The 1st Election is the employee’s opportunity to choose an FRS retirement plan before they are automatically enrolled in their default option. Having a choice between two employer-provided retirement plans is not common and many employees may not realize they need to take action. As an employer, you have an important role to play in the 1st Election. Help your new employees realize they have a choice to make and encourage them to take advantage of the member services available to help them make that choice. Default Option
For FRS-covered employees in all membership classes, except Special Risk, hired on or after January 1, 2018, the default option is the Investment Plan.
For FRS-covered employees in the Special Risk class hired on or after January 1, 2018, the default option is the Pension Plan.
For all new FRS-covered employees hired prior to January 1, 2018, the default option was the Pension Plan. Plan Choice Period (Plan Choice Deadline)
For all new FRS-covered employees hired on or after January 1, 2018 or who did not complete an election window before January 1, 2018, the plan choice deadline is 4:00 p.m. ET on
the last business day eight months after their month of hire.
For all new FRS-covered employees hired prior to January 1, 2018, the plan choice deadline was 4:00 p.m. ET on the last business day five months after their month of hire.
The FRS sends reminders directly to new employees during their choice period to the email address and mailing address provided on the retirement file. You can help your employees make a timely and informed decision by sending your own reminders and directing them to ChooseMyFRSplan.com.
Any elections received after the plan choice deadline will be invalid. Reporting During the Plan Choice Period
Through the month they are enrolled in a plan (either through an active election or default), all new FRS-covered employees are reported under the Pension Plan.
They are then reported under the appropriate plan after they have made an election (either active or default) to a plan.
For members who default to the Investment Plan, employee and employer contributions paid through the date of default will be
paid into the Investment Plan at the blended contribution rate and placed in an age-appropriate Retirement Date Fund. Any time after their account is activated, the member can change to any of the Plan’s available investment options. Enrollment Process
Employer verifies that the candidate has not retired from the FRS.
Candidate is hired.
Employee is enrolled automatically in the Pension Plan so that contributions can begin with the employee’s first paycheck.
Employer determines membership class.
Employer reports employee as a Pension Plan member on first available retirement contribution file to the Division of Retirement.
If the employee is:
A new FRS member: A New Employee FRS Enrollment Kit (new hire kit) is generated and mailed to the new member’s address on file and includes
the member’s Personal Identification Number and plan choice deadline date. The kit
should arrive within 30 to 60 days of the retirement report on which the employee is first reported. The kit may be delayed if there are errors in reporting the new member.
A retiree of the Investment Plan, SUSORP or SCCSORP: A confirmation of renewed enrollment and a welcome flyer are generated and mailed to the reemployed
retiree’s address on file within 30 to 60 days of the retirement report on which the employee is first reported. The member can access their Investment Plan account by
logging in to MyFRS.com by using their previous User ID and Password. If the member does not remember the User ID and Password or never logged in to
MyFRS.com, they can call the MyFRS Financial Guidance Line at 1-866-446-9377, Option 2.
Employee’s retirement file data is submitted to the Division of Retirement for processing. An eligible employee’s plan choice cannot be processed before their retirement file data is processed. Until their retirement file data is processed, elections by phone cannot be performed and elections submitted by form (online or hard copy) will be pended.
New FRS members will receive plan choice reminder emails and letters, distributed by the FRS.
The employee makes an active 1st Election choice by their plan choice deadline or is automatically enrolled in their default option.
A confirmation letter is mailed to the employee’s address on file indicating their plan choice. At this point, the 1st Election is considered final even if the employee did not submit an election and was automatically enrolled in their default option.
Getting Help Choosing a Plan
The FRS offers members a variety of services to help them make an informed plan election. Refer members to these services:
ChooseMyFRSplan.com – Employees can answer several questions using this guided experience to learn which plan may make the most sense for them. They can view a series of “people like me” video and review other resources while on the site. (Not applicable for Special Risk members.)
MyFRS Financial Guidance Line – Members can call 1-866-446-9377, Option 2 (or TRS 711) and speak with a financial planner 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, except holidays.
