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The Florida Statutes

The 2016 Florida Statutes

Title X
PUBLIC OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, AND RECORDS
Chapter 121
FLORIDA RETIREMENT SYSTEM
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F.S. 121.091
121.091 Benefits payable under the system.Benefits may not be paid under this section unless the member has terminated employment as provided in s. 121.021(39)(a) or begun participation in the Deferred Retirement Option Program as provided in subsection (13), and a proper application has been filed in the manner prescribed by the department. The department may cancel an application for retirement benefits when the member or beneficiary fails to timely provide the information and documents required by this chapter and the department’s rules. The department shall adopt rules establishing procedures for application for retirement benefits and for the cancellation of such application when the required information or documents are not received.
(1) NORMAL RETIREMENT BENEFIT.Upon attaining his or her normal retirement date, the member, upon application to the administrator, shall receive a monthly benefit which shall begin to accrue on the first day of the month of retirement and be payable on the last day of that month and each month thereafter during his or her lifetime. The normal retirement benefit, including any past or additional retirement credit, may not exceed 100 percent of the average final compensation. The amount of monthly benefit shall be calculated as the product of A and B, subject to the adjustment of C, if applicable, as set forth below:
(a)1. For creditable years of Regular Class service, A is 1.60 percent of the member’s average final compensation, up to the member’s normal retirement date. Upon completion of the first year after the normal retirement date, A is 1.63 percent of the member’s average final compensation. Following the second year after the normal retirement date, A is 1.65 percent of the member’s average final compensation. Following the third year after the normal retirement date, and for subsequent years, A is 1.68 percent of the member’s average final compensation.
2. For creditable years of special risk service, A is:
a. Two percent of the member’s average final compensation for all creditable years prior to October 1, 1974;
b. Three percent of the member’s average final compensation for all creditable years after September 30, 1974, and before October 1, 1978;
c. Two percent of the member’s average final compensation for all creditable years after September 30, 1978, and before January 1, 1989;
d. Two and two-tenths percent of the member’s final monthly compensation for all creditable years after December 31, 1988, and before January 1, 1990;
e. Two and four-tenths percent of the member’s average final compensation for all creditable years after December 31, 1989, and before January 1, 1991;
f. Two and six-tenths percent of the member’s average final compensation for all creditable years after December 31, 1990, and before January 1, 1992;
g. Two and eight-tenths percent of the member’s average final compensation for all creditable years after December 31, 1991, and before January 1, 1993;
h. Three percent of the member’s average final compensation for all creditable years after December 31, 1992; and
i. Three percent of the member’s average final compensation for all creditable years of service after September 30, 1978, and before January 1, 1993, for any special risk member who retires after July 1, 2000, or any member of the Special Risk Administrative Support Class entitled to retain the special risk normal retirement date who was a member of the Special Risk Class during the time period and who retires after July 1, 2000.
3. For creditable years of Senior Management Service Class service after January 31, 1987, A is 2 percent;
4. For creditable years of Elected Officers’ Class service as a Supreme Court Justice, district court of appeal judge, circuit judge, or county court judge, A is 31/3 percent of the member’s average final compensation, and for all other creditable service in such class, A is 3 percent of average final compensation;
(b) B is the number of the member’s years and any fractional part of a year of creditable service earned subsequent to November 30, 1970; and
(c) C is the normal retirement benefit credit brought forward as of November 30, 1970, by a former member of an existing system. Such normal retirement benefit credit shall be determined as the product of X and Y when X is the percentage of average final compensation which the member would have been eligible to receive if the member had attained his or her normal retirement date as of November 30, 1970, all in accordance with the existing system under which the member is covered on November 30, 1970, and Y is average final compensation as defined in s. 121.021(24). However, any member of an existing retirement system who is eligible to retire and who does retire, become disabled, or die prior to April 15, 1971, may have his or her retirement benefits calculated on the basis of the best 5 of the last 10 years of service.
(d) A member’s average final compensation shall be determined by formula to obtain the coverage for the 5 highest fiscal years’ salaries, calculated as provided by rule.
(2) BENEFITS PAYABLE FOR DUAL NORMAL RETIREMENT AGES.If a member accumulates retirement benefits to commence at different normal retirement ages by virtue of having performed duties for an employer which would entitle him or her to benefits as both a member of the Special Risk Class and a member of either the Regular Class, Senior Management Service Class, or Elected Officers’ Class, the amount of benefits payable shall be computed separately with respect to each such age and the sum of such computed amounts shall be paid as provided in this section.
(3) EARLY RETIREMENT BENEFIT.Upon retirement on his or her early retirement date, the member shall receive an immediate monthly benefit that shall begin to accrue on the first day of the month of the retirement date and be payable on the last day of that month and each month thereafter during his or her lifetime. Such benefit shall be calculated as follows:
(a) For a member initially enrolled:
1. Before July 1, 2011, the amount of each monthly payment shall be computed in the same manner as for a normal retirement benefit, in accordance with subsection (1), but shall be based on the member’s average monthly compensation and creditable service as of the member’s early retirement date. The benefit so computed shall be reduced by five-twelfths of 1 percent for each complete month by which the early retirement date precedes the normal retirement date of age 62 for a member of the Regular Class, Senior Management Service Class, or the Elected Officers’ Class, and age 55 for a member of the Special Risk Class, or age 52 if a Special Risk member has completed 25 years of creditable service in accordance with s. 121.021(29)(b)1.c.
2. On or after July 1, 2011, the amount of each monthly payment shall be computed in the same manner as for a normal retirement benefit, in accordance with subsection (1), but shall be based on the member’s average monthly compensation and creditable service as of the member’s early retirement date. The benefit so computed shall be reduced by five-twelfths of 1 percent for each complete month by which the early retirement date precedes the normal retirement date of age 65 for a member of the Regular Class, Senior Management Service Class, or the Elected Officers’ Class, and age 60 for a member of the Special Risk Class, or age 57 if a special risk member has completed 30 years of creditable service in accordance with s. 121.021(29)(b)2.c.
(b) If the employment of a member is terminated by reason of death within 10 years before normal retirement as described in s. 121.021(29)(a)1.b. or s. 121.021(29)(a)2.b., the monthly benefit payable to the member’s beneficiary shall be calculated in accordance with subsection (1), but must be based on average monthly compensation and creditable service as of the date of death. The benefit so computed shall be reduced by five-twelfths of 1 percent for each complete month by which death precedes the normal retirement date specified above or the date on which the member would have attained the normal retirement date had he or she survived and continued his or her employment, whichever provides a higher benefit.
(4) DISABILITY RETIREMENT BENEFIT.
(a) Disability retirement; entitlement and effective date.
1.a. A member who becomes totally and permanently disabled, as defined in paragraph (b), after completing 5 years of creditable service, or a member who becomes totally and permanently disabled in the line of duty regardless of service, is entitled to a monthly disability benefit; except that any member with less than 5 years of creditable service on July 1, 1980, or any person who becomes a member of the Florida Retirement System on or after such date must have completed 10 years of creditable service before becoming totally and permanently disabled in order to receive disability retirement benefits for any disability which occurs other than in the line of duty. However, if a member employed on July 1, 1980, who has less than 5 years of creditable service as of that date becomes totally and permanently disabled after completing 5 years of creditable service and is found not to have attained fully insured status for benefits under the federal Social Security Act, such member is entitled to a monthly disability benefit.
b. Effective July 1, 2001, a member of the pension plan who becomes totally and permanently disabled, as defined in paragraph (b), after completing 8 years of creditable service, or a member who becomes totally and permanently disabled in the line of duty regardless of service, is entitled to a monthly disability benefit.
2. If the division has received from the employer the required documentation of the member’s termination of employment, the effective retirement date for a member who applies and is approved for disability retirement shall be established by rule of the division.
3. For a member who is receiving Workers’ Compensation payments, the effective disability retirement date may not precede the date the member reaches Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI), unless the member terminates employment before reaching MMI.
(b) Total and permanent disability.A member shall be considered totally and permanently disabled if, in the opinion of the administrator, he or she is prevented, by reason of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment, from rendering useful and efficient service as an officer or employee.
(c) Proof of disability.The administrator, before approving payment of any disability retirement benefit, shall require proof that the member is totally and permanently disabled as provided herein:
1. Such proof shall include the certification of the member’s total and permanent disability by two licensed physicians of the state and such other evidence of disability as the administrator may require, including reports from vocational rehabilitation, evaluation, or testing specialists who have evaluated the applicant for employment. A member whose position with an employer requires that the member work full time outside this state in the United States may include certification by two licensed physicians of the state where the member works.
