FAQs

(48) Aren't the contribution rates different in the Pension Plan than in the Investment Plan? Does this mean one plan will provide a lower retirement benefit?

No. The amount of employee and employer contributions made to the Pension Plan Trust Fund does not affect or determine the amount of your Pension Plan benefit; your benefit is determined by the plan's fixed benefit formula. That formula guarantees your benefit amount regardless of the contributions you and your employer makes to the Trust Fund or how the Trust Fund's investments perform.


However, under the Investment Plan, the contributions paid by you and your employer to your plan account do determine your retirement benefit. These contributions, plus the investment earnings on these contributions when invested (less any expenses or fees), will determine the amount of your retirement benefit.

(41) What is early retirement?

Under the Pension Plan, if you are vested, but are not yet eligible to retire with full, unreduced benefits based on your age and/or length of service, you may be able to elect to retire early and receive a reduced lifetime benefit. The amount of benefit reduction would depend on your age at retirement.

(35) What is vesting?

Under a retirement plan, vesting means the assurance that a member is eligible to receive a future benefit upon completing required years of creditable service. For the FRS Investment Plan, if you have completed one year of service with an FRS employer, you are vested in (or, you own) all contributions and earnings on those contributions.


If you leave FRS-covered employment before you're vested in your Investment Plan benefit, you won't be entitled to any benefit other than the distribution of your employee contributions. If you request a distribution of your employee contributions, you will be considered a retiree of the FRS and forfeit all unvested employer contributions and earnings.


If you leave FRS-covered employment after vesting in your Investment Plan benefit, but before your transferred Pension Plan benefit has vested vested (6 or 8 years depending on date initially hired), you may only receive your vested employee and employer contributions plus earnings paid after your transfer to the Investment Plan. However, if you take any distribution from your Investment Plan benefit, the Pension Plan benefit you transferred into the Investment Plan will be forfeited.


These vesting requirements are established by the Florida Legislature and included in the Florida Statutes. They are subject to change.

(2026) Some of my employees don't have any experience or interest in managing an investment account. Are there resources or investment funds that will simplify this task, or even do it for them?

Yes. The resources available through the FRS provide personalized assistance with designing and managing an Investment Plan account to help them meet their retirement goals and be aware of and comfortable with the risks. For persons who do not want to routinely monitor their investments to ensure that they remain on their long-term retirement plan, the Investment Plan includes ten Retirement Date Funds. These funds invest in a diversified portfolio of other FRS Investment Plan funds and use an asset allocation concept called "target date funds." The mix of funds in each Retirement Date Fund is based on the amount of time you have before retirement, and the mix gradually changes as your retirement gets nearer. This gradual change follows a careful investment strategy called a "glide path." They may want to consider directing all of their contributions to one of these retirement date funds.

(2015) Will new employees be able to choose between the two plans?

Yes. In general, newly hired employees will be enrolled automatically in the FRS Pension Plan on their date of hire. If they wish to participate in the FRS Pension Plan instead of the Investment Plan, they have until 4:00 PM ET on the last business day of the eighth month after the month of hire to select the Pension Plan. Special Risk members would need to choose the Investment Plan instead of the Pension Plan. (State University System employees, who are automatically enrolled in the University Optional Retirement Plan, are the exception. They must first opt out of the Optional Retirement Plan into the Pension Plan within their first 90 days, and then choose the Investment Plan.)

(2034) What are the contribution rates for the Investment Plan and Pension Plan?

Employees and employers pay the same contribution rate regardless of whether a member is in the Pension Plan or the Investment Plan (called a "blended contribution rate").

This chart shows the blended rate, which is the rate actually paid by employers and employees (as of July 1 , 2019).

Membership Class Paid by Employee Paid by Employer Total Paid by
Employee and
Employer
  Retirement Retirement Administrative &
Education
Health Insurance
Subsidy
Regular Class 3% 6.75% 0.06% 1.66% 11.47%
Special Risk
Class
3% 23.76% 0.06% 1.66% 28.48%
Special Risk
Administrative
Support Class
3% 36.87% 0.06% 1.66% 41.59%
Elected Officers'
Class - (Judges)
3% 40.28% 0.06% 1.66% 45.00%
Elected Officers'
Class - (Legislature/
Cabinet/Public
Defender/State Attorney)
3% 54.31% 0.06% 1.66% 59.03%
Elected Officers'
Class -
(County and Local)
3% 47.10% 0.06% 1.66% 51.82%
Senior Management
Service Class
3% 23.69% 0.06% 1.66% 28.41%
DROP 0% 12.94% 0% 1.66% 14.60%

This chart shows the rate actually paid into an Investment Plan member's account (as of July 1, 2019):


Membership Class Paid by Employee Paid by Employer Total
Regular Class 3.00% 3.30% 6.30%
Special Risk Class 3.00% 11.00% 14.00%
Special Risk
Administrative
Support Class
3.00% 4.95% 7.95%
Elected Officers'
Class- (Judges)
3.00% 10.23% 13.23%
Elected Officers'
Class - (Legislature/
Cabinet/Public
Defender/State Attorney)
3.00% 6.38% 9.38%
Elected Officers'
Class -
(County and Local)
3.00% 8.34% 11.34%
Senior Management
Service Class
3.00% 4.67% 7.67%
(2014) If I currently offer, or plan to offer, an additional savings vehicle to my employees, does the FRS Investment Plan prevent me from doing this?

No. You can choose to offer any other additional savings vehicles to your employees. It would be to their advantage to participate in a contributory savings plan (in addition to those offered by the FRS) to maximize their retirement savings.

(2013) How will employees make their FRS plan selection?

Employees can make their selection in any of four ways:


  • By printing out the enrollment form provided on this site, then completing and submitting the form;
    If in the Regular, Special Risk, or Special Risk Administrative Support Classes, by:
  • Enrolling online using the CHOICE SERVICE, which is available to employees at the start of their respective Choice period;
  • Enrolling online by clicking on the "Enroll" button and following the necessary steps; or
  • Calling the MyFRS Financial Guidance Line at 1-866-446-9377, Option 4.
(2025) Will some employees who select the Investment Plan be tempted to use their money for a big purchase when they leave the FRS and then not have any retirement benefit?

Quite possibly. All accessible account balances are at risk after an FRS participant terminates employment. (Account balances become accessible three calendar months after an FRS participant terminates employment (a 10% distribution is permitted after one calendar month if normal retirement is attained).) To help prevent this tendency to spend now, regret later, the FRS informs employees about the benefit of tax-deferred savings and long-term investment strategies. It stresses the importance of finding out how much employees need to live comfortably in retirement and determining where that income will be coming from. It also identifies post-termination investment and retirement payout opportunities (lump sum vs. annuities) for members of both FRS plans.