FRS – DROP

“It is not the ship so much as the skillful sailing that assures the prosperous voyage.”

- George William Curtis

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Navigating the Florida Retirement System/DROP Program

Complex financial decisions require a broad range of financial expertise. At CORE, our clients gain access to our entire team. This means you will benefit from the knowledge and experienced counsel of Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®), Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Personal Financial Specialist (PFS™), and Chartered Retirement Plan Specialist (CRPS®) team members.

We provide a broad resource base to guide you through the decision-making process as you approach retirement. As an active member of the Florida Retirement System pension plan, you could be eligible for participation in the Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP). Our advisors possess the knowledge and technical expertise needed for FRS retirement planning. We’re with you every step of the journey.

A lifetime of service

 

Your career in the public sector attests to the fact that you value a life well-invested. Decades of service are approaching completion and you want to finish well. At CORE, we believe that wealth extends beyond material assets. Wealth is having the freedom to pursue what you value. You've done that in your professional career, and now it's time to do so in retirement.

 

Planning for retirement may leave you with more questions than answers…

How soon will I need to access my retirement funds?

Given my unique set of circumstances, what is the best payout option for my pension?

I want to leave assets for my heirs, but how do I know if I will have enough to live on?

Am I eligible for DROP?

How do I manage my DROP benefits at retirement?

You have payout options for your FRS pension when you’re ready to retire.

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Move pension balance to the FRS Investment Plan

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With this option, you will be monitoring the funds, directing investment decisions and controlling the timing of distributions. Be advised: investment opportunities are limited inside the investment plan.


Receive Fixed Payments

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The pension payment options include a return of premium guarantee, 50% or 100% joint and survivor pay out, and lifetime income. The option you choose will affect your ultimate payout amount.


Receive Lump Sum Payment

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In most cases this is not recommended. The entire pension value is taxed immediately, and, depending on the size of the account, those taxes could be substantial.


Rollover to an IRA

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This option allows for professional management, continued tax deferral, and opens the door to a multitude of investment options. Your investment options will remain limited if your pension funds remain in the FRS Investment Plan.


Select a combination of any of the above

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What is DROP?

DROP provides you with an alternative method for payment of your retirement benefits. When enrolled, you stop earning service credit toward a future benefit and your retirement benefit is calculated at the time your DROP participation begins.

While you are in DROP, your monthly retirement benefits accumulate in the FRS trust fund earning tax deferred interest while you continue to work with an FRS-participating employer. When you terminate employment, your DROP account is now a taxable retirement benefit.

The maximum participation in the DROP program is 60 months.

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How are DROP benefits calculated?

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The value of your DROP benefit is directly linked to your pension payout. If your annual pension benefit is $50,000, your DROP balance, if you stay the entire 5 years, will be $250,000 plus earned interest.

When can I enter DROP?

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For enrollees prior to July 1, 2011 normal retirement is age 62 with 6 years of service or 30 years of service, regardless of age. For Special Risk Class members, normal retirement is age 55 with at least 6 years of Special Risk service, or 25 years of Special Risk service, regardless of age, or age 52 with 25 years of Special Risk service and military service.

 

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For enrollees after July 1, 2011 normal retirement is age 65 with 8 years of service or 33 years of service, regardless of age. For Special Risk Class members, normal retirement is age 60 with at least 8 years of Special Risk service, or 30 years of Special Risk service, regardless of age, or age 57 with 30 years of Special Risk service and military service.

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What are my payout options for DROP at the end of service?

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Take a taxable distribution

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Distributions will be taxed as ordinary income. You may take a partial or full distribution of your DROP balance.


Transfer balance to the
FRS Investment Plan

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Investment options will be limited inside the plan, and you will be responsible for self-managing the investments and the timing of distributions.


Rollover to an IRA

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Allows for continued tax deferral, professional management, and more control of investment options.


Select any combination of the above

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Your options are traditional, but the factors that matter most to you are far from ordinary.

The most essential factor: getting it right from the very beginning.

The choices you face at retirement are more than a checkbox on a multi-page form: they are decisions that impact the future you've been working towards for decades.  Making the right decisions regarding your Florida Retirement System payout are imperative to the success of your long term financial plan. The FRS system is complex, and your life circumstances are unique to YOU. There are numerous criteria to consider when making your election:

A married retiree planning financially for long-term care approaches these decisions much differently than a single retiree making plans for travel and charitable giving. A solid, successful financial plan is as unique as the individual for whom it is built. You need unbiased, trustworthy, qualified advice that is tailored to your specific situation and goals.

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Secure futures are built on a series of intentional decisions.

Our team partners with you to navigate the complexities of your financial portfolio.
We’re with you every step of the journey.

If you need a trusted partner to help you navigate the complexities of the FRS/DROP System, let’s talk.

Cautionary Statement

The FRS system is complex and the decisions with respect to your FRS payout, including the DROP program,  have long lasting and sometimes permanent consequences.  You should consult with your tax advisor and financial planner to assure you are making the best decisions for your circumstances.  The purpose of this site is to give a general overview of options within the FRS system. This site is intended for informational purposes only and CORE is not endorsing or recommending any strategies within this site.