2. It must be documented that:
a. The member’s medical condition occurred or became symptomatic during the time the member was employed in an employee/employer relationship with his or her employer;
b. The member was totally and permanently disabled at the time he or she terminated covered employment; and
c. The member has not been employed with any other employer after such termination.
3. If the application is for in-line-of-duty disability, in addition to the requirements of subparagraph 2., it must be documented by competent medical evidence that the disability was caused by a job-related illness or accident which occurred while the member was in an employee/employer relationship with his or her employer.
4. The unavailability of an employment position that the member is physically and mentally capable of performing will not be considered as proof of total and permanent disability.
(d) Election on appeal.A member whose application for regular disability retirement has been denied and who has filed an appeal to the State Retirement Commission may, if eligible, elect to receive normal or early service retirement benefits while he or she is awaiting the decision on the appeal. However:
1. If the member elects to receive service retirement benefits and disability benefits are later approved as a result of the appeal, the payment option chosen by the member may not be changed.
2. If the member elects to receive early service retirement and the appeal is later denied, the member may not change his or her election of early retirement.

Before such regular or early retirement benefits may be paid by the division, the member must provide to the division a written statement indicating that the member understands that such changes are not permitted after he or she begins receiving the benefits.

(e) Disability retirement benefit.Upon the retirement of a member on his or her disability retirement date, the member shall receive a monthly benefit that shall begin to accrue on the first day of the month of disability retirement and shall be payable on the last day of that month and each month thereafter during his or her lifetime and continued disability.
(f) Computation of disability retirement benefit.The amount of each monthly payment shall be computed in the same manner as for a normal retirement benefit, in accordance with subsection (1), but shall be based on disability option actuarial equivalency tables and the average monthly compensation and creditable service of the member as of the disability retirement date, subject to the following conditions:
1. If the member’s disability occurred in the line of duty, the monthly Option 1 benefit shall not be less than:
a. Forty-two percent of average monthly compensation as of the disability retirement date; or
b. Sixty-five percent of the average monthly compensation as of the disability retirement date for a member of the special risk class who retires on or after July 1, 2000; or
2. If the member’s disability occurred other than in the line of duty, the monthly Option 1 benefit shall not be less than 25 percent of average monthly compensation as of the disability retirement date.
(g) Reapplication.A member, whose initial application for disability retirement has been denied, may reapply for disability benefits. However, such member’s reapplication will be considered only if the member presents new medical evidence of a medical condition that existed prior to the member’s termination of employment. The division may prescribe by rule procedures for reapplication and for review and approval or disapproval of reapplication.
(h) Recovery from disability.The administrator may require periodic reexaminations at the expense of the retirement fund. The division may adopt rules establishing procedures for conducting and review of such reexaminations.
1. If the administrator finds that a member who is receiving disability benefits is, at any time prior to his or her normal retirement date, no longer disabled, the administrator shall direct that the benefits be discontinued. The decision of the administrator on this question shall be final and binding. If such member:
a. Does not reenter the employ of an employer and was not vested as of the disability retirement date, he or she shall be entitled to the excess, if any, of his or her accumulated contributions over the total disability benefits received up to the date of recovery.
b. Does not reenter the employ of an employer, but was vested as of the disability retirement date, he or she may elect to receive:
(I) The excess, if any, of his or her accumulated contributions over the total disability benefits received up to the date of recovery; or
(II) A deferred benefit commencing on the last day of the month of the normal retirement date which shall be payable on the last day of the month thereafter during his or her lifetime. The amount of such monthly benefit shall be computed in the same manner as for a normal retirement benefit, in accordance with subsection (1), but shall be based on average monthly compensation and creditable service as of the member’s disability retirement date.
c. Reenters employment of an employer within 6 months after recovery, the member’s service will be deemed to have been continuous, but the period beginning with the first month for which he or she received a disability benefit payment and ending with the date he or she reentered employment will not be considered as creditable service for the purpose of computing benefits except as provided in sub-subparagraph d. As used in this section, the term “accumulated contributions” for such member means the excess of the member’s accumulated contributions as of the disability retirement date over the total disability benefits received under paragraph (e).
d. Terminates his or her disability benefit, reenters covered employment, and is continuously employed for a minimum of 1 year of creditable service, he or she may claim as creditable service the months during which he or she was receiving a disability benefit, upon payment of the required contributions. Contributions shall equal the total required employee and employer contribution rate applicable during the period the retiree received retirement benefits, multiplied times his or her rate of monthly compensation prior to the commencement of disability retirement for each month of the period claimed, plus 4 percent interest until July 1, 1975, and 6.5 percent interest thereafter, compounded annually each June 30 to the date of payment. If the member does not claim credit for all of the months he or she received disability benefits, the months claimed must be the most recent months of retirement. Such credit for periods of disability, when purchased under the Florida Retirement System, shall apply toward vesting requirements for eligibility to purchase additional credit for other service.
2. Both the member receiving disability benefits who reenters employment and the employer employing such disability retiree shall notify the division immediately upon reemployment, and the division shall terminate such member’s disability benefits, effective the first day of the month following the month in which notification of recovery is received. If the member is reemployed with a Florida Retirement System employer at the time of benefit termination, and he or she has received disability retirement benefit and salary payments concurrently prior to notifying the division, he or she may elect within 30 days to:
a. Retain the retirement benefits received prior to termination of disability benefits and begin receiving retirement service credit effective upon the date of termination of benefits; or
b. Repay, within 12 months after his or her decision to receive service credit, the retirement benefits received for each month of reemployment prior to termination of disability benefits and begin receiving retirement service credit effective upon the date of reemployment. Any such unpaid benefits shall have compound interest of 6.5 percent added June 30.

A member may not receive both retirement service credit for employment and retirement benefits for the same month.

3. If, after recovery of disability and reentry into covered employment, the member again becomes disabled and is again approved for disability retirement, the Option 1 monthly retirement benefit shall not be less than the Option 1 monthly benefit calculated at the time of the previous disability, plus any cost of living increases up to the time the disability benefit was terminated upon his or her reentry into covered employment.
(i) Nonadmissible causes of disability.A member shall not be entitled to receive any disability retirement benefit if the disability is a result of any of the following:
1. Injury or disease sustained by the member while willfully participating in a riot, civil insurrection, or other act of violence or while committing a felony;
2. Injury or disease sustained by the member after his or her employment has terminated; or
3. Intentional, self-inflicted injury.
(j) Disability retirement of justice or judge by order of Supreme Court.
1. If a member is a justice of the Supreme Court, judge of a district court of appeal, circuit judge, or judge of a county court who has served for the number of years equal to, or greater than, the vesting requirement in s. 121.021(45) as an elected constitutional judicial officer, including service as a judicial officer, in any court abolished pursuant to Art. V of the State Constitution, and who is retired for disability by order of the Supreme Court upon recommendation of the Judicial Qualifications Commission pursuant to Art. V of the State Constitution, the member’s Option 1 monthly benefit as provided in subparagraph (6)(a)1. may not be less than two-thirds of his or her monthly compensation as of the member’s disability retirement date. Such member may alternatively elect to receive a disability retirement benefit under any other option as provided in paragraph (6)(a).
2. Should any justice or judge who is a member of the Florida Retirement System be retired for disability by order of the Supreme Court upon recommendation of the Judicial Qualifications Commission pursuant to Art. V of the State Constitution, then all contributions to his or her account and all contributions made on his or her behalf by the employer shall be transferred to and deposited in the General Revenue Fund of the state, and there is hereby appropriated annually out of the General Revenue Fund, to be paid into the Florida Retirement System Fund, an amount necessary to pay the benefits of all justices and judges retired from the Florida Retirement System pursuant to Art. V of the State Constitution.
(5) TERMINATION BENEFITS.A member whose employment is terminated prior to retirement retains membership rights to previously earned member-noncontributory service credit, and to member-contributory service credit, if the member leaves the member contributions on deposit in his or her retirement account. If a terminated member receives a refund of member contributions, such member may reinstate membership rights to the previously earned service credit represented by the refund by completing 1 year of creditable service and repaying the refunded member contributions, plus interest.
(a) A member whose employment is terminated for any reason other than death or retirement before becoming vested is entitled to the return of his or her accumulated contributions as of the date of termination. Effective July 1, 2011, upon termination of employment from all participating employers for 3 calendar months as defined in s. 121.021(39)(c) for any reason other than retirement, a member may receive a refund of all contributions he or she has made to the pension plan, subject to the restrictions otherwise provided in this chapter. The refund may be received as a lump-sum payment, a rollover to a qualified plan, or a combination of these methods. Partial refunds are not permitted. The refund may not include any interest earnings on the contributions for a member of the pension plan. Employer contributions made on behalf of the member are not refundable. A member may not receive a refund of employee contributions if a pending or an approved qualified domestic relations order is filed against his or her retirement account. By obtaining a refund of contributions, a member waives all rights under the Florida Retirement System and the health insurance subsidy to the service credit represented by the refunded contributions, except the right to purchase his or her prior service credit in accordance with s. 121.081(2).
