August 27, 2016
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The Florida Statutes

The 2001 Florida Statutes

Title XVI
Education
Chapter 238
Retirement System For School Teachers
View Entire Chapter
Section 238.05, Florida Statutes 2001

238.05  Membership.--

(1)  The membership of the retirement system shall consist of the following:

(a)  All persons who were teachers at any time during the school years 1936-1937 through 1938-1939 shall become members as of July 1, 1939, unless, prior to December 1, 1939, any such teacher shall file with the board of trustees on a form prescribed by such board a notice of his or her election not to be covered in the membership of the retirement system and a duly executed waiver of all present and prospective benefits which would otherwise inure to him or her on account of his or her participation in the retirement system; provided, that all persons who were not eligible for membership in the retirement system at the time the system became effective and who are now eligible for membership by reason of the redefinition of the word "teacher," and by reason of having served in any of the capacities included in the redefinition of the term during any of the school years 1936-1937 through 1942-1943 shall become members as of July 1, 1943, unless prior to December 1, 1943, any such person shall file with the board of trustees a notice of his or her election not to be covered in the membership of the retirement system as prescribed above; provided, that all persons who become eligible for membership in the retirement system by reason of the redefinition in s. 238.01, of the word "teacher," and who served in any of the capacities included in the redefinition of the term during any of the school years 1936-1937 through 1944-1945, shall become members as of July 1, 1945, unless prior to December 1, 1945, any such person shall file with the board of trustees a notice of his or her election not to be covered in the membership of the retirement system as prescribed above; provided also that all persons who become eligible for membership in the retirement system by reason of the redefinition in s. 238.01(4), Florida Statutes 1949, of the word "teacher" and who served in any of the capacities included in the redefinition of the term during any of the school years 1936-1937 through 1946-1947 shall become members as of July 1, 1947, unless prior to December 1, 1947, any such person shall file with the board of trustees a notice of his or her election not to be kept in the membership of the retirement system as prescribed above; provided, however, that any person who has heretofore filed a nonelection waiver blank shall not be required to make another such election; provided, further, that any person who heretofore has elected not to become a member shall until July 1, 1949, have the option of becoming a member.

(b)  All persons who became or who become teachers on or after July 1, 1939, except as provided in paragraph (a) and subsection (5) hereof, shall become members of the retirement system by virtue of their appointment as teachers. However, employees who are not members of the teaching or professional staff shall only become members of the retirement system by filing a notice with the department of their election to become members.

(2)  A teacher whose membership in the retirement system is contingent on his or her own election and who has elected not to become a member, may thereafter apply for and be admitted to membership and receive credit for prior service; provided no such teacher shall receive credit for service prior to such election unless he or she is admitted to membership as of a date before May 1, 1959. Credit for service rendered prior to July 1, 1939, shall be for continuous employment only except that one period of absence of not more than 5 years will be allowed in computing such prior service credit, provided, however, that a teacher admitted to membership prior to January 1, 1955, shall receive credit for all prior service and if he or she has retired, his or her retirement allowance shall be increased effective July 1, 1961. A teacher admitted to membership under this provision must pay into the Annuity Savings Trust Fund prior to his or her retirement contributions plus regular interest thereon based upon all salary received as a teacher prior to and after July 1, 1939.

(3)  Except as otherwise provided in s. 238.07(9), membership of any person in the retirement system will cease if he or she is continuously unemployed as a teacher for a period of more than 5 consecutive years, or upon the withdrawal by the member of his or her accumulated contributions as provided in s. 238.07(13), or upon retirement, or upon death; provided that the adjustments prescribed below are to be made for persons who enter the Armed Forces of the United States during a period of war or national emergency and for persons who are granted leaves of absence. Any member of the retirement system who within 1 year before the time of entering the Armed Forces of the United States was a teacher, as defined in s. 238.01, or was engaged in other public educational work within the state, and member of the Teachers' Retirement System at the time of induction, or who has been or is granted leave of absence, shall be permitted to elect to continue his or her membership in the Teachers' Retirement System; and membership service shall be allowed for the period covered by service in the Armed Forces of the United States or by leave of absence under the following conditions:

(a)  A person who has been granted leave of absence shall file with the department before his or her next contribution is due an application to continue his or her membership during the period covered by the person's leave of absence and, if such application is filed, shall make his or her contribution to the retirement system on the basis of his or her last previous annual salary as a teacher, and shall, prior to retirement, pay in full to the system such contributions with accumulated regular interest. Such contributions with interest may be paid at one time or in monthly, quarterly, semiannual, or annual payments in the person's discretion.

(b)  A person who enters or who has entered the Armed Forces of the United States may either continue his or her membership according to the plan outlined under paragraph (a) or, in lieu thereof, may file with the department at any time following the close of his or her military service an application that his or her membership be continued and that membership service be allowed for not more than 5 years of his or her period of service in the Armed Forces of the United States during any period of war or national emergency; provided that any such person shall, prior to retirement, pay in full his or her contributions with accumulated regular interest to the retirement system for the period for which he or she is entitled to membership service on the basis of his or her last previous annual salary as a teacher. Such contributions with interest may be paid to the department at one time or in monthly, quarterly, semiannual, or annual payments in the person's discretion.

(c)  Any person who served in the Armed Forces of the United States in World War I, or who served as a registered nurse or nurse's aide in service connected with the Armed Forces of the United States during the period of World War I, and who is now a member of the Teachers' Retirement System and who, at or before the time of entering the Armed Forces or the service of the care and nursing of members of the Armed Forces of the United States, was a teacher as defined in s. 238.01 is entitled to prior service and out-of-state prior service credit in the Teachers' Retirement System for his or her period of such service.

(4)  The department may in its discretion deny the right to become members to any class of teachers who are serving on a temporary or any other than a per annum basis, and it may also in its discretion make optional with members in any such class their individual entrance into membership.

(5)  Any person may, at his or her option, choose not to become a member of the Teachers' Retirement System when:

(a)  An election is made to the division not to become a member within 60 days of appointment to a teaching position as defined in this chapter or within 60 days from the date this law becomes effective.

(b)  Any election hereunder will not affect any rights accrued in the retirement system to which the person belongs.

History.--s. 5, ch. 19014, 1939; CGL 1940 Supp. 892(160); s. 2, ch. 20749, 1941; s. 1, ch. 21971, 1943; s. 2, ch. 22062, 1943; s. 2, ch. 22693, 1945; s. 2, ch. 23864, 1947; s. 7, ch. 24337, 1947; s. 11, ch. 25035, 1949; s. 2, ch. 25398, 1949; s. 1, ch. 28196, 1953; s. 3, ch. 29942, 1955; s. 1, ch. 57-357; s. 1, ch. 61-303; s. 1, ch. 61-458; ss. 31, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 69-108; s. 9, ch. 84-114; s. 1, ch. 95-143; s. 8, ch. 95-148; s. 76, ch. 99-255; s. 17, ch. 2000-339.

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