The Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP) is available when you are vested and have reached your normal retirement date. It allows you to retire while continuing to be employed by an FRS employer for up to 60 months (96 months under certain circumstances if employed as "instructional personnel" for the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind or a grades K-12 school). You must elect DROP participation within (12) twelve months after you reach your normal retirement date, unless you are employed as "instructional personnel."
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You're eligible for DROP participation.
You're eligible to participate as of your normal retirement date â€” the earliest date at which you are eligible for full, unreduced benefits based upon your age and service.
If you enrolled in the FRS 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.
If you enrolled in the FRS on or 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.
Once you start participating in this program, your monthly DROP benefit is placed in your DROP account where it earns interest compounded monthly at an effective annual rate of 6.5% (if your DROP participation began prior to July 1, 2011) or 1.3% (if your DROP participation began on or after July 1, 2011). These benefits are increased by a 3% cost-of-living adjustment each July 1 (adjustment only applicable for FRS service earned prior to July 1, 2011).
When your DROP participation ends, you receive two retirement benefits - one from the FRS Pension Plan paid as a lifetime monthly benefit payment and one from DROP. The DROP benefit is paid as a lump sum, a rollover to another qualified plan, or a combination partial lump-sum payment and rollover. You are also eligible to roll your DROP lump sum into the FRS Investment Plan as one of your roll over options to keep your money growing in the FRS.
You're not eligible for DROP participation as an Investment Plan member, but Pension Plan members are eligible to roll their DROP lump sum into the Investment Plan as one of the distribution methods under the Pension Plan.