(b) A member whose employment is terminated for any reason other than death or retirement after becoming vested may elect to receive a deferred monthly benefit which shall begin to accrue on the first day of the month of normal or early retirement and shall be payable on the last day of that month and each month thereafter during his or her lifetime. The amount of monthly benefit shall be computed in the same manner as for a normal retirement benefit in accordance with subsection (1) or early retirement benefit in accordance with s. 121.021(30), but based on average monthly compensation and creditable service as of the date of termination.
(c) In lieu of the deferred monthly benefit provided in paragraph (b), the terminated member may elect to receive a lump-sum amount equal to his or her accumulated contributions as of the date of termination. Effective July 1, 2011, upon termination of employment from all participating employers for 3 calendar months as defined in s. 121.021(39)(c) for any reason other than retirement, a member may receive a refund of all contributions he or she has made to the pension plan, subject to the restrictions otherwise provided in this chapter. Partial refunds are not permitted. The refund may not include any interest earnings on the contributions for a member of the pension plan. Employer contributions made on behalf of the member are not refundable. A member may not receive a refund of employee contributions if a pending or an approved qualified domestic relations order is filed against his or her retirement account. By obtaining a refund of contributions, a member waives all rights under the Florida Retirement System and the health insurance subsidy to the service credit represented by the refunded contributions, except the right to purchase his or her prior service credit in accordance with s. 121.081(2).
(d) If any retired member dies without having received in benefit payments an amount equal to his or her accumulated contributions, there shall be payable to his or her designated beneficiary an amount equal to the excess, if any, of the member’s accumulated contributions over the total monthly payments made to the member prior to the date of death.
(e) A member shall be deemed a terminated member when termination of employment has occurred as provided in s. 121.021(39).
(f) Any member who has been found guilty by a verdict of a jury, or by the court trying the case without a jury, of committing, aiding, or abetting any embezzlement or theft from his or her employer, bribery in connection with the employment, or other felony specified in chapter 838, except ss. 838.15 and 838.16, committed prior to retirement, or who has entered a plea of guilty or of nolo contendere to such crime, or any member whose employment is terminated by reason of the member’s admitted commitment, aiding, or abetting of an embezzlement or theft from his or her employer, bribery, or other felony specified in chapter 838, except ss. 838.15 and 838.16, shall forfeit all rights and benefits under this chapter, except the return of his or her accumulated contributions as of the date of termination.
(g) Any elected official who is convicted by the Senate of an impeachable offense shall forfeit all rights and benefits under this chapter, except the return of his or her accumulated contributions as of the date of the conviction.
(h) Any member who, prior to retirement, is adjudged by a court of competent jurisdiction to have violated any state law against strikes by public employees, or who has been found guilty by such court of violating any state law prohibiting strikes by public employees, shall forfeit all rights and benefits under this chapter, except the return of his or her accumulated contributions as of the date of the conviction.
(i) The division may not pay benefits to any member convicted of a felony committed on or after October 1, 2008, defined in s. 800.04 against a victim younger than 16 years of age, or defined in chapter 794 against a victim younger than 18 years of age, through the use or attempted use of power, rights, privileges, duties, or position of the member’s public office or employment position. However, the division shall return the member’s accumulated contributions, if any, that the member accumulated as of the date of conviction.
(j) Any beneficiary who by a verdict of a jury or by the court trying the case without a jury is found guilty, or who has entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, of unlawfully and intentionally killing or procuring the death of the member forfeits all rights to the deceased member’s benefits under this chapter, and the benefits will be paid as if such beneficiary had predeceased the decedent.
(k) Benefits shall not be paid by the division pending final resolution of such charges against a member or beneficiary if the resolution of such charges could require the forfeiture of benefits as provided in paragraph (f), paragraph (g), paragraph (h), paragraph (i), or paragraph (j).
(6) OPTIONAL FORMS OF RETIREMENT BENEFITS AND DISABILITY RETIREMENT BENEFITS.
(a) Prior to the receipt of the first monthly retirement payment, a member shall elect to receive the retirement benefits to which he or she is entitled under subsection (1), subsection (2), subsection (3), or subsection (4) in accordance with one of the following options:
1. The maximum retirement benefit payable to the member during his or her lifetime.
2. A decreased retirement benefit payable to the member during his or her lifetime and, in the event of his or her death within a period of 10 years after retirement, the same monthly amount payable for the balance of such 10-year period to his or her beneficiary or, in case the beneficiary is deceased, in accordance with subsection (8) as though no beneficiary had been named.
3. A decreased retirement benefit payable during the joint lifetime of both the member and his or her joint annuitant and which, after the death of either, shall continue during the lifetime of the survivor in the same amount, subject to the provisions of subsection (12).
4. A decreased retirement benefit payable during the joint lifetime of the member and his or her joint annuitant and which, after the death of either, shall continue during the lifetime of the survivor in an amount equal to 662/3 percent of the amount that was payable during the joint lifetime of the member and his or her joint annuitant, subject to the provisions of subsection (12).

The spouse of any member who elects to receive the benefit provided under subparagraph 1. or subparagraph 2. shall be notified of and shall acknowledge any such election. The division shall establish by rule a method for selecting the appropriate actuarial factor for optional forms of benefits selected under subparagraphs 3. and 4., based on the age of the member and the joint annuitant.

(b) The benefit payable under any option stated above shall be the actuarial equivalent, based on tables adopted by the administrator for this purpose, of the amount to which the member was otherwise entitled.
(c) A member who elects the option in subparagraph (a)2. shall, in accordance with subsection (8), designate one or more persons to receive the benefits payable in the event of his or her death. Such persons shall be the beneficiaries of the member. The member may also designate one or more contingent beneficiaries to receive any benefits remaining upon the death of the primary beneficiary.
(d) A member who elects the option in subparagraph (a)3. or subparagraph (a)4. shall, on a form provided for that purpose, designate a joint annuitant to receive the benefits which continue to be payable upon the death of the member. After benefits have commenced under the option in subparagraph (a)3. or subparagraph (a)4., the following shall apply:
1. A retired member may change his or her designation of a joint annuitant only twice. If such a retired member desires to change his or her designation of a joint annuitant, he or she shall file with the division a notarized “change of joint annuitant” form and shall notify the former joint annuitant in writing of such change. Effective the first day of the next month following receipt by the division of a completed change of joint annuitant form, the division shall adjust the member’s monthly benefit by the application of actuarial tables and calculations developed to ensure that the benefit paid is the actuarial equivalent of the present value of the member’s current benefit. The consent of a retired member’s first designated joint annuitant to any such change shall not be required. However, if either the member or the joint annuitant dies before the effective date of the request for change of joint annuitant, the requested change shall be void, and survivor benefits, if any, shall be paid as if no request had been made.
2. In the event of the dissolution of marriage of a retired member and a joint annuitant, such member may make an election to nullify the joint annuitant designation of the former spouse, unless there is an existing qualified domestic relations order preventing such action. The member shall file with the division a written, notarized nullification which shall be effective on the first day of the next month following receipt by the division. Benefits shall be paid as if the former spouse predeceased the member. A member who makes such an election may not reverse the nullification but may designate a new joint annuitant in accordance with subparagraph 1.
(e) The election of an option shall be null and void if the member dies before the effective date of retirement.
(f) A member who elects to receive benefits under the option in subparagraph (a)3. may designate one or more qualified persons, either a spouse or other dependent, as his or her joint annuitant to receive the benefits after the member’s death in whatever proportion he or she so assigns to each person named as joint annuitant. The division shall adopt appropriate actuarial tables and calculations necessary to ensure that the benefit paid is the actuarial equivalent of the benefit to which the member is otherwise entitled under the option in subparagraph (a)1.
(g) Upon the death of a retired member or beneficiary receiving monthly benefits under this chapter, the monthly benefits shall be paid through the last day of the month of death and shall terminate, or be adjusted, if applicable, as of that date in accordance with the optional form of benefit selected at the time of retirement.
(h) The option selected or determined for payment of benefits as provided in this section shall be final and irrevocable at the time a benefit payment is cashed or deposited or credited to the Deferred Retirement Option Program as provided in subsection (13).
(7) DEATH BENEFITS.
(a) If the employment of a member is terminated by reason of his or her death prior to being vested, except as provided in paragraph (f), there shall be payable to his or her designated beneficiary the member’s accumulated contributions.
