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Retirement Options

The Office of Human Resources serves as a liaison with the State of Florida's Division of Retirement and University employees regarding retirement information. The Office of Human Resources can assist employees enrolling in retirement plans, counseling on retirement benefits, and assistance throughout the retirement process.

It is Time to Retire, Now What?

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

For your convenience, we have created an FAQ page regarding what to do when it is time to retire

 

Leave Payouts

Annual Leave: 

Any unused annual leave is payable to a University employee if they terminate employment for reason of retirement, up to the year-end maximums:

  • Faculty and administrative: 352 hours
  • Support staff: 240 hours

Please visit the Human Resources Leave Payouts page for additional information regarding annual leave payout guidelines.


NOTE: Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP) participants are only eligible for the difference between their maximum and the hours cashed out when they entered DROP.

 

Sick Leave:

An employee terminating employment for reason of retirement who has accrued at least ten years of service working for the state of Florida is eligible to receive up to one-fourth of their accumulated sick leave hours not to exceed 480 upon retirement.

 

Roll-overs 

An employee terminating employment for reason of retirement may roll-over their annual or sick leave into a 403(b) Tax Sheltered Annuity or a 457(b) State Deferred Compensation Account offered by the University to avoid certain taxes. The roll-over amount will be subject to Social Security and Medicare taxes. Also, Federal Taxes will apply to the Social Security and Medicare deductions.


If you do not have a 403(b) or a 457(b) account and would like to open one, please contact one of the approved investment company providers. Also, please check with your investment company representative to ensure you do not exceed the yearly maximum contribution limits.

 

Retiree UNF Perks

Employees retired from the University are eligible, upon request, and on the same basis as other employees, to receive the following benefits at the University:

  • Retired employee identification card
  • Use of the University library
  • Placement on designated University mailing lists
  • University parking privileges
  • Use of University recreational facilities (different fees may apply to retirees than are charged to other employees for the use of such facilities)
  • The right to enroll in courses without payment of fees, on a space-available basis
  • University email forwarding services. Visit the UNF Retirees email address webpage for more information.

NOTE: In-unit faculty members and police officers are encouraged to refer to their respective bargaining agreements for University perks available to them upon retirement.

   

Disability Retirement

The Florida Retirement System (FRS) provides a disability provision for members of the FRS Pension Plan and FRS Investment Plan that become totally and permanently disabled and are unable to work.


Please visit the Human Resources Disability Retirement page for additional information regarding disability retirement guidelines.


Retiree Insurance 

If you have health, dental, or vision coverage in a State Group Insurance plan at the time you terminate employment for reason of your retirement, then you will receive two packets by mail:

  • COBRA Rights Information Packet (applies if you have health, dental, or vision coverage)
  • Retiree Enrollment Packet (applies if you have health or life coverage)

Once People First receives your termination date, they will begin processing your retirement and send these packets to you within the following month of your termination.

NOTE: Human Resources must receive your Personnel Action Form (PAF) disclosing your termination date for reason of retirement from your department to notify People First of your retirement. If Human Resources does not receive your terminating PAF before you terminate employment with the University, it may delay your ability to enroll in retiree health coverage. This delay may result in higher out-of-pocket retiree coverage monthly premiums until People First confirms your retirement date.

For more information regarding State Retiree Coverage, please review the Retiree Enrollment Packet at myBenefits.myFlorida.com Resources page.


You may also contact one of the following to discuss retiree insurance coverage options.

  •  Office of Human Resources at UNF and ask to speak to a Benefits and Retirement Team Member: (904) 620-2903
  • Division of Retirement - Retired Payroll: (888) 377-7687
  • People First: (866) 663-4735, option #4

 

 

Reemployment After Retirement

FRS and SUSORP Retirees returning to work with an FRS-participating employer too soon after retirement could be a costly mistake. FRS retirees may not provide paid services or unpaid services to FRS participating agencies, nor can they be employed with a private company that provides service to an FRS participating agency. These reemployment limitations apply during the first six (6) calendar months after their:

 

(a) service retirement effective date, 

(b) distribution (for defined contribution plans) date, or

(c) Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP) termination date.

If you are employed with or provide services to an FRS participating employer, including volunteering, you will not satisfy the definition of termination.

A bona fide termination is a termination that satisfies the state and federal requirements for a retirement plan. The definition of termination in section 121.021(39), F.S., requires FRS retirees to terminate all employment relationships with FRS participating employers during the first six (6) calendar months after their (a) service retirement effective date, (b) distribution (for defined contribution plans) date, or (c) Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP) termination date.

