The Investment Plan offers a variety of payout options to members. They can choose:
 
  • A lump-sum payment
  • A rollover to another qualified plan
  • A customized payment schedule
  • Lifetime guaranteed payments
  • Any combination of the above

Members can call the MyFRS Financial Guidance Line, Option 2, to discuss their retirement and payout options with an unbiased EY financial planner. The EY financial planner will assist the member in evaluating the various options and understanding the tax implications.
 
For more information about payout options, refer to When Your FRS Employment Ends.
 
When a Member Can Take a Payout
A member can request a payout of the vested portion of their Investment Plan account only under two circumstances:
 
  • The member has terminated all employment with FRS-participating employers, including positions not covered by the FRS, and has not been employed with any FRS-participating employers for three full calendar months.
     
    OR
     
  • The member has reached normal retirement (see below), has terminated all employment, has not been employed with any FRS-participating employers for one full calendar month, and is eligible for a one-time distribution of 10% of their account balance.

  • A member cannot initiate a payout from their Investment Plan account balance if there is an outstanding Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) or a Child Support Order (CSO) hold on the account. The member’s account balance will be available for payout once the QDRO or CSO has been satisfied and the account hold has been removed. Please refer any questions about a QDRO or CSO hold to the Investment Plan Administrator.
     
    Three-Calendar-Month Waiting Period
    To request a payout, members who do not meet the Investment Plan’s normal retirement requirements (see below) must wait until the first business day of the month following three calendar months from their month of termination. For example, if a member terminates on July 15th, the member must be terminated from any employment with all FRS-participating employers for the months of August, September, and October; the member can then request a distribution for November 1st or after.
     
    This waiting period allows the retirement contribution file to be processed and the Division to post contributions and termination dates. The retirement contribution files usually post by the 15th of each month unless there is an error that delays the posting of contributions and termination dates.
     
    Normal Retirement
    Members who meet the Investment Plan’s normal retirement requirements may be able to withdraw up to 10% of their Investment Plan account balance one calendar month following their month of termination. The member’s date of termination must be on file before this early payout can be processed. The remainder of the account can be withdrawn after an additional two calendar months.
     
    According to the Investment Plan’s rules, a member qualifies for normal retirement upon reaching a certain combination of age and years of service as shown in the table below.
     
    Investment Plan Normal Retirement Requirements
    Special Risk ClassAll Other Membership Classes
    Hired after July 1, 2011Age 60 or older and 1 or more years of FRS-covered service
    Age 57 or older and 30 or more years of Special Risk and military service
    Any age and 30 or more years of Special Risk service
    Age 65 or older and 1 or more years of FRS-covered service
    Any age and 33 or more years of service
    Hired prior to July 1, 2011Age 55 or older and 1 or more years of FRS-covered service
    Age 52 or older and 25 or more years of Special Risk and military service
    Any age and 25 or more years of Special Risk service
    Age 62 or older and 1 or more years of FRS-covered service
    Any age and 30 or more years of service

     
    Hardships, Loans, and Financial Emergencies
    The Investment Plan does not permit payouts to members due to hardships, unforeseeable emergencies, loans, medical expenses, educational expenses, the purchase of a principal residence, payments necessary to prevent eviction or foreclosure on a member’s principal residence, or for any other reason prior to retirement.
     
    Payout Process and Requirements
    Before a member can initiate a payout from the Investment Plan, the member’s FRS-participating employer must submit the member’s termination date on the regular retirement contribution file by the third calendar month following the member’s date of termination.
     
    Payouts are withdrawn from the Investment Plan account equally across all of the member’s sources and investment funds. If a member requests a specific dollar amount distribution and their account balance is less than the requested amount due to market fluctuations, the Investment Plan Administrator will not process the distribution request.
     
    The process is as follows:
     
      1. Member terminates employment.
      2. Employer submits member’s termination date to the Division of Retirement on the monthly retirement contribution file.
      3. The Division of Retirement sends the member’s termination date to the Investment Plan Administrator via the daily contribution file.
      4. The Investment Plan Administrator sends the terminated member a MyFRS Termination Kit.
      5. The member initiates their payout.
      6. The payout is processed.

    How to Submit a Member’s Termination Date
    Any questions about reporting a termination date should be directed to the Division’s Contributions Section at 1-844-377-1888 (toll-free) or 850-907-6500 (local).
     
    Online
    Go to FRS Online, Employer Services and use the Termination Date module. Once the termination date is submitted, the Division will submit the information to the Investment Plan Administrator.
     
    By Mail or Fax
    You can submit a completed Employment Termination Form (ETF) by mail or fax. The form must be signed by your designated retirement coordinator on file with the FRS or by an authorized signatory of the agency. The ETF should be sent by the employer via U.S. mail or via fax at 1-888-310-5559.
     
    The ETF will only be accepted if both of the following two conditions have been met:
     
      1. The employer has not reported the termination date on the agency’s regular retirement contribution file; and
      2. The ETF is received two weeks prior to the required three calendar months since the member’s date of termination and no date of termination is on file.

    When FRS Employment Ends (MyFRS Termination Kit)
    The Investment Plan Administrator will send the member the When Your FRS Employment Ends brochure (MyFRS Termination Kit) 60 days after the member’s termination date. It includes information on payout options, taxes, name and address changes, the Health Insurance Subsidy, reemployment after retirement, and a Special Tax Notice.
     