(b) If the employment of an active member who may or may not have applied for retirement is terminated by reason of his or her death subsequent to becoming vested and prior to his or her effective date of retirement, if established, it shall be assumed that the member retired as of the date of death in accordance with subsection (1) if eligible for normal retirement benefits, subsection (2) if eligible for benefits payable for dual normal retirement, or subsection (3) if eligible for early retirement benefits. Benefits payable to the designated beneficiary shall be as follows:
1. For a beneficiary who qualifies as a joint annuitant, the optional form of payment provided in accordance with subparagraph (6)(a)3. shall be paid for the joint annuitant’s lifetime.
2. For a beneficiary who does not qualify as a joint annuitant, no continuing monthly benefit shall be paid and the beneficiary shall be entitled only to the return of the member’s personal contributions. If there is no monetary interest in the member’s retirement account for which such beneficiary is eligible, the beneficiary shall be the next named beneficiary or, if no other beneficiary is named, the beneficiary shall be the next eligible beneficiary according to subsection (8).
(c) If a retiring member dies on or after the effective date of retirement, but prior to a benefit payment being cashed or deposited, or credited to the Deferred Retirement Option Program, benefits shall be paid as follows:
1. For a designated beneficiary who qualifies as a joint annuitant, benefits shall be paid in the optional form of payment provided in subparagraph (6)(a)3. for the joint annuitant’s lifetime or, if the member chose the optional form of payment provided in subparagraph (6)(a)2., the joint annuitant may select the form provided in either subparagraph (6)(a)2. or subparagraph (6)(a)3.
2. For a designated beneficiary who does not qualify as a joint annuitant, any benefits payable shall be paid as provided in the option selected by the member; or if the member has not selected an option, benefits shall be paid in the optional form of payment provided in subparagraph (6)(a)1.
(d) Notwithstanding any other provision in this chapter to the contrary, with the exception of the Deferred Retirement Option Program, as provided in subsection (13):
1. The surviving spouse of any member killed in the line of duty may receive a monthly pension equal to one-half of the monthly salary being received by the member at the time of death for the rest of the surviving spouse’s lifetime or, if the member was vested, such surviving spouse may elect to receive a benefit as provided in paragraph (b). Benefits provided by this paragraph shall supersede any other distribution that may have been provided by the member’s designation of beneficiary.
2. If the surviving spouse of a member killed in the line of duty dies, the monthly payments that would have been payable to such surviving spouse had such surviving spouse lived shall be paid for the use and benefit of such member’s child or children under 18 years of age and unmarried until the 18th birthday of the member’s youngest child. Beginning July 1, 2016, such payments may be extended, for the surviving child of a member in the Special Risk Class at the time he or she was killed in the line of duty on or after July 1, 2013, until the 25th birthday of any child of the member if the child is unmarried and enrolled as a full-time student.
3. If a member killed in the line of duty leaves no surviving spouse but is survived by a child or children under 18 years of age, the benefits provided by subparagraph 1., normally payable to a surviving spouse, shall be paid for the use and benefit of such member’s child or children under 18 years of age and unmarried until the 18th birthday of the member’s youngest child. Beginning July 1, 2016, such monthly payments may be extended, for the surviving child of a member in the Special Risk Class at the time he or she was killed in the line of duty on or after July 1, 2013, until the 25th birthday of any child of the member if the child is unmarried and enrolled as a full-time student.
4. The surviving spouse of a member whose benefit terminated because of remarriage shall have the benefit reinstated beginning July 1, 1993, at an amount that would have been payable had the benefit not been terminated.
(e) The surviving spouse or other dependent of any member, except a member who participated in the Deferred Retirement Option Program, whose employment is terminated by death shall, upon application to the administrator, be permitted to pay the required contributions for any service performed by the member which could have been claimed by the member at the time of his or her death. Such service shall be added to the creditable service of the member and shall be used in the calculation of any benefits which may be payable to the surviving spouse or other surviving dependent.
(f) Notwithstanding any other provisions in this chapter to the contrary and upon application to the administrator, an eligible joint annuitant, of a member whose employment is terminated by death within 1 year of such member satisfying the service requirements for vesting and retirement eligibility, shall be permitted to purchase only the additional service credit necessary to vest and qualify for retirement benefits, not to exceed a total of 1 year of credit, by one or a combination of the following methods:
1. Such eligible joint annuitant may use the deceased member’s accumulated hours of annual, sick, and compensatory leave to purchase additional creditable service, on an hour by hour basis, provided that such deceased member’s accumulated leave is sufficient to cover the additional months required. For each month of service credit needed prior to the final month, credit for the total number of work hours in that month must be purchased, using an equal number of the deceased member’s accumulated leave hours. Service credit required for the final month in which the deceased member would have become vested shall be awarded upon the purchase of 1 hour of credit. Such eligible joint annuitant shall pay the contribution rate in effect for the period of time being claimed for the deceased member’s class of membership, multiplied by such member’s monthly salary at the time of death, plus 6.5 percent interest compounded annually. The accumulated leave payment used in the average final compensation shall not include that portion of the payment that represents any leave hours used in the purchase of such creditable service.
2. Such eligible joint annuitant may purchase additional months of creditable service for any periods of out-of-state service as provided in s. 121.1115, and in-state service as provided in s. 121.1122, that the deceased member would have been eligible to purchase prior to his or her death.

Service purchased under this paragraph shall be added to the creditable service of the member and used to vest for retirement eligibility, and shall be used in the calculation of any benefits which may be payable to the eligible joint annuitant. Any benefits paid in accordance with this paragraph shall only be made prospectively.

(g) Notwithstanding any other provisions in this chapter to the contrary, if any member who is vested dies and the surviving spouse receives a refund of the accumulated contributions made to the retirement trust fund, such spouse may pay to the Division of Retirement an amount equal to the sum of the amount of the deceased member’s accumulated contributions previously refunded plus interest at 4 percent compounded annually each June 30 from the date of refund until July 1, 1975, and 6.5 percent interest compounded annually thereafter, until full payment is made, and receive the monthly retirement benefit as provided in paragraph (b).
(h) The designated beneficiary who is the surviving spouse or other dependent of a member whose employment is terminated by death subsequent to becoming vested, but prior to actual retirement, may elect to receive a deferred monthly benefit as if the member had lived and had elected a deferred monthly benefit, as provided in paragraph (5)(b), calculated on the basis of the average final compensation and creditable service of the member at his or her death and the age the member would have attained on the commencement date of the deferred benefit elected by the beneficiary, paid in accordance with option 3 of paragraph (6)(a).
(i) Effective July 1, 2016, and notwithstanding any provision in this chapter to the contrary, if a member in the Special Risk Class, other than a participant in the Deferred Retirement Option Program under subsection (13), is killed in the line of duty on or after July 1, 2013, the following benefits are payable in addition to the benefits provided in paragraph (d):
1. The surviving spouse may receive a monthly pension equal to one-half of the monthly salary being received by the member at the time of the member’s death for the rest of the surviving spouse’s lifetime or, if the member was vested, such surviving spouse may elect to receive a benefit as provided in paragraph (b). Benefits provided by this paragraph supersede any other distribution that may have been provided by the member’s designation of beneficiary.
2. If the surviving spouse dies, the monthly payments that otherwise would have been payable to such surviving spouse shall be paid for the use and benefit of the member’s child or children under 18 years of age and unmarried until the 18th birthday of the member’s youngest child. Such monthly payments may be extended until the 25th birthday of the member’s child if the child is unmarried and enrolled as a full-time student.
3. If the member leaves no surviving spouse but is survived by a child or children under 18 years of age, the benefits provided by subparagraph 1., normally payable to a surviving spouse, shall be paid for the use and benefit of such member’s child or children under 18 years of age and unmarried until the 18th birthday of the member’s youngest child. Such monthly payments may be extended until the 25th birthday of any of the member’s children if the child is unmarried and enrolled as a full-time student.
(8) DESIGNATION OF BENEFICIARIES.
(a) Each member may, on a form provided for that purpose, signed and filed with the division, designate a choice of one or more persons, named sequentially or jointly, as his or her beneficiary who shall receive the benefits, if any, which may be payable in the event of the member’s death pursuant to the provisions of this chapter. If no beneficiary is named in the manner provided above, or if no beneficiary designated by the member survives the member, the beneficiary shall be the spouse of the deceased, if living. If the member’s spouse is not alive at his or her death, the beneficiary shall be the living children of the member. If no children survive, the beneficiary shall be the member’s father or mother, if living; otherwise, the beneficiary shall be the member’s estate. The beneficiary most recently designated by a member on a form or letter filed with the division shall be the beneficiary entitled to any benefits payable at the time of the member’s death, except that benefits shall be paid as provided in paragraph (7)(d) when death occurs in the line of duty. Notwithstanding any other provisions in this subsection to the contrary, for a member who dies prior to his or her effective date of retirement on or after January 1, 1999, the spouse at the time of death shall be the member’s beneficiary unless such member designates a different beneficiary as provided herein subsequent to the member’s most recent marriage.
