Deferred Retirement Option Program
The Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP) is a voluntary retirement program that is available only to FRS Pension Plan members who qualify for normal retirement. Before you participate in DROP, you earn one month of retirement service credit for each month you have compensation reported for work performed. When you enter DROP, you are considered retired and thus stop earning retirement service credit. While you are participating in DROP, your monthly retirement benefits accumulate in the FRS Trust Fund and earn tax-deferred interest as you continue to work for an FRS employer. Your participation in DROP does not change your conditions of employment. For additional information, visit the Division of Retirement website. For additional information, visit the Division of Retirement's web page.
You may begin DROP participation in the month you reach your normal retirement date based upon your age or the month after the month you reach your normal retirement date based upon your years of service.
Your "normal retirement date" is the earliest date at which you become eligible for full, unreduced benefits based upon your age and/or service. You will also need to be vested to participate in the Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP).
Normal retirement date requirements for age or service if you were initially enrolled in the FRS before July 1, 2011, are as follows:
- Special Risk Class-
- Age 55 with at least six years of Special Risk Class service but fewer than 25 years of Special Risk Class service;
- Any age before age 55 with 25 years of Special Risk Class service; or
- Age 52 with a total of 25 years of Special Risk Class service that includes up to four years of purchased wartime military service.
- Regular Class, Elected Officers' Class, and Senior Management Service Class -
- Age 62 with at least six years of service but fewer than 30 years of service; or
- Any age before age 62 with 30 years of service.
If you were initially enrolled in the FRS before July 1, 2011 and reach your normal retirement date based on your years of service before age 57 (age 52 for SRC members), you may be eligible to defer your DROP participation (see Deferral Exceptions on Page 16).
Normal retirement date requirements for age or service if you were initially enrolled in the FRS on or after July 1, 2011, are as follows:
- Special Risk Class -
- Age 60 with at least eight years of Special Risk Class service but fewer than 30 years of Special Risk Class service;
- Age 57 with a total of 30 years of Special Risk Class service; or
- Any age after age 57 but before age 60 with 30 years of Special Risk Class service.
If you were initially enrolled in the FRS on or after July 1, 2011 and reach your normal retirement date based on your years of service before age 60 (age 55 for SRC members), you may be eligible to defer your DROP participation (see Deferral Exceptions Page 16).
If you wish to participate in DROP, you may make your election up to six months before the date you are eligible to begin participation. To maximize your time in DROP, the division must receive your DROP application and election forms no later than the last working day of the month you intend to begin DROP participation.
If you apply for DROP after your normal retirement date or after your latest eligible deferral date, but within the first 12 months of your 60-month participation period, your eligible DROP participation will be reduced. There is a month-for-month reduction in your maximum DROP participation for each month you delay submitting your application to the division. If you fail to make an election to participate within the 12-month election window, you will no longer be eligible to participate in DROP, unless you qualify for one of the exceptions.
Your 60-months (five year) participation period starts on your 1st month of eligibility. Although you have a 12-month election window to sign up for DROP, delaying your enrollment does not extend your 60 months DROP enrollment period.
How to Retire and Apply for DROP
- Contact the Office of Human Resources for an appointment:
- The following forms will be completed:
Additional documents needed:
- Proof of employee's birth date (see Page 1 of the above application).
- Proof of spouse's birth date, if Option 3 or 4 is selected on the FRS-11o
- Copy of marriage license, if Option 3 or 4 is selected on the FRS-11o
- Driver's license - for notary
How to Terminate from DROP
- Provide a resignation letter to your department head.
- If you are terminating prior to your original DROP end date, please contact FRS to initiate paperwork.
- Once termination paperwork from FRS is received, contact the Office of Human Resources for an appointment.
- Bring forms (HR can notarize) and if rolling over, the receiving Financial Institution must have completed Page 2 of the DP-PAYT.
- Asked for copies of paperwork and fax confirmation for your records.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- When will I receive my first retirement check? - You will receive your first retirement check within two months after your termination date.
- What happens to the "401(a)" BENCOR account? - Your 401(a) BENCOR account remains as is until you apply for the distribution of benefits. If you have questions, please call 1-888-258-3422.
- How do I continue my University of North Florida Insurance Plans? - To continue your University of North Florida Insurance Plan(s) you will complete the People First packet that will be mailed to you a few weeks after your termination. This packet will include paperwork explaining your options along with applications to continue or stop your current plans. The paperwork will be completed and returned to People First for processing.
- How long does my active insurance coverage last? - Your active coverage will last through the last day of the following month of your termination. We pay premiums one month in advance. For example, if you terminate on June 10, XXXX, you will have coverage through July 31, XXXX (same year).
- What is the Health Insurance Subsidy (HIS) and when will I get it? - The Health Insurance Subsidy (HIS) is financial assistance from the Federal government to help you pay for health coverage, providing five ($5) dollars per month for every year you receive retirement credit, (maximum of $150 per month). The Division of Retirement will send a verification form to you approximately two months after you terminate. This form must be returned in order to take advantage of the subsidy. It takes an average of four months before you will see the increase in your monthly pension benefit. It is your responsibility to see that the form is filled out and returned. (The earnings will be retroactive for up to six (6) months.).
- What other forms will I receive? - The FRS Direct Deposit form will be enclosed with the HIS application. Direct deposit allows your benefit payment to be credited to your bank account on the last state working day of each month. The FRS W-4 tax form will be sent to you when you receive your direct deposit and HIS forms. This form must be completed and returned to the Retired Payroll Section of FRS. Check with your financial advisor as to how much Income Tax should be withheld from your retirement check. Income Tax withholding deductions can be changed at any time.
- What are my choices for the "Rollover" of my DROP Account? - Approximately two months after you notify our office that you want to terminate from the DROP program, the Division of Retirement will send you notification with an explanation of your options. See attached DROP Accrual and Distribution Information Rule 60S-9.001. If you request a rollover, you must complete the Rollover Request form and have it notarized, and then forward it to the Division of Retirement.
- Reemployment after retirement: Beginning July 1, 2010, you must be retired for 6 calendar months to be rehired and suspend your retirement check for the remainder of the year, for all positions (no exceptions), and not eligible for a second retirement plan. When one year has passed after retirement, you may begin employment with an FRS agency at that time. A member is then eligible to receive monthly Pension Plan benefits and work for an FRS-covered employer. However, employees in this instance are not eligible for FRS membership (in the new reemployed position). There are no restrictions on private employment.
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