    All members who terminate employment with an FRS employer will receive this termination kit. If a member returns to FRS employment, the termination kit materials should be ignored.
     
    How to Initiate a Payout
    An Investment Plan member can initiate a payout or rollover from the Investment Plan in the two ways described below. The Investment Plan Administrator will not accept rollover forms from the institution receiving the rollover.
     
    By Phone
    The member can call the MyFRS Financial Guidance Line at 1-866-446-9377, Option 4, and speak with an Investment Plan Administrator representative. Members must have their PIN to initiate a payout by phone.
     
    Online
    The member can log in to MyFRS.com and click “Investment Plan.”
     
    Payout Methods
    The FRS encourages members to request payouts by ACH/direct deposit. However, a check made payable to the member can be accommodated (unless the member requests a rollover distribution). The check will be mailed to the member’s address on file. The Investment Plan Administrator will verify the member’s address on file prior to mailing the member’s distribution check.
     
    Rollover Methods
    In most cases, a check will be made payable to the receiving plan or institution for the benefit of the member. Members can choose to have the rollover check mailed either directly to the institution or to their address on file. Some participating rollover institutions accept ACH/direct deposit. The member will be informed if their institution supports this option.
     
    Rollovers can only be initiated by the member. The Investment Plan Administrator will not accept rollover forms from the institution receiving the rollover.
     
    Impact on Retirement Status
    When the member takes a payout (including a rollover), the FRS considers that member to be retired. Retired members lose any non-vested Investment Plan or prior Pension Plan service and benefit; their benefit may be suspended to meet reemployment requirements.
     
    Effective July 1, 2017, retirees of the Investment Plan, State University System Optional Retirement Program (SUSORP), Senior Management Service Optional Annuity Program (SMSOAP), and State Community College System Optional Retirement Program (SCCSORP) are eligible for renewed membership in the Investment Plan, SUSORP or SCCSORP. The member must be employed in an FRS-covered position on or after July 1, 2017 to gain renewed membership. It is important to note this provision does not afford renewed membership retroactively for the period of July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2017.
     
    Automatic Payouts (Balances Under $1,000)
    A vested account balance of $1,000 or less will be subject to automatic payout when the member’s employment ends. This is known as a de minimis distribution. However, this payout won’t be made until the member has been terminated from all employment with FRS-participating employers for at least six calendar months.
     
    Members subject to an automatic payout can choose to receive it as a lump-sum payment or a rollover to another qualified retirement plan, such as an individual retirement account or another employer’s 401(k) plan.
     
    The FRS will not consider a member to be retired solely for receiving an automatic payout. Additionally, receiving an automatic payout does not make a member eligible for the Health Insurance Subsidy.
     
    For more information about automatic payouts, refer to When Your FRS Employment Ends.
     
    Required Minimum Payouts
    The IRS requires that members begin taking payouts from their Investment Plan account in the calendar year they reach age 72 or terminate employment, whichever is later. These are known as required minimum distributions (RMDs).
     
    Members who are required to take an RMD will be notified by the Investment Plan Administrator in January of each year an RMD is required.
     
    Note: On March 27, 2020, the President signed H.R. 748, The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, into law. The legislation impacts employer health, retirement, payroll, and leave programs. The FRS Investment Plan implemented one of the retirement provisions by waiving 2020 RMD’s. As a result, these payments will not be made automatically. If a member was required to receive one and still wants to receive it, they may request it by calling the Investment Plan Administrator at 1-866-446-9377, Option 4, or by logging into MyFRS.com and accessing their Investment Plan account. For more information please contact the Investment Plan Administrator.
     
    For more information about RMDs, refer to When Your FRS Employment Ends.
     
    Taxes and Penalties
    The money in a member’s Investment Plan account is pretax money, meaning it has never been taxed. A mandatory 20% will be withheld from the taxable amount of any payout, except in the event of a rollover of the entire payout. If the tax amount owed is higher than the 20% withheld, the member will be responsible for any additional taxes when they file their income tax return. If the member receives payment before reaching age 59½, the IRS may impose an additional 10% penalty tax for early withdrawal.
     
    Members can obtain a Special Tax Notice, which explains the tax consequences of distributions, by calling the MyFRS Financial Guidance Line, Option 4, or going online to Forms section of MyFRS.com. If members have any questions concerning the tax consequences of taking a distribution, they should be referred to the MyFRS Financial Guidance Line, Option 1.
     
    Impact on Health Insurance Coverage
    Taking a payout might affect the member’s eligibility to continue their current health insurance coverage with their employer. To verify their eligibility to continue this very important coverage, members are encouraged to contact their personnel office prior to taking a payout from their Investment Plan account.
     
    Invalid Payouts
    If a member receives an invalid payout from their Investment Plan account (e.g., due to an overpayment, an invalid Investment Plan election, violation of the reemployment-after-retirement provisions), the member will be required to repay that amount to the Investment Plan within 90 days. In lieu of repayment, the member can terminate all employment with all FRS-participating employers. Failure to repay the invalid distribution could result in the member being declared retired from the Investment Plan in accordance with the Florida Statutes and all applicable rules or, at the option of the Plan Administrator, in administrative or legal action. Under certain conditions, employers may be held jointly liable for invalid distributions.
     
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