(b) A designated beneficiary of a retirement account for whom there is a monetary interest may disclaim his or her monetary interest as provided in chapter 739 and in accordance with division rules governing such disclaimers. Such disclaimer must be filed within 24 months after the event that created the interest, that is, the death of the member or annuitant.
(c) Notwithstanding the member’s designation of benefits to be paid through a trust to a beneficiary that is a natural person as provided in s. 121.021(46), and notwithstanding the provisions of the trust, benefits shall be paid directly to the beneficiary if the person is no longer a minor or an incapacitated person as defined in s. 744.102.
1(9) EMPLOYMENT AFTER RETIREMENT; LIMITATION.
(a) Any person who is retired under this chapter, except under the disability retirement provisions of subsection (4), may be employed by an employer that does not participate in a state-administered retirement system and receive compensation from that employment without limiting or restricting in any way the retirement benefits payable to that person.
(b) Any person whose retirement is effective before July 1, 2010, or whose participation in the Deferred Retirement Option Program terminates before July 1, 2010, except under the disability retirement provisions of subsection (4) or as provided in s. 121.053, may be reemployed by an employer that participates in a state-administered retirement system and receive retirement benefits and compensation from that employer, except that the person may not be reemployed by an employer participating in the Florida Retirement System before meeting the definition of termination in s. 121.021 and may not receive both a salary from the employer and retirement benefits for 12 calendar months immediately subsequent to the date of retirement. However, a DROP participant shall continue employment and receive a salary during the period of participation in the Deferred Retirement Option Program, as provided in subsection (13).
1. A retiree who violates such reemployment limitation before completion of the 12-month limitation period must give timely notice of this fact in writing to the employer and to the Division of Retirement or the state board and shall have his or her retirement benefits suspended for the months employed or the balance of the 12-month limitation period as required in sub-subparagraphs b. and c. A retiree employed in violation of this paragraph and an employer who employs or appoints such person are jointly and severally liable for reimbursement to the retirement trust fund, including the Florida Retirement System Trust Fund and the Public Employee Optional Retirement Program Trust Fund, from which the benefits were paid. The employer must have a written statement from the retiree that he or she is not retired from a state-administered retirement system. Retirement benefits shall remain suspended until repayment has been made. Benefits suspended beyond the reemployment limitation shall apply toward repayment of benefits received in violation of the reemployment limitation.
a. A district school board may reemploy a retiree as a substitute or hourly teacher, education paraprofessional, transportation assistant, bus driver, or food service worker on a noncontractual basis after he or she has been retired for 1 calendar month. A district school board may reemploy a retiree as instructional personnel, as defined in s. 1012.01(2)(a), on an annual contractual basis after he or she has been retired for 1 calendar month. Any member who is reemployed within 1 calendar month after retirement shall void his or her application for retirement benefits. District school boards reemploying such teachers, education paraprofessionals, transportation assistants, bus drivers, or food service workers are subject to the retirement contribution required by subparagraph 2.
b. A Florida College System institution board of trustees may reemploy a retiree as an adjunct instructor or as a participant in a phased retirement program within the Florida College System, after he or she has been retired for 1 calendar month. A member who is reemployed within 1 calendar month after retirement shall void his or her application for retirement benefits. Boards of trustees reemploying such instructors are subject to the retirement contribution required in subparagraph 2. A retiree may be reemployed as an adjunct instructor for no more than 780 hours during the first 12 months of retirement. A retiree reemployed for more than 780 hours during the first 12 months of retirement must give timely notice in writing to the employer and to the Division of Retirement or the state board of the date he or she will exceed the limitation. The division shall suspend his or her retirement benefits for the remainder of the 12 months of retirement. Any retiree employed in violation of this sub-subparagraph and any employer who employs or appoints such person without notifying the division to suspend retirement benefits are jointly and severally liable for any benefits paid during the reemployment limitation period. The employer must have a written statement from the retiree that he or she is not retired from a state-administered retirement system. Any retirement benefits received by the retiree while reemployed in excess of 780 hours during the first 12 months of retirement must be repaid to the Florida Retirement System Trust Fund, and retirement benefits shall remain suspended until repayment is made. Benefits suspended beyond the end of the retiree’s first 12 months of retirement shall apply toward repayment of benefits received in violation of the 780-hour reemployment limitation.
c. The State University System may reemploy a retiree as an adjunct faculty member or as a participant in a phased retirement program within the State University System after the retiree has been retired for 1 calendar month. A member who is reemployed within 1 calendar month after retirement shall void his or her application for retirement benefits. The State University System is subject to the retired contribution required in subparagraph 2., as appropriate. A retiree may be reemployed as an adjunct faculty member or a participant in a phased retirement program for no more than 780 hours during the first 12 months of his or her retirement. A retiree reemployed for more than 780 hours during the first 12 months of retirement must give timely notice in writing to the employer and to the Division of Retirement or the state board of the date he or she will exceed the limitation. The division shall suspend his or her retirement benefits for the remainder of the 12 months. Any retiree employed in violation of this sub-subparagraph and any employer who employs or appoints such person without notifying the division to suspend retirement benefits are jointly and severally liable for any benefits paid during the reemployment limitation period. The employer must have a written statement from the retiree that he or she is not retired from a state-administered retirement system. Any retirement benefits received by the retiree while reemployed in excess of 780 hours during the first 12 months of retirement must be repaid to the Florida Retirement System Trust Fund, and retirement benefits shall remain suspended until repayment is made. Benefits suspended beyond the end of the retiree’s first 12 months of retirement shall apply toward repayment of benefits received in violation of the 780-hour reemployment limitation.
d. The Board of Trustees of the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind may reemploy a retiree as a substitute teacher, substitute residential instructor, or substitute nurse on a noncontractual basis after he or she has been retired for 1 calendar month. Any member who is reemployed within 1 calendar month after retirement shall void his or her application for retirement benefits. The Board of Trustees of the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind reemploying such teachers, residential instructors, or nurses is subject to the retirement contribution required by subparagraph 2.
e. A developmental research school may reemploy a retiree as a substitute or hourly teacher or an education paraprofessional as defined in s. 1012.01(2) on a noncontractual basis after he or she has been retired for 1 calendar month. A developmental research school may reemploy a retiree as instructional personnel, as defined in s. 1012.01(2)(a), on an annual contractual basis after he or she has been retired for 1 calendar month after retirement. Any member who is reemployed within 1 calendar month voids his or her application for retirement benefits. A developmental research school that reemploys retired teachers and education paraprofessionals is subject to the retirement contribution required by subparagraph 2.
f. A charter school may reemploy a retiree as a substitute or hourly teacher on a noncontractual basis after he or she has been retired for 1 calendar month. A charter school may reemploy a retired member as instructional personnel, as defined in s. 1012.01(2)(a), on an annual contractual basis after he or she has been retired for 1 calendar month after retirement. Any member who is reemployed within 1 calendar month voids his or her application for retirement benefits. A charter school that reemploys such teachers is subject to the retirement contribution required by subparagraph 2.
2. The employment of a retiree or DROP participant of a state-administered retirement system does not affect the average final compensation or years of creditable service of the retiree or DROP participant. Before July 1, 1991, upon employment of any person, other than an elected officer as provided in s. 121.053, who is retired under a state-administered retirement program, the employer shall pay retirement contributions in an amount equal to the unfunded actuarial liability portion of the employer contribution which would be required for regular members of the Florida Retirement System. Effective July 1, 1991, contributions shall be made as provided in s. 121.122 for retirees who have renewed membership or, as provided in subsection (13), for DROP participants.
3. Any person who is holding an elective public office which is covered by the Florida Retirement System and who is concurrently employed in nonelected covered employment may elect to retire while continuing employment in the elective public office if he or she terminates his or her nonelected covered employment. Such person shall receive his or her retirement benefits in addition to the compensation of the elective office without regard to the time limitations otherwise provided in this subsection. A person who seeks to exercise the provisions of this subparagraph as they existed before May 3, 1984, may not be deemed to be retired under those provisions, unless such person is eligible to retire under this subparagraph, as amended by chapter 84-11, Laws of Florida.
(c) Any person whose retirement is effective on or after July 1, 2010, or whose participation in the Deferred Retirement Option Program terminates on or after July 1, 2010, who is retired under this chapter, except under the disability retirement provisions of subsection (4) or as provided in s. 121.053, may be reemployed by an employer that participates in a state-administered retirement system and receive retirement benefits and compensation from that employer. However, a person may not be reemployed by an employer participating in the Florida Retirement System before meeting the definition of termination in s. 121.021 and may not receive both a salary from the employer and retirement benefits for 6 calendar months after meeting the definition of termination. However, a DROP participant shall continue employment and receive a salary during the period of participation in the Deferred Retirement Option Program, as provided in subsection (13).
