’s base pay is at the maximum of his or her pay range. When a portion of a member’s annual increase raises his or her pay range and the excess is paid as a lump sum payment, such lump sum payment shall be compensation for retirement purposes.
(b) Compensation for a member participating in the pension plan or the investment plan of the Florida Retirement System may not include:
1. Fees paid professional persons for special or particular services or salary payments made from a faculty practice plan authorized by the Board of Governors of the State University System for eligible clinical faculty at a college in a state university that has a faculty practice plan; or
2. Any bonuses or other payments prohibited from inclusion in the member’s average final compensation.
(c) For all purposes under this chapter, the member’s compensation or gross compensation contributed as employee-elective salary reductions or deferrals to any salary reduction, deferred compensation, or tax-sheltered annuity program authorized under the Internal Revenue Code shall be deemed to be the compensation or gross compensation which the member would receive if he or she were not participating in such program and shall be treated as compensation for retirement purposes under this chapter. Any public funds otherwise paid by an employer into an employee’s salary reduction, deferred compensation, or tax-sheltered annuity program on or after July 1, 1990 (the date as of which all employers were notified in writing by the division to cease making contributions to the System Trust Fund based on such amounts), shall be considered a fringe benefit and shall not be treated as compensation for retirement purposes under this chapter. However, if an employer was notified in writing by the division to cease making such contributions as of a different date, that employer shall be subject to the requirements of said written notice.
(d) For any person who first becomes a member on or after July 1, 1996, compensation for any plan year shall not include any amounts in excess of the s. 401(a)(17), Internal Revenue Code limitation (as amended by the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993), which limitation of $150,000 effective July 1, 1996, shall be adjusted as required by federal law for qualified government plans and shall be further adjusted for changes in the cost of living in the manner provided by s. 401(a)(17)(B), Internal Revenue Code. For any person who first became a member prior to July 1, 1996, compensation for all plan years beginning on or after July 1, 1990, shall not include any amounts in excess of the compensation limitation (originally $200,000) established by s. 401(a)(17), Internal Revenue Code prior to the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, which limitation shall be adjusted for changes in the cost of living since 1989, in the manner provided by s. 401(a)(17) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1991. This limitation, which has been part of the Florida Retirement System since plan years beginning on or after July 1, 1990, shall be adjusted as required by federal law for qualified government plans.
(23) “Annual compensation” means the total compensation paid a member during a year. A “year” is 12 continuous months.
(24)(a) “Average final compensation” means:
1. For members initially enrolled before July 1, 2011, the average of the 5 highest fiscal years of compensation for creditable service before retirement, termination, or death. For in-line-of-duty disability benefits, if less than 5 years of creditable service have been completed, the term means the average annual compensation of the total number of years of creditable service. Each year used to calculate the average final compensation commences on July 1.
2. For members initially enrolled on or after July 1, 2011, the average of the 8 highest fiscal years of compensation for creditable service before retirement, termination, or death. For in-line-of-duty disability benefits, if less than 8 years of creditable service have been completed, the term means the average annual compensation of the total number of years of creditable service. Each year used to calculate average final compensation commences on July 1.
(b) The average final compensation includes:
1. Accumulated annual leave payments, not to exceed 500 hours; and
2. All payments defined as compensation in subsection (22).
(c) The average final compensation does not include:
1. Compensation paid to professional persons for special or particular services;
2. Payments for accumulated sick leave made due to retirement or termination;
3. Payments for accumulated annual leave in excess of 500 hours;
4. Bonuses as defined in subsection (47);
5. Third party payments made on and after July 1, 1990; or
6. Fringe benefits (for example, automobile allowances or housing allowances).
(25) “Average monthly compensation” means one-twelfth of average final compensation.
(26) “Accumulated contributions” means the sum of:
(a) A member’s contributions, without interest, subsequent to December 1, 1970; and
(b) The single-sum amount the member would have received if he or she was covered by an existing system prior to December 1, 1970, and had terminated membership in such system on November 30, 1970, subject to reduction on account of benefit payments as provided under certain options.