As an FRS Pension Plan Retiree, FRS Investment Plan Retiree, and SUSORP Retiree, returning to work within 12 calendar months of becoming a State of Florida retiree may void your retirement and require you to repay retirement benefits received, as described below:

  • If you become reemployed with an FRS participating employer during the first six (6) months after your retirement, retirement benefits will become void. You and the University will be required to repay all of the retirement benefits you have received, including any DROP payout.
  • If you become reemployed during calendar months seven (7) through 12, benefits will suspend each month you work during this period, including any SUSORP roll-over requests. To avoid reemployment violations, you must notify the FRS of your reemployment immediately. If your benefits do not suspend timely, you and the University will be required to repay retirement benefits you should not have received.
  • If you become reemployed with an FRS participating employer after 12 calendar months, you will not be required to repay any prior benefits. You will continue receiving retirement benefits from your retirement plan without interruption.

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State-Sponsored Retirement Plans (SSP)

You Have an Important Choice to Make!

 

As a full or part-time Faculty, Administrative and Professional (A&P), University President, Executive Service, or employee in the University Support Personnel System (USPS), it is mandatory that you participate in a State-Sponsored Retirement Plan. Depending on your membership class or position at the University will determine which retirement plans are available to you.

 

The University of North Florida offers the following state-sponsored retirement plans:

Florida Retirement System | Optional Retirement Program 

 

Both plans receive funds from you and the University and offer important benefits.

 

Retirement Plan Enrollment Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

For your convenience, we have created an FAQ regarding retirement plan enrollment.

 

Florida Retirement System (FRS)  

Employees who choose to enroll in the FRS must choose from one of the following FRS plans:

 

FRS Pension Plan | FRS Investment Plan

Please visit each plan tab for full details to see which retirement plan may be best for you.

 

Enrollment Deadline:

  • Please keep in mind that you only have a limited time to choose your retirement plan. 
  • Usually, within 60 days of your hire date, you will receive a Benefit Comparison Statement in the mail from FRS.
  • This statement provides further details about the State-Sponsored Retirement Plans, along with your Personal Identification Number (PIN). 
  • Until you choose a plan, you will continue to receive reminders by mail and email to be sure you make your choice by the deadline.

2nd Election Option 

 

If you enroll in an FRS plan, you will have a one-time second opportunity during your FRS career (your 2nd Election) to change to the other FRS retirement plan. Full details regarding this option can be found on the myFRS.com webpage. 

 

The SUSORP is not an available 2nd Election option. 

 

 

Optional Retirement Plan (ORP)

 

To enroll in the SUSORP, you must use the SUSORP enrollment form (Form ORP-ENROLL-1) and execute a contract with a SUSORP investment provider within the first 90 days of your employment. Please visit the SUSORP tab for full details of the plan.

 

If you choose the SUSORP, you cannot change to a different plan later. You will remain in the SUSORP for as long as you remain in a SUSORP eligible position.

 

 

FRS Pension Plan

Description

The FRS Pension Plan is a traditional defined benefit retirement plan in which employer and employee pretax contributions are defined by law and based on your salary and your FRS membership class (Regular Class, Special Risk Class, etc.) The benefit will pay you a set amount for life after meeting the minimum vesting and retirement requirements. Your monthly benefit payment calculation will depend on the following criteria: your years of creditable service, the average final compensation, the percentage value you receive for each year of service, and the option you select at retirement to receive your monthly retirement benefit.

 

Please visit myfrs.com and the FRS Pension Plan Member Handbook for detailed information regarding the FRS Pension Plan.

 

Monthly webinars are available at the FRS Workshop Calendar. You are encouraged to sign up for those webinars that meet your needs. 

Eligibility

The FRS Pension Plan is available to all full and part-time Faculty, Administrative and Professional (A&P), University President, Executive Service, and employees in the University Support Personnel System (USPS).

  • The plan is not available to student employees, adjuncts, or other personnel services (OPS) employees in non-budgeted positions.
  • You have until the last business day of the eighth month following your employment to enroll in an FRS retirement plan. If you do not select a plan, you will be automatically enrolled in the Investment Plan.

Special Risk Class members will automatically be enrolled in the Pension Plan.

Contributions

Both you and the University pay the retirement contributions necessary for you to earn service credit toward a future FRS retirement benefit. Your contributions will remain on deposit in your name until you retire or take a refund of your contributions.

  • You will contribute a mandatory 3% pretax contribution that is deducted from your paycheck each pay period.
  • You cannot make additional pretax contributions above the 3% mandatory contribution.