1. The reemployed retiree may not renew membership in the Florida Retirement System.
2. The employer shall pay retirement contributions in an amount equal to the unfunded actuarial liability portion of the employer contribution that would be required for active members of the Florida Retirement System in addition to the contributions required by s. 121.76.
3. A retiree initially reemployed in violation of this paragraph and an employer that employs or appoints such person are jointly and severally liable for reimbursement of any retirement benefits paid to the retirement trust fund from which the benefits were paid, including the Florida Retirement System Trust Fund and the Public Employee Optional Retirement Program Trust Fund, as appropriate. The employer must have a written statement from the employee that he or she is not retired from a state-administered retirement system. Retirement benefits shall remain suspended until repayment is made. Benefits suspended beyond the end of the retiree’s 6-month reemployment limitation period shall apply toward the repayment of benefits received in violation of this paragraph.
(d) This subsection applies to retirees, as defined in s. 121.4501(2), of the Florida Retirement System Investment Plan, subject to the following conditions:
1. A retiree may not be reemployed with an employer participating in the Florida Retirement System until such person has been retired for 6 calendar months.
2. A retiree employed in violation of this subsection and an employer that employs or appoints such person are jointly and severally liable for reimbursement of any benefits paid to the retirement trust fund from which the benefits were paid. The employer must have a written statement from the retiree that he or she is not retired from a state-administered retirement system.
(e) The limitations of this subsection apply to reemployment in any capacity irrespective of the category of funds from which the person is compensated.
(10) FUTURE BENEFITS BASED ON ACTUARIAL DATA.It is the intent of the Legislature that future benefit increases enacted into law in this chapter shall be financed concurrently by increased contributions or other adequate funding, and such funding shall be based on sound actuarial data as developed by the actuary or state retirement actuary, as provided in ss. 121.021(6) and 121.192.
(11) A member who becomes eligible to retire and has accumulated the maximum benefit of 100 percent of average final compensation may continue in active service, and, if upon the member’s retirement the member elects to receive a retirement compensation pursuant to subsection (2), subsection (6), or subsection (7), the actuarial equivalent percentage factor applicable to the age of such member at the time the member reached the maximum benefit and to the age, at that time, of the member’s spouse shall determine the amount of benefits to be paid.
(12) SPECIAL PROVISIONS FOR PAYMENT OF CERTAIN SURVIVOR BENEFITS.Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter to the contrary, for members with an effective date of retirement, or date of death if prior to retirement, on or after January 1, 1996, the named joint annuitant, as defined in s. 121.021(28)(b), who is eligible to receive benefits under subparagraph (6)(a)3. or subparagraph (6)(a)4., shall receive the maximum monthly retirement benefit that would have been payable to the member under subparagraph (6)(a)1.; however, payment of such benefit shall cease the month the joint annuitant attains age 25 unless such joint annuitant is disabled and incapable of self-support, in which case, benefits shall cease when the joint annuitant is no longer disabled. The administrator may require proof of disability or continued disability in the same manner as is provided for a member seeking or receiving a disability retirement benefit under subsection (4).
2(13) DEFERRED RETIREMENT OPTION PROGRAM.In general, and subject to this section, the Deferred Retirement Option Program, hereinafter referred to as DROP, is a program under which an eligible member of the Florida Retirement System may elect to participate, deferring receipt of retirement benefits while continuing employment with his or her Florida Retirement System employer. The deferred monthly benefits shall accrue in the Florida Retirement System on behalf of the member, plus interest compounded monthly, for the specified period of the DROP participation, as provided in paragraph (c). Upon termination of employment, the member shall receive the total DROP benefits and begin to receive the previously determined normal retirement benefits. Participation in the DROP does not guarantee employment for the specified period of DROP. Participation in DROP by an eligible member beyond the initial 60-month period as authorized in this subsection shall be on an annual contractual basis for all participants.
(a) Eligibility of member to participate in DROP.All active Florida Retirement System members in a regularly established position, and all active members of the Teachers’ Retirement System established in chapter 238 or the State and County Officers’ and Employees’ Retirement System established in chapter 122, which are consolidated within the Florida Retirement System under s. 121.011, are eligible to elect participation in DROP if:
1. The member is not a renewed member under s. 121.122 or a member of the State Community College System Optional Retirement Program under s. 121.051, the Senior Management Service Optional Annuity Program under s. 121.055, or the optional retirement program for the State University System under s. 121.35.
2. Except as provided in subparagraph 6., for members initially enrolled before July 1, 2011, election to participate is made within 12 months immediately following the date on which the member first reaches normal retirement date, or, for a member who reaches normal retirement date based on service before he or she reaches age 62, or age 55 for Special Risk Class members, election to participate may be deferred to the 12 months immediately following the date the member attains age 57, or age 52 for Special Risk Class members. Except as provided in subparagraph 6., for members initially enrolled on or after July 1, 2011, election to participate is made within 12 months immediately following the date on which the member first reaches normal retirement date, or, for a member who reaches normal retirement date based on service before he or she reaches age 65, or age 60 for Special Risk Class members, election to participate may be deferred to the 12 months immediately following the date the member attains age 60, or age 55 for Special Risk Class members. A member who delays DROP participation during the 12-month period immediately following his or her maximum DROP deferral date, except as provided in subparagraph 6., loses a month of DROP participation for each month delayed. A member who fails to make an election within the 12-month limitation period forfeits all rights to participate in DROP. The member shall advise his or her employer and the division in writing of the date DROP begins. The beginning date may be subsequent to the 12-month election period but must be within the original 60-month participation period provided in subparagraph (b)1. When establishing eligibility to participate in DROP, the member may elect to include or exclude any optional service credit purchased by the member from the total service used to establish the normal retirement date. A member who has dual normal retirement dates is eligible to elect to participate in DROP after attaining normal retirement date in either class.
3. The employer of a member electing to participate in DROP, or employers if dually employed, shall acknowledge in writing to the division the date the member’s participation in DROP begins and the date the member’s employment and DROP participation terminates.
4. Simultaneous employment of a member by additional Florida Retirement System employers subsequent to the commencement of a member’s participation in DROP is permissible if such employers acknowledge in writing a DROP termination date no later than the member’s existing termination date or the maximum participation period provided in subparagraph (b)1.
5. A member may change employers while participating in DROP, subject to the following:
a. A change of employment takes place without a break in service so that the member receives salary for each month of continuous DROP participation. If a member receives no salary during a month, DROP participation ceases unless the employer verifies a continuation of the employment relationship for such member pursuant to s. 121.021(39)(b).
b. The member and new employer notify the division of the identity of the new employer on forms required by the division.
c. The new employer acknowledges, in writing, the member’s DROP termination date, which may be extended but not beyond the maximum participation period provided in subparagraph (b)1., acknowledges liability for any additional retirement contributions and interest required if the member fails to timely terminate employment, and is subject to the adjustment required in sub-subparagraph (c)5.d.
6. Effective July 1, 2001, for instructional personnel as defined in s. 1012.01(2), election to participate in DROP may be made at any time following the date on which the member first reaches normal retirement date. The member shall advise his or her employer and the division in writing of the date on which DROP begins. When establishing eligibility of the member to participate in DROP for the 60-month participation period provided in subparagraph (b)1., the member may elect to include or exclude any optional service credit purchased by the member from the total service used to establish the normal retirement date. A member who has dual normal retirement dates is eligible to elect to participate in either class.
(b) Participation in DROP.
1. An eligible member may elect to participate in DROP for a period not to exceed a maximum of 60 calendar months. However, members who are instructional personnel employed by the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind and authorized by the Board of Trustees of the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, who are instructional personnel as defined in s. 1012.01(2)(a)-(d) in grades K-12 and authorized by the district school superintendent, or who are instructional personnel as defined in s. 1012.01(2)(a) employed by a developmental research school and authorized by the school’s director, or if the school has no director, by the school’s principal, may participate in DROP for up to 36 calendar months beyond the 60-month period.
2. Upon deciding to participate in DROP, the member shall submit, on forms required by the division:
a. A written election to participate in DROP;
b. Selection of DROP participation and termination dates that satisfy the limitations stated in paragraph (a) and subparagraph 1. The termination date must be in a binding letter of resignation to the employer establishing a deferred termination date. The member may change the termination date within the limitations of subparagraph 1., but only with the written approval of the employer;
c. A properly completed DROP application for service retirement as provided in this section; and
d. Any other information required by the division.
