The following general provisions relating to the operation and administration of any retirement system or plan covered by this part shall be applicable:
(1) The provisions of each retirement system or plan shall be contained in a written summary plan description, to be published on a biennial basis, in a manner calculated to be understood by the average plan participant and sufficiently accurate and comprehensive to apprise participants of their rights and obligations under the plan and which shall include a report of pertinent financial and actuarial information on the solvency and actuarial soundness of the plan. Such summary plan description shall be furnished to a member of the system or plan upon initial employment or participation in such plan and, thereafter, with each new biennial publication by the administrator. The administrator of each plan shall publish the summary plan description not later than 210 days after the end of the plan year in which publication is required. During those years when a complete summary plan description is not published, the administrator of each plan or retirement system shall publish a supplement of changes during the previous year to be furnished to new members of the system upon initial employment or participation in the plan.
(2) The plan description shall contain the following information: the name and type of administration of the plan; the name and address of the person designated as agent for the service of legal process, if such person is not the administrator; the name and address of the administrator; the names, titles, and addresses of any trustee or trustees, if they are persons different from the administrator; a description of the relevant provisions of any applicable collective bargaining agreement; the plan’s requirements respecting eligibility for participation and benefits; a description of the provisions providing for nonforfeitable pension benefits; the circumstances which may result in disqualification, ineligibility, or denial or forfeiture of benefits; the source of financing of the plan and the identity of any organization through which benefits are provided; the date of the end of the plan year and whether the records of the plan are kept on a calendar, policy, or fiscal year basis; the procedures to be followed in presenting claims for benefits under the plan and the remedies available under the plan for the redress of claims which are denied in whole or in part; citations to the relevant provisions of state or local law and regulations governing the establishment, operation, and administration of the plan; a description of those provisions which specify the conditions under which pension benefits become vested pension benefits; and a report of pertinent financial and actuarial information on the solvency and actuarial soundness of the plan.
(3) Each retirement system or plan shall provide for a plan administrator.
(4) Any provision in a legal agreement, contract, or instrument which purports to relieve a fiduciary of a retirement system or plan from responsibility or liability is void as being against public policy.
(5) A civil action may be brought by a member or beneficiary of a retirement system or plan to recover benefits due to him or her under the terms of his or her retirement system or plan, to enforce the member’s or beneficiary’s rights, or to clarify his or her rights to future benefits under the terms of the retirement system or plan.
(6) The governmental entity responsible for the administration and operation of a retirement system or plan may sue or be sued as an entity.
(7) There shall be timely adequate written notice given to any member or beneficiary whose claim for benefits under the terms of his or her retirement system or plan has been denied, setting forth the specific reasons for such denial. Unless otherwise provided by law, the terms of the retirement system or plan shall provide for a full and fair review in those cases when a member or beneficiary has had his or her claim to benefits denied.
(8) The assets and liabilities of a retirement system or plan shall remain under the ultimate control of the governmental unit responsible for the retirement system or plan, unless an irrevocable trust has been or is established for the purpose of managing and controlling the retirement system or plan, in which case the board of trustees shall have ultimate control over the assets and liabilities of the retirement system or plan. Nothing herein shall absolve the governmental unit from being ultimately responsible for the payment of its contribution to a retirement system or plan nor remove from the governmental unit the ultimate authority to adjust benefits consistent with the Florida Statutes and the retirement system or plan; however, nothing contained herein shall be construed to permit the creation of such irrevocable trust except by special act of the Legislature.
(9) The instrument or instruments, ordinance, or statute under which a retirement system or plan operates shall provide that all assets of such retirement system or plan shall be held in trust by the board of trustees or, when an irrevocable trust does not exist, by the governmental entity.
(10) No plan shall discriminate in its benefit formula based on color, national origin, sex, or marital status. Nothing herein shall preclude a plan from actuarially adjusting benefits or offering options based on age, early retirement, or disability.