(27) “Pension” means monthly payments to a retiree derived as provided in this chapter.
(28) “Joint annuitant” means any person designated by the member to receive a retirement benefit upon the member’s death who is:
(a) The spouse of the member;
(b) The member’s natural or adopted child who is under age 25, or is physically or mentally disabled and incapable of self-support, regardless of age; or any person other than the spouse for whom the member is the legal guardian, provided that such person is under age 25 and is financially dependent for no less than one-half of his or her support from the member at retirement or at the time of death of such member, whichever occurs first; or
(c) A parent or grandparent, or a person age 25 or older for whom the member is the legal guardian, provided that such parent, grandparent, or other person is financially dependent for no less than one-half of his or her support from the member at retirement or at time of the death of such member, whichever occurs first.
(29) “Normal retirement date” means the date a member attains normal retirement age and is vested, which is determined as follows:
(a) If a Regular Class member, a Senior Management Service Class member, or an Elected Officers’ Class member initially enrolled:
1. Before July 1, 2011:
a. The first day of the month the member attains age 62; or
b. The first day of the month following the date the member completes 30 years of creditable service, regardless of age.
2. On or after July 1, 2011:
a. The first day of the month the member attains age 65; or
b. The first day of the month following the date the member completes 33 years of creditable service, regardless of age.
(b) If a Special Risk Class member initially enrolled:
1. Before July 1, 2011:
a. The first day of the month the member attains age 55 and completes the years of creditable service in the Special Risk Class equal to or greater than the years of service required for vesting;
b. The first day of the month following the date the member completes 25 years of creditable service in the Special Risk Class, regardless of age; or
c. The first day of the month following the date the member completes 25 years of creditable service and attains age 52, which service may include a maximum of 4 years of military service credit if such credit is not claimed under any other system and the remaining years are in the Special Risk Class.
2. On or after July 1, 2011:
a. The first day of the month the member attains age 60 and completes the years of creditable service in the Special Risk Class equal to or greater than the years of service required for vesting;
b. The first day of the month following the date the member completes 30 years of creditable service in the Special Risk Class, regardless of age; or
c. The first day of the month following the date the member completes 30 years of creditable service and attains age 57, which service may include a maximum of 4 years of military service credit if such credit is not claimed under any other system and the remaining years are in the Special Risk Class.

For pension plan members, normal retirement age is attained on the normal retirement date. For investment plan members, normal retirement age is the date a member attains his or her normal retirement date as provided in this section, or the date a member is vested under the investment plan as provided in s. 121.4501(6), whichever is later.

(30) “Early retirement date” means the first day of the month following the date a member becomes vested and elects to receive retirement benefits in accordance with this chapter. Such benefits shall be based on average monthly compensation and creditable service as of the member’s early retirement date, and the benefit so computed shall be reduced by five-twelfths of 1 percent for each complete month by which the early retirement date precedes his or her normal retirement date as provided in s. 121.091(3).
(31) “Actuarial equivalent” means a benefit of equal value when computed at regular interest upon the basis of the mortality tables adopted by the administrator.
(32) “State agency” means the Department of Management Services within the provisions and contemplation of chapter 650.
(33) “Agreement” means that certain agreement entered into October 23, 1951, between the State of Florida and the Federal Security Administrator. (Chapter 650 implements the procedure to provide for social security coverage.)
(34) “Covered group” means the officers and employees of an employer who become members under this chapter. “Covered group” applies also when the employer is a charter technical career center, charter school, special district, or city for which coverage under this chapter is applied for by the employer and approved for social security coverage by the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services and approved by the administrator for membership under this chapter. Members of a firefighters’ pension trust fund or a municipal police officers’ retirement trust fund, established in accordance with chapter 175 or chapter 185, respectively, shall be considered eligible for membership under this chapter only after holding a referendum and by affirmative majority vote electing coverage under this chapter.
