(2205) What does "blended contribution rate" mean and how will my retirement benefit be affected under both plans?

The blended contribution rate legislation was passed by the legislature and became effective on July 1, 2002. The, uniform employer contribution rate is paid on behalf of each employee, regardless of plan, based on percentage of pay and FRS membership class. The blended contribution rate only affects the amount your employer contributes to the Pension Plan and the Investment Plan. It does not change your benefit amount under the Pension Plan or the percentage of salary contributed to your Investment Plan account. Nor does it affect how much you may contribute.

(2060) How is my average final compensation figured for a Pension Plan retirement benefit?

Average final compensation (AFC) is the average of the 5 highest years of salary earned during covered employment (8 highest years of salary if first enrolled in the FRS on or after July 1, 2011). Salary records are kept for retirement purposes by fiscal year (July 1 - June 30). Certain kinds of payments, such as lump-sum sick leave payments, retirement incentive bonuses, and lump-sum annual leave payments in excess of 500 hours, cannot be included in the AFC.

(2023) Is there any potential liability to the State from employees who are dissatisfied with financial advice they have received?

Independent, experienced financial education firms provide employees with unbiased information and the services necessary to help them choose the plan that is best for them. In doing this, the SBA follows the regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Labor under section 404(c) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and Florida Statutes. This section of ERISA protects a fiduciary (in this case, the SBA Trustees) against liability for investment losses arising from investment choices in employee-directed retirement plans if:

  • Plan participants can allocate funds among at least three investment categories with materially different risk and return characteristics.
  • Each core investment alternative is sufficiently diversified.
  • Plan participants can transfer from or among the core and non-core investment alternatives at least once every three months.
  • Plan participants can transfer from or among the core investment alternatives with a frequency that's appropriate to each fund's risk level.
  • Plan participants receive sufficient information to make informed investment decisions about the plan's investment funds.
  • Additionally, ongoing newsletters and workshops are provided to employees to help them manage their retirement funds
(250) Can future funding increases impact future contributions and benefit levels?

During years when the Pension Plan is determined to be less than 100% actuarially funded, the Florida Legislature may take steps to improve the funding level by increasing employee or employer contributions or lower plan costs by reducing future Pension Plan benefits.

Pension Plan underfunding or future cost increases to fund the FRS may make it necessary for the Florida Legislature to lower the amount that employers contribute to Investment Plan members accounts or increase the amount that employees contribute to their Investment Plan accounts.

(2061) What if I have credit in both the Special Risk Class and another class of membership?

If you have earned retirement credit in the Special Risk Class and another FRS class, you may have two different normal retirement dates under the Pension Plan. If this is true for you, it is necessary to calculate the two portions of your benefit separately and add them together to determine your total Pension Plan benefit. If you retire before reaching your normal retirement date for a membership class, early retirement factors will apply in that case. When you reach your normal retirement date for both types of service (special risk and non-special risk), neither part of the total benefit is reduced for early retirement.

(2022)Which State agency is responsible for administering the Investment Plan?
Plans/Programs Agency Responsibility
Investment Plan State Board of Administration
  • Provides day-to-day administration and oversight.
  • Selects private sector investment firms to provide investment funds
  • Selects a private sector third-party administrator to maintain Investment Plan employee account records
Division of Retirement
  • Processes employee and employer payroll contributions for the Investment Plan
  • Maintains membership records and administers the disability program, Health Insurance Subsidy Program (HIS), vesting, present value transfer calculation, and second-opportunity "buy-back" cost calculation
(2090) Are death benefits payable under the Investment Plan and Pension Plan?

Yes, click here for a detailed comparison of the death benefits under both plans.

(8001) What is a de minimis distribution?

If your vested account balance after termination is a de minimis amount as determined by the SBA, it will be subject to an automatic distribution. A de minimis amount has been set for accounts with vested balances of $1,000 or less. No distribution will be made, however, until you have been terminated from all employment with FRS-covered employers for at least six calendar months. A de minimis distribution will be either a complete lump-sum liquidation of your account, subject to the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, or if you provide affirmative instructions, a lump-sum direct rollover distribution paid directly to the custodian of an eligible retirement plan on your behalf. If you receive a de minimis distribution, you will not be considered a reemployed retiree and will not be subject to the limitations applicable to such employees. If you receive a de minimis distribution and return to FRS-covered employment in the future, you will be placed back in the FRS Investment Plan and earn additional service credit. You are not eligible for the Health Insurance Subsidy if you receive a de minimis distribution.