If you would like to contribute more than the 3% contribution, please visit the Voluntary Retirement Savings Plans 403(b) and 457 and consider meeting with an approved investment company provider for more details on enrolling in a voluntary retirement plan in addition to the mandatory State-Sponsored Retirement Plan.

  • The University will contribute a fixed percentage of your gross salary per pay period. Also, the University will contribute amounts each month to fund the Health Insurance Subsidy benefit (1.66%), plan administrative and educational expenses (0.06%), and unfunded actuarial liability funding as required by law.

Contribution rates are set by the Florida Legislature each year and are subject to change.

Vesting

To be vested means that you have met the service requirements to be eligible to receive a future FRS retirement benefit.

  • If you were initially enrolled in the FRS on or after July 1, 2011, you will be vested in the Pension Plan after eight years of creditable service, regardless of your membership class.
  • If you are initially enrolled in the FRS before July 1, 2011, you will be vested in the Pension Plan after six years of creditable service.

Retirement Eligibility

Once you are vested, you are eligible for a future benefit when you terminate employment with all participating FRS employers and apply for your retirement benefit.

  • Under normal retirement, you are first eligible to receive an unreduced retirement benefit based on your age or years of service. Please review page 25 of the Pension Plan Member Handbook for employment class guidelines.
  • If you retire early (before you have reached normal retirement), then your monthly retirement benefit will be reduced 5 percent for each year up to your normal retirement age.

Online Access

Log into FRS Online at frs.fl.gov. Links are also available from other pages on the website. To view information about your account or perform estimates, you must log into your FRS Online account and follow the instructions provided.

Estimate Requests

  • You may request a formal estimate from the Division of Retirement that will include:
  • Statement of your total years of creditable service, beneficiary information, and the cost to purchase optional service credit, if any.
  • An estimate of benefits with your proposed retirement date. You will also receive a statement showing how much you could accumulate if you choose to participate in DROP and continue employment for up to five more years.

For a formal request, please contact the Division of Retirement at 1-866-446-9377 (TRS 711).

How to Enroll

  1. Support staff employees must complete a General Retirement Plan Enrollment Form and select the option for the FRS Pension Plan.
  2. Faculty, Administrative and Professional (A&P), University President, and Executive Service employees must complete a SUSORP Retirement Plan Enrollment Form selecting not to participate in the SUSORP, along with a General Retirement Plan Enrollment Form, choosing to participate in the FRS Pension Plan.
  3. Submit forms to the Office of Human Resources.

How to Retire

  1. You will contact the Office of Human Resources three to six months before the anticipated retirement date to schedule an appointment with a member of the Benefits and Retirement Team to discuss the process.
  2. Request an estimate of retirement benefits by completing the Information Request Form or view your information online at myFRS.com.
  3. Apply for retirement by completing the Service Retirement Forms Packet.
  4. Submit forms to the Office of Human Resources.

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FRS Investment Plan

Description

The FRS Investment Plan is a defined contribution plan in which employer and employee pretax contributions are defined by law and based on your salary and your FRS membership class (Regular Class, Special Risk Class, etc.). The Investment Plan directs contributions to individual member accounts, and you allocate your contributions and account balance among various investment funds. Your ultimate benefit depends in part on the performance of your investment funds.

 

Please visit myfrs.com and the FRS Investment Summary Plan Description for detailed information regarding the FRS Investment Plan.


Monthly webinars are available at the FRS Workshop Calendar. You are encouraged to sign up for those webinars that meet your needs. 

Eligibility

The FRS Investment Plan is available to all full and part-time Faculty, Administrative and Professional (A&P), University President, Executive Service, and employees in the University Support Personnel System (USPS).

  • The plan is not available to student employees, adjuncts, or other personnel services (OPS) employees in non-budgeted positions.
  • You have until the last business day of the eighth month following your employment to enroll in an FRS retirement plan. If an employee does not select a plan, they will be automatically enrolled in the Investment Plan.

Special Risk Class members will automatically be enrolled in the Pension Plan.

Contributions

Both you and the University pay the retirement contributions necessary for you to earn service credit toward a future FRS retirement benefit.

  • You will contribute a mandatory 3% pretax contribution that is deducted from your paycheck each pay period.
  • You cannot make additional pretax contributions above the 3% mandatory contribution.

If you would like to contribute more than the 3% contribution, please visit the Voluntary Retirement Savings Plans 403(b) and 457 and consider meeting with an approved investment company provider for more details on enrolling in a voluntary retirement plan in addition to the mandatory State-Sponsored Retirement Plan.