(35) “Social security coverage” means old-age, survivors, disability, and health insurance, as provided by the federal Social Security Act.
(36) “System Trust Fund” means the trust fund established in the State Treasury by this chapter for the purpose of holding and investing the contributions paid by members and employers and paying the benefits to which members or their beneficiaries may become entitled. Other trust funds may be established in the State Treasury to administer the “System Trust Fund.”
(37) “Social Security Trust Fund” means the trust fund established in the State Treasury by this chapter for the purpose of receiving the contributions paid by members and employers for payment to the Secretary of the Treasury. Other trust funds may be established to administer the “Social Security Trust Fund.”
(38) “Continuous service” means creditable service as a member, beginning with the first day of employment with an employer covered under a state-administered retirement system consolidated herein and continuing for as long as the member remains in an employer-employee relationship with an employer covered under this chapter. An absence of 1 calendar month or more from an employer’s payroll shall be considered a break in continuous service, except for periods of absence during which an employer-employee relationship continues to exist and such period of absence is creditable under this chapter or under one of the existing systems consolidated herein. However, a law enforcement officer as defined in s. 121.0515(3)(a) who was a member of a state-administered retirement system under chapter 122 or chapter 321 and who resigned and was subsequently reemployed in a law enforcement position within 12 calendar months of such resignation by an employer under such state-administered retirement system shall be deemed to have not experienced a break in service. Further, with respect to a state-employed law enforcement officer who meets the criteria specified in s. 121.0515(3)(a), if the absence from the employer’s payroll is the result of a “layoff” as defined in s. 110.107 or a resignation to run for an elected office that meets the criteria specified in s. 121.0515(3)(a), no break in continuous service shall be deemed to have occurred if the member is reemployed as a state law enforcement officer or is elected to an office which meets the criteria specified in s. 121.0515(3)(a) within 12 calendar months after the date of the layoff or resignation, notwithstanding the fact that such period of layoff or resignation is not creditable service under this chapter. A withdrawal of contributions will constitute a break in service. Continuous service also includes past service purchased under this chapter, provided such service is continuous within this definition and the rules established by the administrator. The administrator may establish administrative rules and procedures for applying this definition to creditable service authorized under this chapter. Any correctional officer, as defined in s. 943.10, whose participation in the state-administered retirement system is terminated due to the transfer of a county detention facility through a contractual agreement with a private entity pursuant to s. 951.062, shall be deemed an employee with continuous service in the Special Risk Class, provided return to employment with the former employer takes place within 3 years due to contract termination or the officer is employed by a covered employer in a special risk position within 1 year after his or her initial termination of employment by such transfer of its detention facilities to the private entity.
(39)(a) “Termination” occurs, except as provided in paragraph (b), when a member ceases all employment relationships with participating employers, however:
1. For retirements effective before July 1, 2010, if a member is employed by any such employer within the next calendar month, termination shall be deemed not to have occurred. A leave of absence constitutes a continuation of the employment relationship, except that a leave of absence without pay due to disability may constitute termination if such member makes application for and is approved for disability retirement in accordance with s. 121.091(4). The department or state board may require other evidence of termination as it deems necessary.
2. For retirements effective on or after July 1, 2010, if a member is employed by any such employer within the next 6 calendar months, termination shall be deemed not to have occurred. A leave of absence constitutes a continuation of the employment relationship, except that a leave of absence without pay due to disability may constitute termination if such member makes application for and is approved for disability retirement in accordance with s. 121.091(4). The department or state board may require other evidence of termination as it deems necessary.
(b) “Termination” for a member electing to participate in the Deferred Retirement Option Program occurs when the program participant ceases all employment relationships with participating employers in accordance with s. 121.091(13), however:
1. For termination dates occurring before July 1, 2010, if the member is employed by any such employer within the next calendar month, termination will be deemed not to have occurred, except as provided in s. 121.091(13)(b)4.c. A leave of absence shall constitute a continuation of the employment relationship.
