New legislation brings big changes to the FRS

By on July 12, 2017

State Senate Bill 7022, passed by the Florida Legislature and signed by Governor Scott, makes several important changes to state retirement plans.

The first change affects renewed membership for members who retired under the State Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) and Florida Investment Plans (FIP) but have since been reemployed at UF. Due to the legislative change, these reemployed retirees will be reenrolled, effective July 1, back into either the ORP or FIP, depending on the position the renewed member is filling as of July 1. Retroactive membership prior to July 1 will not be allowed. Please note: Reemployed retirees who retired under the Florida Pension Plan will not be eligible for renewed membership in either the ORP or the FIP.

The second change affects newly hired employees and is effective Jan. 1, 2018. The default retirement plan assigned to a new employee will no longer be the FRS Pension Plan. Instead, employees who do not select a retirement plan will default into an investment plan (either the ORP or FIP, depending upon their employment status). The bill does provide an exception for employees classified as Special Risk. These employees will continue to default into the FRS Pension Plan. Also, all Health Center Faculty will continue to be mandated into ORP and will not be eligible for either the FIP or the Florida Pension Plan.

The legislative changes provide an election period of eight months following the month of hire—the period had previously been five months. The change also applies to members who were initially enrolled in the FRS prior to Jan. 1, 2018, if they terminated employment during the initial election period without making an election and then return to FRS-covered employment on or after Jan. 1, 2018.

The bill was signed into law on June 14. More information on the Senate bill is available here. Read the July FRS Employer Newsletter here.

Questions? Contact UF Benefits at  benefits@ufl.edu or (352) 392-2477. Or use the online appointment scheduler to make an appointment with a benefits specialist.

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Posted in: Benefits