  • The University will contribute an amount equal to 3.3% of your gross salary. Employer rates vary by membership class.

Contribution rates are set by the Florida Legislature each year and are subject to change.

Vesting

To be vested means that you have met the service requirements to be eligible to receive a future FRS retirement benefit.

  • You are vested after one year of FRS-covered service. You are always fully vested in your own contributions if you remain in the Investment Plan.
  • Employee contributions are immediately vested. This means that if you terminate employment prior to meeting the vesting requirements of the Investment Plan, you will be entitled to a refund of your employee contributions.

It is important to note,

  • Taking such a refund may not be a sound financial decision because you will forfeit any unvested employer contributions and service credit associated with the service and be declared a retiree.
  • If you return to FRS-covered employment after taking a distribution (effective for reemployed service on or after July 1, 2017), you are considered a "reemployed retiree" or "renewed member."
  • As a reemployed Investment Plan retiree, participation in the Investment Plan is mandatory, unless you are reemployed in a position eligible to participate in the State University System Optional Retirement Program (SUSORP).

Retirement Eligibility

Once you are vested, you are eligible for a future benefit when you terminate employment with all participating FRS employers and apply for your retirement benefit.

  • There are no early retirement reductions.
  • You will have access to the full value of your vested account balance when you leave FRS employment, regardless of your age when you leave.

Before requesting any type of distribution, please consult with one of the planners at the myFRS.com Financial Guidance Line or a tax specialist to get an explanation of the tax implications of early retirement relevant to your personal situation.

How to Enroll

  1. Support staff employees must complete a General Retirement Plan Enrollment Form and select the option for the FRS Investment Plan.
  2. Faculty, Administrative and Professional (A&P), University President, and Executive Service employees must complete a SUSORP Retirement Plan Enrollment Form selecting not to participate in the SUSORP, along with a General Retirement Plan Enrollment Form, choosing to participate in the FRS Investment Plan.
  3. Submit the forms to the Office of Human Resources.

How to Retire

  1. Contact the Division of Retirement at 844-377-1888 and speak with an Investment Plan Administrator.

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Optional Retirement Plan

Description

The ORP Plan is a defined contribution plan sponsored by the State of Florida and should accumulate over your career, despite short-term market ups and downs. Ultimately, your benefit depends on the investment returns earned on contributions. You qualify for a retirement benefit immediately upon enrolling and executing an investment contract with an approved SUSORP provider that you select. Contributions will deposit into your account, and you will decide how to allocate the contributions among various investment funds.

 

Please visit myfrs.com and the Department of Management Services for detailed information regarding the Optional Retirement Plan.

Eligibility

The Optional Retirement Program (ORP) is available to all full and part-time Faculty, Administrative and Professional (A&P), University President, and Executive Service employees.

  • The plan is not available to student employees, adjuncts, other personnel services (OPS), and employees in the University Support Personnel System (USPS).
  • You must contact one of the approved investment companies and execute a contract within the first 90 days of your employment.

It is important to note,

  • If you do not enroll in the SUSORP within the first 90 days of your employment, you can still enroll in the Investment Plan or Pension Plan.
  • You have until the last business day of the eighth month following your employment to enroll in an FRS retirement plan.
  • If you do not make an election by the last business day of the eighth month following your month of hire, you will automatically default into the FRS Investment Plan.

Special Risk Class members will automatically be enrolled in the Pension Plan.

Contributions

Both you and the University pay the retirement contributions toward your future ORP retirement benefit. Your benefit depends on the amount of money contributed to your account and its growth over time.

  • You will contribute a mandatory 3% pretax contribution that is deducted from your paycheck each pay period.
  • Additional voluntary pretax contributions of up to 5.14% can be deducted from your gross paycheck per pay period and contributed to your ORP plan.
  • The university will contribute 5.14% of your gross salary per pay period.

How to Enroll

  1. Contact the approved investment company of your choice to set up an account. A list of approved investment companies is also available on the Department of Management Services web page.
  2. Complete a SUSORP Retirement Plan Enrollment Form and select the option for the ORP.
  3. Submit form to the Office of Human Resources.

If you choose the SUSORP, you cannot change to a different plan later. You will remain in the SUSORP for as long as you remain in a SUSORP-eligible position.

How to Retire

  1. Contact your approved investment company concerning annuitizing your retirement funds.
  2. You will contact the Office of Human Resources three to six months before the anticipated retirement date to schedule an appointment with a member of the Benefits and Retirement Team to discuss the process.
  3. To request a distribution, you will complete the State University System Optional Retirement Program (SUSORP) Application for a Retirement Distribution Form.
  4. Submit form to the Office of Human Resources.