2. For termination dates occurring on or after July 1, 2010, if the member becomes employed by any such employer within the next 6 calendar months, termination will be deemed not to have occurred, except as provided in s. 121.091(13)(b)4.c. A leave of absence constitutes a continuation of the employment relationship.
(c) Effective July 1, 2011, “termination” for a member receiving a refund of employee contributions occurs when a member ceases all employment relationships with participating employers for 3 calendar months. A leave of absence constitutes a continuation of the employment relationship.
(40) “Plan year” means the period of time beginning July 1 and ending on the following June 30, both dates inclusive, for all state-administered retirement systems.
(41) “Effective date of retirement” means the first day of the month in which benefit payments begin to accrue pursuant to s. 121.091.
(42)(a) “Local agency employer” means the board of county commissioners or other legislative governing body of a county, however styled, including that of a consolidated or metropolitan government; a clerk of the circuit court, sheriff, property appraiser, tax collector, or supervisor of elections, provided such officer is elected or has been appointed to fill a vacancy in an elective office; a community college board of trustees or district school board; or the governing body of any city, metropolitan planning organization created pursuant to s. 339.175 or any other separate legal or administrative entity created pursuant to s. 339.175, or special district of the state which participates in the system for the benefit of certain of its employees.
(b) The term “local agency employer” also includes the governing body of any council, commission, authority, or other governmental entity created or authorized by general or special law, which participates in the Florida Retirement System for the benefit of its employees, and which is independent of any local agency employer as defined under paragraph (a).
(43) “Phased retirement program” means a program contracted by the governing board of a university or community college participating under this chapter in which a retiree may be reemployed in a faculty position provided:
(a) The member retired and met the definition of termination under this section;
(b) The retired member is reemployed for not more than 780 hours during the first 12 months of his or her retirement; and
(c) The retired member is reemployed with the university or community college from which he or she retired.

Renewed membership for a retiree participating in a phased retirement program shall be determined in accordance with s. 121.053 or s. 121.122.

(44) “DROP participant” means any member who elects to retire and participate in the Deferred Retirement Option Program as provided in s. 121.091(13).
(45) “Vested” or “vesting” means the guarantee that a member is eligible to receive a future retirement benefit upon completion of the required years of creditable service for the employee’s class of membership, even though the member may have terminated covered employment before reaching normal or early retirement date. Being vested does not entitle a member to a disability benefit. Provisions governing entitlement to disability benefits are set forth under s. 121.091(4).
(a) Effective July 1, 2001, through June 30, 2011, a 6-year vesting requirement shall be implemented for the Florida Retirement System Pension Plan:
1. Any member employed in a regularly established position on July 1, 2001, who completes or has completed a total of 6 years of creditable service is considered vested.
2. Any member not employed in a regularly established position on July 1, 2001, shall be deemed vested upon completion of 6 years of creditable service if such member is employed in a covered position for at least 1 work year after July 1, 2001. However, a member is not required to complete more years of creditable service than would have been required for that member to vest under retirement laws in effect before July 1, 2001.
3. Any member initially enrolled in the Florida Retirement System on July 1, 2001, through June 30, 2011, shall be deemed vested upon completion of 6 years of creditable service.
(b) Any member initially enrolled in the Florida Retirement System on or after July 1, 2011, shall be vested in the pension plan upon completion of 8 years of creditable service.
(46) “Beneficiary” means the joint annuitant or any other person, organization, estate, or trust fund designated by the member to receive a retirement benefit, if any, which may be payable upon the member’s death.
(47) “Bonus” means a payment made in addition to an employee’s regular or overtime salary. A bonus is usually nonrecurring, does not increase the employee’s base rate of pay, and includes no commitment for payment in a subsequent year. Such payments are not considered compensation. Effective July 1, 1989, employers may not report such payments to the division as salary, and may not make retirement contributions on such payments.