1st Election Choice Service – Employees can compare estimated benefits for each retirement plan. The employee can access the tool when they sign in on MyFRS.com with their PIN that was sent to them with the new hire kit.
How to Submit a Plan Choice
Membership classification determines how the employee can enroll. Enrollment forms are available in the Forms section of this
website. Regular Class and Special Risk Class Employees
Online EZ Enrollment Form. This is an online enrollment form most members can complete without logging in to MyFRS.com. Online enrollments submitted before 4:00 p.m. ET are processed within 24 hours and are effective on the date the election is submitted (excluding weekends and holidays). If submitted after 4:00 p.m. ET, but before the member’s plan choice deadline, the election will be effective the next business day (excluding holidays).
EZ Enrollment Form. This form can be downloaded from MyFRS.com. Complete, accurate and signed enrollment forms received by the Plan Choice Administrator before the member’s plan choice deadline are processed within two business days of receipt (excluding holidays) and the enrollment is effective on the day the form is received (excluding holidays).
MyFRS.com. The employee must log in to the site. Online enrollments submitted before 4:00 p.m. ET are processed within 24 hours and are effective on the date the election is submitted (excluding weekends and holidays). If submitted after 4:00 p.m. ET, but before the member’s plan choice deadline, the election will be effective the next business day (excluding holidays).
MyFRS Financial Guidance Line (1-866-446-9377, Option 4 | TRS 711). Telephone enrollments made before 4:00 p.m. ET are processed within 24 hours and are effective on the date the election is submitted (excluding holidays). If submitted after 4:00 p.m. ET, but before the member’s plan choice deadline, the election will be effective the next business day (excluding holidays).
All Other Membership Classes
Employees in all other membership classes can enroll using the applicable enrollment form for their membership class. Complete, accurate and signed enrollment forms received by the Plan Choice Administrator are processed within two business days of receipt (excluding holidays), and the enrollment is effective on the date the forms are received (excluding holidays). Investment Plan Membership Effective Date
Investment Plan membership is retroactive to a new employee’s date of hire. This includes reemployed retirees. The Investment Plan contribution effective date is the 1st of the month following the month in which the new employee’s enrollment is processed. Enrollments received up to 4:00 p.m. ET each business day (excluding holidays) are processed on the day they are received. Enrollments received after 4:00 p.m. ET are processed on the next business day (excluding holidays), unless it is submitted after 4:00 p.m. ET on the member’s choice period deadline.
For more information about contributions prior to the Investment Plan membership effective date, refer to Plan Funding. Opening Balance
All blended contributions and employee contributions made to the Pension Plan on the member's behalf are transferred to the employee’s Investment Plan account on the last day of the month in which their election is effective, retroactive to the employee's date of hire. If the member does not have prior FRS service in the Pension Plan, the blended contributions made from the member’s date of hire to the date they elect the Investment Plan will be transferred to their Investment Plan account. If the member had prior service in the Pension Plan, the present value amount transferred from the Pension Plan into the Investment Plan is subject to the Pension Plan’s vesting schedule. The present value amount will be deposited in the member’s Investment Plan account on the last day of the month in which their election is effective. A confirmation letter is mailed to the address on file confirming the deposit of funds. How to Monitor Election Status
Employers can monitor the status of their employees’ elections (both 1st Elections and 2nd Elections) via the Division of Retirement’s FRS Online Employer Services application. Elections are recorded by the Investment Plan Administrator and provided to the Division. Employers can view and download a file that lists members who have elected the Investment Plan or used their 2nd Election to change to the Pension Plan. Canceling a 1st Election
The member has until 4:00 p.m. ET on the last business day of the election’s effective month to call the MyFRS Financial Guidance Line and cancel their election. Default elections cannot be cancelled or reversed. Reversing a 1st Election
Once the deadline for canceling a 1st Election has passed, the 1st Election will be final and irreversible, unless the member uses their 2nd Election.