3. The DROP participant is a retiree under the Florida Retirement System for all purposes, except for paragraph (5)(f) and subsection (9) and ss. 112.3173, 112.363, 121.053, and 121.122. DROP participation is final and may not be canceled by the participant after the first payment is credited during the DROP participation period. However, participation in DROP does not alter the participant’s employment status, and the member is not deemed retired from employment until his or her deferred resignation is effective and termination occurs as defined in s. 121.021.
4. Elected officers are eligible to participate in DROP subject to the following:
a. An elected officer who reaches normal retirement date during a term of office may defer the election to participate until the next succeeding term in that office. An elected officer who exercises this option may participate in DROP for up to 60 calendar months or no longer than the succeeding term of office, whichever is less.
b. An elected or a nonelected participant may run for a term of office while participating in DROP and, if elected, extend the DROP termination date accordingly; however, if such additional term of office exceeds the 60-month limitation established in subparagraph 1., and the officer does not resign from office within such 60-month limitation, the retirement and the participant’s DROP is null and void as provided in sub-subparagraph (c)5.d.
c. An elected officer who is dually employed and elects to participate in DROP must terminate all employment relationships as provided in s. 121.021(39) for the nonelected position within the original 60-month period or maximum participation period as provided in subparagraph 1. For DROP participation ending:
(I) Before July 1, 2010, the officer may continue employment as an elected officer as provided in s. 121.053. The elected officer shall be enrolled as a renewed member in the Elected Officers’ Class or the Regular Class, as provided in ss. 121.053 and 121.122, on the first day of the month after termination of employment in the nonelected position and termination of DROP. Distribution of the DROP benefits shall be made as provided in paragraph (c).
(II) On or after July 1, 2010, the officer may continue employment as an elected officer but must defer termination as provided in s. 121.053.
(c) Benefits payable under DROP.
1. Effective on the date of DROP participation, the member’s initial normal monthly benefit, including creditable service, optional form of payment, and average final compensation, and the effective date of retirement are fixed. The beneficiary established under the Florida Retirement System is the beneficiary eligible to receive any DROP benefits payable if the DROP participant dies before completing the period of DROP participation. If a joint annuitant predeceases the member, the member may name a beneficiary to receive accumulated DROP benefits payable. The retirement benefit, the annual cost of living adjustments provided in s. 121.101, and interest accrue monthly in the Florida Retirement System Trust Fund. For members whose DROP participation begins:
a. Before July 1, 2011, the interest accrues at an effective annual rate of 6.5 percent compounded monthly, on the prior month’s accumulated ending balance, up to the month of termination or death, except as provided in s. 121.053(7).
b. On or after July 1, 2011, the interest accrues at an effective annual rate of 1.3 percent, compounded monthly, on the prior month’s accumulated ending balance, up to the month of termination or death, except as provided in s. 121.053(7).
2. Each employee who elects to participate in DROP may elect to receive a lump-sum payment for accrued annual leave earned in accordance with agency policy upon beginning participation in DROP. The accumulated leave payment certified to the division upon commencement of DROP shall be included in the calculation of the member’s average final compensation. The employee electing the lump-sum payment is not eligible to receive a second lump-sum payment upon termination, except to the extent the employee has earned additional annual leave which, combined with the original payment, does not exceed the maximum lump-sum payment allowed by the employing agency’s policy or rules. An early lump-sum payment shall be based on the hourly wage of the employee at the time he or she begins participation in DROP. If the member elects to wait and receive a lump-sum payment upon termination of DROP and termination of employment with the employer, any accumulated leave payment made at that time may not be included in the member’s retirement benefit, which was determined and fixed by law when the employee elected to participate in DROP.
3. The effective date of DROP participation and the effective date of retirement of a DROP participant shall be the first day of the month selected by the member to begin participation in DROP, provided such date is properly established, with the written confirmation of the employer, and the approval of the division, on forms required by the division.
4. Normal retirement benefits and any interest continue to accrue in DROP until the established termination date of DROP or until the member terminates employment or dies before such date, except as provided in s. 121.053(7). Although individual DROP accounts may not be established, a separate accounting of each member’s accrued benefits under DROP shall be calculated and provided to the member.
5. At the conclusion of the member’s participation in DROP, the division shall distribute the member’s total accumulated DROP benefits, subject to the following:
a. The division shall receive verification by the member’s employer or employers that the member has terminated all employment relationships as provided in s. 121.021(39).
b. The terminated DROP participant or, if deceased, the member’s named beneficiary, shall elect on forms provided by the division to receive payment of the DROP benefits in accordance with one of the options listed below. If a member or beneficiary fails to elect a method of payment within 60 days after termination of DROP, the division shall pay a lump sum as provided in sub-sub-subparagraph (I).
(I) Lump sum.All accrued DROP benefits, plus interest, less withholding taxes remitted to the Internal Revenue Service, shall be paid to the DROP participant or surviving beneficiary.
(II) Direct rollover.All accrued DROP benefits, plus interest, shall be paid from DROP directly to the custodian of an eligible retirement plan as defined in s. 402(c)(8)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code. However, in the case of an eligible rollover distribution to the surviving spouse of a deceased member, an eligible retirement plan is an individual retirement account or an individual retirement annuity as described in s. 402(c)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code.
(III) Partial lump sum.A portion of the accrued DROP benefits shall be paid to DROP participant or surviving spouse, less withholding taxes remitted to the Internal Revenue Service, and the remaining DROP benefits must be transferred directly to the custodian of an eligible retirement plan as defined in s. 402(c)(8)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code. However, in the case of an eligible rollover distribution to the surviving spouse of a deceased member, an eligible retirement plan is an individual retirement account or an individual retirement annuity as described in s. 402(c)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code. The proportions must be specified by the DROP participant or surviving beneficiary.
c. The form of payment selected by the DROP participant or surviving beneficiary must comply with the minimum distribution requirements of the Internal Revenue Code.
d. A DROP participant who fails to terminate all employment relationships as provided in s. 121.021(39) shall be deemed as not retired, and the DROP election is null and void. Florida Retirement System membership shall be reestablished retroactively to the date of the commencement of DROP, and each employer with whom the member continues employment must pay to the Florida Retirement System Trust Fund the difference between the DROP contributions paid in paragraph (i) and the contributions required for the applicable Florida Retirement System class of membership during the period the member participated in DROP, plus 6.5 percent interest compounded annually.
6. The retirement benefits of any DROP participant who terminates all employment relationships as provided in s. 121.021(39) but is reemployed in violation of the reemployment provisions of subsection (9) are suspended during those months in which the retiree is in violation. Any retiree in violation of this subparagraph and any employer that employs or appoints such person without notifying the division to suspend retirement benefits are jointly and severally liable for any benefits paid during the reemployment limitation period. The employer must have a written statement from the retiree that he or she is not retired from a state-administered retirement system. Any retirement benefits received by a retiree while employed in violation of the reemployment limitations must be repaid to the Florida Retirement System Trust Fund, and his or her retirement benefits shall remain suspended until payment is made. Benefits suspended beyond the end of the reemployment limitation period apply toward repayment of benefits received in violation of the reemployment limitation.
7. The accrued benefits of any DROP participant, and any contributions accumulated under the program, are not subject to assignment, execution, attachment, or any legal process except for qualified domestic relations court orders, income deduction orders as provided in s. 61.1301, and federal income tax levies.
8. DROP participants are not eligible for disability retirement benefits as provided in subsection (4).
(d) Death benefits under DROP.
1. Upon the death of a DROP participant, the named beneficiary is entitled to apply for and receive the accrued benefits in DROP as provided in sub-subparagraph (c)5.b.
2. The normal retirement benefit accrued to DROP during the month of a participant’s death is the final monthly benefit credited for such DROP participant.
3. Eligibility to participate in DROP terminates upon death of the participant. If the participant dies on or after the effective date of enrollment in DROP, but before the first monthly benefit is credited to DROP, Florida Retirement System benefits are paid in accordance with subparagraph (7)(c)1. or subparagraph 2.
4. A DROP participant’s survivors are not eligible to receive Florida Retirement System death benefits as provided in paragraph (7)(d).
(e) Cost-of-living adjustment.On each July 1, the participant’s normal retirement benefit shall be increased as provided in s. 121.101.
(f) Retiree health insurance subsidy.DROP participants are not eligible to apply for the retiree health insurance subsidy payments as provided in s. 112.363 until such participants have terminated employment and participation in DROP.
(g) Renewed membership.DROP participants are not eligible for renewed membership in the Florida Retirement System under ss. 121.053 and 121.122 until all employment relationships are terminated as provided in s. 121.021(39).
(h) Employment limitation after DROP participation.Upon termination as defined in s. 121.021, DROP participants are subject to the same reemployment limitations as other retirees. Reemployment restrictions applicable to retirees as provided in subsection (9) do not apply to DROP participants until their employment and participation in DROP are terminated.