(a) A payment is a bonus if any of the following circumstances apply:
1. The payment is not made according to a formal written policy that applies to all eligible employees equally.
2. The payment commences later than the 11th year of employment.
3. The payment is not based on permanent eligibility.
4. The payment is made less frequently than annually.
(b) Bonuses shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
1. Exit bonus or severance pay.
2. Longevity payments in conformance with the provisions of paragraph (a).
3. Salary increases granted pursuant to an employee’s agreement to retire, including increases paid over several months or years prior to retirement.
4. Payments for accumulated overtime or compensatory time, reserve time, or holiday time worked, if not made within 11 months of the month in which the work was performed.
5. Lump sum payments in recognition of employees’ accomplishments.
(48) “Accumulated annual leave payment” means any payment, made either during an employee’s employment or at termination or retirement, for leave accrued during such employee’s career, which leave was intended for, but never utilized by the employee for, his or her personal use. General leave, which may be used for both sickness and vacation, is considered accumulated annual leave. When leave is initially accrued separately as annual leave or sick leave and is later combined into a consolidated leave account, only the payment for that portion of the account which represents annual leave shall be considered as compensation. If any single lump-sum annual leave payment, made at anytime during a member’s employment, exceeds 500 hours, only a maximum of 500 hours of such annual leave payment shall be considered as compensation.
(49) “Accumulated sick leave payment” means leave accrued during an employee’s career which was intended for use in the event of sickness, injury, or other health problems of a member or his or her family. General leave which may be used for both sickness and vacation is not considered sick leave. When leave is initially accrued separately as annual leave or sick leave and is later combined into a consolidated leave account, the payment for that portion of the account which represents sick leave shall not be considered compensation.
(50) “Independent contractor” means an individual who is not subject to the control and direction of the employer for whom work is being performed, with respect not only to what shall be done but to how it shall be done. If the employer has the right to exert such control, an employee-employer relationship exists, and, for purposes of this chapter, the person is an employee and not an independent contractor. The division shall adopt rules providing criteria for determining whether an individual is an employee or an independent contractor.
(51) “Previous service” means the number of years, complete months, and any fractional part of a month, as recognized and credited by an employer and approved by the administrator, of service under one of the retirement systems established by this chapter, chapter 122, former chapter 123, chapter 238, or chapter 321, on which the required contributions were paid at the member’s termination of employment, and for which the member has received no refund of contributions.
(52) “Regularly established position” means:
(a) With respect to a state employer, a position that is authorized and established pursuant to law and is compensated from a salaries and benefits appropriation pursuant to s. 216.011(1)(mm), or an established position that is authorized pursuant to s. 216.262(1)(a) and (b) and is compensated from a salaries account as provided in s. 216.011(1)(nn).
(b) With respect to a local agency employer (district school board, county agency, Florida College System institution, municipality, metropolitan planning organization, charter school, charter technical career center, or special district), other than a water management district operating pursuant to chapter 373, a regularly established position that will be in existence for a period beyond 6 consecutive months, except as provided by rule.
(c) With respect only to a water management district operating pursuant to chapter 373, a position authorized in the district’s final adopted budget and compensated from a salaries and benefits appropriation or account.
(53) “Temporary position” means:
(a) With respect to a state employer, a position that is compensated from an other personal services (OPS) account as provided in s. 216.011(1)(dd).
(b) With respect to a local agency employer, other than a water management district operating pursuant to chapter 373, a position that will exist for less than 6 consecutive months, or other position as determined by rule of the division, regardless of whether it will exist for 6 consecutive months or longer.
(c) With respect only to a water management district operating pursuant to chapter 373, a position not authorized in the district’s final adopted budget, and designated as a temporary position by the district.
(54) “Work year” means the period of time an employee is required to work during the plan year to receive a full year of retirement credit, as provided by rule.
