December 04, 2020
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       Florida Senate - 2010                              CS for SB 612
       By the Committee on Governmental Oversight and Accountability;
       and Senators Baker and Thrasher
       585-04977-10                                           2010612c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to Special Risk Class retirement;
    3         amending s. 121.091, F.S.; prohibiting certain members
    4         of the Special Risk Class from being reemployed or
    5         contracting with the same employer from which the
    6         member retired; extending the period of time during
    7         which certain Special Risk Class members may
    8         participate in the Florida Retirement System Deferred
    9         Retirement Option Program; providing legislative
   10         findings with respect to the state’s interest in
   11         protecting the public’s safety and welfare by
   12         extending retirement benefits for officers and funding
   13         increased retirement benefits in an actuarially sound
   14         manner; providing an effective date.
   16         WHEREAS, one of the most fundamental mechanisms for
   17  ensuring the safety and welfare of the public is through the
   18  state’s law enforcement agencies and correctional institutions,
   19  and
   20         WHEREAS, law enforcement agencies and correctional
   21  institutions throughout this state and the nation are
   22  experiencing great difficulty in recruiting and retaining well
   23  qualified law enforcement and correctional officers, and
   24         WHEREAS, this need is projected to become more critical in
   25  the future, and
   26         WHEREAS, the most critical need is to recruit and retain
   27  line officers who have daily and direct contact with the
   28  criminal element, and
   29         WHEREAS, because such work is physically demanding or
   30  arduous and often requires extraordinary agility and mental
   31  acuity that can diminish with age, persons employed in these
   32  positions are classified as special risk and able to retire at
   33  an earlier age, and
   34         WHEREAS, one mechanism for retaining qualified officers is
   35  to extend the amount of time that such officers can remain in
   36  the Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP), NOW, THEREFORE,
   38  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   40         Section 1. Present paragraph (e) of subsection (9) of
   41  section 121.091, Florida Statutes, is redesignated as paragraph
   42  (f), a new paragraph (e) is added to that subsection, and
   43  paragraph (b) of subsection (13) of that section is amended, to
   44  read:
   45         121.091 Benefits payable under the system.—Benefits may not
   46  be paid under this section unless the member has terminated
   47  employment as provided in s. 121.021(39)(a) or begun
   48  participation in the Deferred Retirement Option Program as
   49  provided in subsection (13), and a proper application has been
   50  filed in the manner prescribed by the department. The department
   51  may cancel an application for retirement benefits when the
   52  member or beneficiary fails to timely provide the information
   53  and documents required by this chapter and the department’s
   54  rules. The department shall adopt rules establishing procedures
   55  for application for retirement benefits and for the cancellation
   56  of such application when the required information or documents
   57  are not received.
   59         (e)A member who is employed as a law enforcement officer,
   60  correctional officer, or community-based correctional probation
   61  officer, as described in s. 121.0515(2); who has a rank or the
   62  equivalent rank of captain or below at the beginning of
   63  participation in DROP; and who participates in DROP for an
   64  additional 36 months beyond the 60-month period, at the
   65  conclusion of his or her participation in DROP, may not be
   66  employed, reemployed, or retained in a contractual capacity by
   67  the same employer from which the member retired or from which
   68  the member terminated DROP participation, except that the
   69  retiree may be retained by the employer as a part-time law
   70  enforcement officer, an auxiliary law enforcement officer, a
   71  part-time correctional officer, or an auxiliary correctional
   72  officer, as those terms are defined in s. 943.10, if the retiree
   73  is serving on a voluntary basis and receives no more than $1 per
   74  calendar year for services rendered directly for the employer. A
   75  retiree who is reemployed or retained in a contractual capacity
   76  in violation of this paragraph voids his or her application for
   77  retirement benefits. A retiree who violates this paragraph and
   78  an employer who employs or contracts with such person in
   79  violation of this paragraph are jointly and severally liable for
   80  reimbursement to the retirement trust fund, including the
   81  Florida Retirement System Trust Fund and the Public Employee
   82  Optional Retirement Program Trust Fund, from which the benefits
   83  were paid. This paragraph does not apply to a retiree who is
   84  elected to an office or appointed to an office by the Governor
   85  or by the Governor and Cabinet.
   86         (13) DEFERRED RETIREMENT OPTION PROGRAM.—In general, and
   87  subject to this section, the Deferred Retirement Option Program,
   88  hereinafter referred to as DROP, is a program under which an
   89  eligible member of the Florida Retirement System may elect to
   90  participate, deferring receipt of retirement benefits while
   91  continuing employment with his or her Florida Retirement System
   92  employer. The deferred monthly benefits shall accrue in the
   93  Florida Retirement System on behalf of the participant, plus
   94  interest compounded monthly, for the specified period of the
   95  DROP participation, as provided in paragraph (c). Upon
   96  termination of employment, the participant shall receive the
   97  total DROP benefits and begin to receive the previously
   98  determined normal retirement benefits. Participation in the DROP
   99  does not guarantee employment for the specified period of DROP.