(i) Contributions.
1. All employers paying the salary of a DROP participant filling a regularly established position shall contribute 8.0 percent of such participant’s gross compensation for the period of July 1, 2002, through June 30, 2003, and the percentage of such compensation required by s. 121.71 thereafter, which shall constitute the entire employer DROP contribution with respect to such participant. Such contributions, payable to the Florida Retirement System Trust Fund in the same manner as required in s. 121.071, must be made as appropriate for each pay period and are in addition to contributions required for social security and the Retiree Health Insurance Subsidy Trust Fund. Such employer, social security, and health insurance subsidy contributions are not included in DROP.
2. The employer shall, in addition to subparagraph 1., also withhold one-half of the entire social security contribution required for the participant. Contributions for social security by each participant and each employer, in the amount required for social security coverage as provided by the federal Social Security Act, are in addition to contributions specified in subparagraph 1.
3. All employers paying the salary of a DROP participant filling a regularly established position shall contribute the percent of such participant’s gross compensation required in s. 121.071(4), which constitutes the employer’s health insurance subsidy contribution with respect to such participant. Such contributions must be deposited by the administrator in the Retiree Health Insurance Subsidy Trust Fund.
(j) Forfeiture of retirement benefits.This section does not remove DROP participants from the scope of s. 8(d), Art. II of the State Constitution, s. 112.3173, and paragraph (5)(f). DROP participants who commit a specified felony offense while employed are subject to forfeiture of all retirement benefits, including DROP benefits, pursuant to those provisions of law.
(k) Administration of program.The division shall adopt rules as necessary for the effective and efficient administration of this subsection. The division is not required to advise members of the federal tax consequences of an election related to the DROP but may advise members to seek independent advice.
(14) PAYMENT OF BENEFITS.This subsection applies to the payment of benefits to a payee (retiree or beneficiary) under the Florida Retirement System:
(a) Federal income tax shall be withheld in accordance with federal law, unless the payee elects otherwise on Form W-4P. The division shall prepare and distribute to each recipient of monthly retirement benefits an appropriate income tax form that reflects the recipient’s income and federal income tax withheld for the calendar year just ended.
(b) Subject to approval by the division in accordance with rule 60S-4.015, Florida Administrative Code, a payee receiving retirement benefits under the system may also have the following payments deducted from his or her monthly benefit:
1. Premiums for life and health-related insurance policies from approved companies.
2. Life insurance premiums for the State Group Life Insurance Plan, if authorized in writing by the payee and by the department.
3. Repayment of overpayments from the Florida Retirement System Trust Fund, the State Employees’ Health Insurance Trust Fund, or the State Employees’ Life Insurance Trust Fund, upon notification of the payee.
4. Payments to an alternate payee for alimony or child support pursuant to an income deduction order under s. 61.1301, or division of marital assets pursuant to a qualified domestic relations order under s. 222.21.
5. Payments to the Internal Revenue Service for federal income tax levies, upon notification of the division by the Internal Revenue Service.
(c) A payee must notify the division of any change in his or her address. The division may suspend benefit payments to a payee if correspondence sent to the payee’s mailing address is returned due to an incorrect address. Benefit payments shall be resumed upon notification to the division of the payee’s new address.
(d) A payee whose retirement benefits are reduced by the application of maximum benefit limits under s. 415(b) of the Internal Revenue Code, as specified in s. 121.30(5), shall have the portion of his or her calculated benefit in the Florida Retirement System Pension Plan which exceeds such federal limitation paid through the Florida Retirement System Preservation of Benefits Plan, as provided in s. 121.1001.
(e) The Division of Retirement may issue retirement benefits payable for division of marital assets pursuant to a qualified domestic relations order directly to the alternate payee, any court order to the contrary notwithstanding, in order to meet Internal Revenue Code requirements.
(f) A benefit may not be reduced for the purpose of preserving the member’s eligibility for a federal program.
(g) The division shall adopt rules establishing procedures for determining that persons to whom benefits are being paid are still living. The division shall suspend the benefits being paid to any payee if it is unable to contact such payee and to confirm that he or she is still living.
History.s. 9, ch. 70-112; s. 1, ch. 71-22; s. 1, ch. 72-332; s. 1, ch. 72-334; s. 2, ch. 72-344; s. 3, ch. 72-345; s. 3, ch. 72-388; ss. 6, 7, ch. 74-302; s. 2, ch. 74-328; s. 2, ch. 74-376; s. 1, ch. 75-86; s. 1, ch. 77-286; s. 6, ch. 78-308; s. 3, ch. 79-375; s. 2, ch. 80-126; s. 1, ch. 80-128; ss. 1, 3, ch. 80-130; s. 3, ch. 80-242; s. 5, ch. 81-307; s. 1, ch. 83-58; s. 7, ch. 83-76; ss. 1, 2, ch. 84-11; ss. 10, 20, ch. 84-266; s. 1, ch. 85-137; s. 4, ch. 85-220; s. 1, ch. 85-246; s. 3, ch. 86-172; s. 1, ch. 87-149; s. 1, ch. 88-61; s. 2, ch. 88-238; s. 13, ch. 88-382; s. 2, ch. 89-220; s. 1, ch. 89-260; s. 15, ch. 89-367; s. 13, ch. 90-274; s. 5, ch. 90-301; s. 1, ch. 91-276; s. 7, ch. 92-122; s. 5, ch. 93-149; s. 8, ch. 93-193; s. 4, ch. 93-285; s. 773, ch. 95-147; s. 2, ch. 95-338; s. 7, ch. 96-368; s. 2, ch. 97-154; s. 8, ch. 97-180; s. 1, ch. 98-18; s. 9, ch. 98-138; s. 9, ch. 98-292; s. 7, ch. 98-413; s. 54, ch. 99-2; s. 5, ch. 99-7; s. 6, ch. 99-9; s. 37, ch. 99-255; s. 1, ch. 99-389; s. 11, ch. 99-392; s. 1, ch. 2000-167; ss. 15, 17, ch. 2000-169; s. 7, ch. 2000-347; s. 2, ch. 2001-47; s. 19, ch. 2001-60; s. 2, ch. 2001-235; s. 5, ch. 2002-177; ss. 14, 15, ch. 2002-273; s. 899, ch. 2002-387; s. 2, ch. 2003-260; s. 8, ch. 2003-391; s. 15, ch. 2004-260; s. 25, ch. 2004-295; s. 3, ch. 2005-108; s. 1, ch. 2005-134; s. 2, ch. 2005-253; s. 29, ch. 2006-178; s. 20, ch. 2008-4; s. 4, ch. 2008-108; s. 9, ch. 2009-209; s. 15, ch. 2010-5; s. 15, ch. 2011-68; s. 6, ch. 2012-222; s. 17, ch. 2013-15; s. 1, ch. 2016-213.
1Note.Section 9, ch. 2003-260, provides in pertinent part that “[i]t is the intent of the Legislature that the costs attributable to the modifications to the retirement laws by this act regarding the reemployment of instructional personnel shall be funded by an increase in payroll contribution rates beginning in fiscal year 2004-2005.”
2Note.

A. Section 11, ch. 2001-235, as amended by s. 8, ch. 2002-177, provides that “[i]t is the intent of the Legislature that the costs attributable to the additional cost-of-living increase for special risk retirees and Deferred Retirement Option Program participants as provided under section 2 shall be funded by recognition of excess actuarial assets, amortized over 30 years with the payments assumed to remain relatively stable when expressed as a percentage of payroll. For fiscal year 2001-2002, the payment shall be $9.3 million. For fiscal year 2002-2003, the payment shall be $15.1 million, and, thereafter, payments shall increase by 5 percent per year. If insufficient funds are available to fund this additional cost through recognition of excess actuarial assets in fiscal year 2002-2003 and any year thereafter, and there remains an unfunded actuarial liability attributable to the one-time cost-of-living increase provided under section 2, the payroll contribution rate for the Special Risk Class of the Florida Retirement System shall be increased by .93 percent effective July 1 of that year, unless the Legislature provides an alternative funding mechanism before that date.” Section 2, ch. 2001-235, amended s. 121.091(13)(b), relating to the Deferred Retirement Option Program, to add a provision relating to elected officers. The intended reference may be to s. 10, ch. 2001-235, which provides a one-time special cost-of-living increase for members of the Special Risk Class.

B. Section 9, ch. 2003-260, provides in pertinent part that “[i]t is the intent of the Legislature that the costs attributable to the modifications to the retirement laws by this act regarding the reemployment of instructional personnel shall be funded by an increase in payroll contribution rates beginning in fiscal year 2004-2005.”