NOTE: This website is intended to provide information about the State of Florida's Optional Retirement Plan. It is not intended as investment, legal, or accounting advice. If such advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought.

Voluntary Retirement Savings Plans

Tax-Sheltered Annuities (403b)

Summary

The University of North Florida offers all employees the opportunity to participate in tax-sheltered annuities. Tax-sheltered annuities allow employees the opportunity to save money for retirement while reducing their current income tax liability. Taxes on earnings and contributions defer until you receive them as income. Contributing to a tax-sheltered annuity is voluntary. Contributions are made through payroll deduction and forwarded to a participating investment company for voluntary retirement savings plans 403(b).

How to Enroll

How to Change/Stop Contribution Amount

  • Submit a salary reduction agreement form with the desired contribution amount to the Office of Human Resources.
  • Changes may be made at any time.

Contribution Limits for 2021

Contribution Limits for Voluntary Retirement Savings Plans
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Retirement Contribution Limits:* Amount
Elective deferral to 403(b) Tax Sheltered Annuity and/or Optional Retirement Plan employee contributions $19,500
Catch-up contributions (Employees aged 50 and over) $6,500

 

*You may qualify to contribute an additional amount if you have at least 15 years of service with UNF. Contact the Office of Human Resources for more information.

 

Note: This website intends to provide information about the State of Florida's Government Employees Tax Sheltered Annuities. It is not providing investment, legal, or accounting advice. If such advice or other expert assistance is required, please seek services from a licensed professional.

Voluntary Retirement Savings Plans

State of Florida Deferred Compensation (457)

Summary

The deferred compensation program through the State of Florida offers all employees the opportunity to save money for retirement while reducing their current income tax liability. Taxes on earnings and contributions are deferred until you receive them as income. Contributing to a deferred compensation plan is voluntary. Contributions are made through payroll deduction and forwarded to a participating investment company. Refer to the Bureau of Deferred Compensation web page for additional information, including a list of participating investment companies.

How to enroll

  1. Information on enrollment may be found on the Bureau of Deferred Compensation web page.

How to Change/Stop Contribution Amount

  1. Contact the participating investment company directly to make a change to your contribution amount.
  2. The Bureau of Deferred Compensation will notify UNF of any changes in contribution amounts.

Contribution Limits for 2021

Contribution Limits for 457 Voluntary Retirement Savings Plans
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Retirement Contribution Limits* Amount
Elective deferral to 457 Deferred Compensation $ 19,500
Catch-up contributions (Employees aged 50 and over) $ 6,500

 

*You may qualify to contribute an additional amount if you have at least 15 years of service with UNF. Contact the Office of Human Resources for more information.

 

Note: This website is intended to provide information about the State of Florida's Government Employees Tax Sheltered Annuities. It is not intended as investment, legal, or accounting advice. If such advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought.

OPS Eligibility

As an OPS employee, specific terms and conditions apply; therefore, certain policies and automatic enrollments are in place to satisfy these requirements.

Retirement

FICA Alternative Plan (State of Florida Social Security Alternative Plan):

OPS employees are not eligible to participate in the Florida Retirement System (FRS). However, section 110.1315, F.S., authorizes the State of Florida to offer OPS employees a retirement plan that is an alternative to Social Security coverage, but meets all the federal criteria [26 USCA 3121(b)(7)], for providing retirement benefits.

 

As described in the statute, this retirement plan (titled the "State of Florida FICA Alternative Retirement Plan for OPS Employees") is an alternative retirement income security program for eligible temporary and seasonal employees of the State compensated from appropriations for other personal services (OPS). The plan guidelines are:

  • Upon hire, automatic enrollment into the FICA Alternative Plan for every OPS employee who works in a position covered by the plan.
  • Acts as an alternative benefit to Social Security and exempts the OPS employee from FICA (Social Security) payroll taxes. OPS employees continue to pay Medicare taxes (1.45%) on their wages.
  • As with other retirement investment plans, the FICA is portable, meaning an employee can maintain their FICA plan upon termination from University. They can also roll over their funds to another retirement investment plan if they choose.

Note:

The University is required to enroll you into the FICA Alternative Plan. Beginning your first paycheck, you will see a deduction code for FICA (457b), this is NOT a Deferred Compensation 457. This deduction will reflect the mandatory amount for retirement contribution. For more information regarding the required FICA Alternative Plan, please visit the MidAmerica web page.