  100  Participation in DROP by an eligible member beyond the initial
  101  60-month period as authorized in this subsection shall be on an
  102  annual contractual basis for all participants.
  103         (b) Participation in DROP.—
  104         1. An eligible member may elect to participate in DROP for
  105  a period not to exceed a maximum of 60 calendar months.
  106  However:,
  107         a. Members who are instructional personnel employed by the
  108  Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind and authorized by the
  109  Board of Trustees of the Florida School for the Deaf and the
  110  Blind, who are instructional personnel as defined in s.
  111  1012.01(2)(a)-(d) in grades K-12 and authorized by the district
  112  school superintendent, or who are instructional personnel as
  113  defined in s. 1012.01(2)(a) employed by a developmental research
  114  school and authorized by the school’s director, or if the school
  115  has no director, by the school’s principal, may participate in
  116  DROP for up to 36 calendar months beyond the 60-month period.
  117         b.Members who are employed as law enforcement officers,
  118  correctional officers, or community-based correctional probation
  119  officers, as described in s. 121.0515(2), and who have a rank or
  120  equivalent rank of captain or below at the beginning of
  121  participation in DROP, may participate in DROP for up to 36
  122  months beyond the 60-month period.
  123         2. Upon deciding to participate in DROP, the member shall
  124  submit, on forms required by the division:
  125         a. A written election to participate in DROP;
  126         b. Selection of DROP participation and termination dates
  127  that satisfy the limitations stated in paragraph (a) and
  128  subparagraph 1. The termination date must be in a binding letter
  129  of resignation to the employer establishing a deferred
  130  termination date. The member may change the termination date
  131  within the limitations of subparagraph 1., but only with the
  132  written approval of the employer;
  133         c. A properly completed DROP application for service
  134  retirement as provided in this section; and
  135         d. Any other information required by the division.
  136         3. The DROP participant is a retiree under the Florida
  137  Retirement System for all purposes, except for paragraph (5)(f)
  138  and subsection (9) and ss. 112.3173, 112.363, 121.053, and
  139  121.122. DROP participation is final and may not be canceled by
  140  the participant after the first payment is credited during the
  141  DROP participation period. However, participation in DROP does
  142  not alter the participant’s employment status, and the member is
  143  not deemed retired from employment until his or her deferred
  144  resignation is effective and termination occurs as defined in s.
  145  121.021.
  146         4. Elected officers are eligible to participate in DROP
  147  subject to the following:
  148         a. An elected officer who reaches normal retirement date
  149  during a term of office may defer the election to participate
  150  until the next succeeding term in that office. An elected
  151  officer who exercises this option may participate in DROP for up
  152  to 60 calendar months or no longer than the succeeding term of
  153  office, whichever is less.
  154         b. An elected or a nonelected participant may run for a
  155  term of office while participating in DROP and, if elected,
  156  extend the DROP termination date accordingly; however, if the
  157  such additional term of office exceeds the 60-month limitation
  158  established in subparagraph 1., and the officer does not resign
  159  from office within the such 60-month limitation, the retirement
  160  and the participant’s DROP is null and void as provided in sub
  161  subparagraph (c)5.d.
  162         c. An elected officer who is dually employed and elects to
  163  participate in DROP must terminate all employment relationships
  164  as provided in s. 121.021(39) for the nonelected position within
  165  the original 60-month period or maximum participation period as
  166  provided in subparagraph 1. For DROP participation ending:
  167         (I) Before July 1, 2010, the officer may continue
  168  employment as an elected officer as provided in s. 121.053. The
  169  elected officer shall be enrolled as a renewed member in the
  170  Elected Officers’ Class or the Regular Class, as provided in ss.
  171  121.053 and 121.122, on the first day of the month after
  172  termination of employment in the nonelected position and
  173  termination of DROP. Distribution of the DROP benefits shall be
  174  made as provided in paragraph (c).
  175         (II) On or after July 1, 2010, the officer may continue
  176  employment as an elected officer but must defer termination as
  177  provided in s. 121.053.
  178         Section 2. The Legislature finds and declares that ensuring
  179  the availability of experienced law enforcement, correctional,
  180  and probation officers to protect the safety and welfare of the
  181  public is an important state interest. Providing such officers
  182  who are members of the Florida Retirement System with an
  183  opportunity to extend their employment as law enforcement
  184  officers, correctional officers, or probation officers by
  185  increasing the maximum participation period in the Deferred
  186  Retirement Option Program will help serve that interest. Funding
  187  for such retirement benefits must be made, administered, and
  188  funded in an actuarially sound manner as required by s. 14,
  189  Article X of the State Constitution and part VII of chapter 112,
  190  Florida Statutes.
  191         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.

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