(55) “Benefit” means any pension payment, lump-sum or periodic, to a member, retiree, or beneficiary, based partially or entirely on employer contributions or employee contributions, if applicable.
(56) “Calendar month” means one of the 12 divisions of a year as determined by the Gregorian calendar (e.g., January, April, etc.).
(57) “Calendar year” means a period of time beginning January 1 and ending on the following December 31.
(58) “Leave of absence” means a leave of absence from employment under the Florida Retirement System, subsequent to November 30, 1970, for which retirement credit may be received in accordance with s. 121.121.
(59) “Payee” means a retiree or beneficiary of a retiree who has received or is receiving a retirement benefit payment.
(60) “Retiree” means a former member of the Florida Retirement System or an existing system who has terminated employment and is receiving benefit payments from the system in which he or she was a member. This term also includes a person who retired and is receiving benefits under s. 112.05.
(61) “Signature” means the name or mark of a person as written by that person. When an “X” is used as a signature on a document, the document must include the printed names, signatures, and addresses of two persons who witnessed the signing, or the document must be notarized.
(62) “Metropolitan planning organization” means an entity created by an interlocal agreement pursuant to s. 339.175 or any other entity created pursuant to s. 339.175.
(63) “State board” means the State Board of Administration.
(64) “Trustees” means the Board of Trustees of the State Board of Administration.
History.s. 2, ch. 70-112; s. 1, ch. 72-122; s. 1, ch. 72-347; s. 2, ch. 72-388; s. 2, ch. 73-312; s. 1, ch. 73-326; s. 42, ch. 73-333; s. 2, ch. 74-302; s. 1, ch. 74-328; s. 3, ch. 75-248; s. 1, ch. 76-226; s. 1, ch. 77-174; ss. 1, 4, ch. 77-467; ss. 1, 6, ch. 77-469; s. 1, ch. 78-308; s. 56, ch. 79-40; s. 5, ch. 80-126; s. 3, ch. 80-131; s. 8, ch. 80-242; s. 1, ch. 80-243; s. 3, ch. 81-214; s. 59, ch. 81-259; ss. 2, 13, ch. 83-76; s. 6, ch. 84-114; s. 3, ch. 84-266; s. 4, ch. 85-246; s. 13, ch. 86-149; s. 10, ch. 86-183; s. 5, ch. 87-373; s. 5, ch. 88-382; s. 1, ch. 89-126; s. 56, ch. 89-169; s. 43, ch. 89-526; s. 5, ch. 90-274; s. 2, ch. 92-122; s. 52, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326; s. 4, ch. 93-193; s. 1, ch. 93-285; s. 4, ch. 94-259; s. 1422, ch. 95-147; s. 18, ch. 95-154; s. 1, ch. 95-338; s. 2, ch. 96-186; s. 4, ch. 96-368; s. 1, ch. 97-154; ss. 2, 7, ch. 97-180; s. 1, ch. 98-138; s. 2, ch. 98-302; s. 3, ch. 98-413; s. 51, ch. 99-2; s. 3, ch. 99-7; s. 1, ch. 99-9; s. 25, ch. 99-255; ss. 4, 22, ch. 99-392; s. 18, ch. 2000-151; ss. 2, 4, 28, ch. 2000-169; s. 2, ch. 2000-347; s. 17, ch. 2001-60; s. 42, ch. 2001-125; s. 18, ch. 2002-273; s. 8, ch. 2004-5; s. 1, ch. 2005-253; s. 6, ch. 2007-196; s. 15, ch. 2007-217; s. 2, ch. 2008-139; s. 1, ch. 2008-142; s. 1, ch. 2009-209; s. 3, ch. 2010-179; s. 6, ch. 2011-68; s. 11, ch. 2012-5; s. 1, ch. 2012-126; s. 2, ch. 2012-222; s. 61, ch. 2014-22.