Once employees have set a time frame for retirement, there are several steps which must be taken for the end of employment and distribution of benefits to go smoothly.
Applying for Retirement
Faculty and staff should begin getting documentation in order approximately six months to one year prior to retirement. The following guides are designed to assist in this process.
- Checklist: 90-Day Countdown to Retirement
- MyFRS Information on Retirement Benefits
- Preparing to Retire (Brochure from DMS)
|15-20 Years Prior to Retirement||Assess or re-assess financial plan. Attend Financial/Retirement Planning Seminars/workshops. Adjust financial plans as necessary to meet your desired goals.|
|After you are vested (6 yrs. if hired prior to 7/1/11 or 8 yrs. if hired after 6/30/11)||Make arrangements for any buy-back time you wish to purchase and for which you are eligible (certain military service, out-of-state service, service for which you have been reimbursed. Each fiscal year after you are eligible to buy back, a charge of six percent is added to the amount to purchase eligible time for retirement purposes. Forms must be completed and sent to the Division of Retirement to request an amount necessary to purchase.|
|3 years prior to retirement||Request Estimate of Benefits by completing and submitting form FR-9 (manual) or access online at the FRS website. Click ESTIMATE on menu. You may also access ONLINE SERVICES on the same menu which will take you to a private page requiring a password. You may set up using the instructions given to access. You will then be allowed to view current information and create different scenarios for your best options. Also, use the FRS link and menu to access publications where you will find a booklet "Preparing to Retire" which will give you valuable information|
|1 year prior to retirement||Confirm that you have the required birth certificate(s). If not available request duplicate(s) of any you need. If a birth certificate is not available, you may find a list of other acceptable proof of birth items on the FRS website. Go to Division Forms on this website and bring up BVR-1.|
|5 months prior to retirement||Complete an application for retirement (Forms will depend on type of retirement). Make sure you have paid for any time you were eligible to purchase, or if you do not wish to purchase time, complete a form notifying the Division of your decision.|
|2 months prior to retirement for Regular Retirees or Termination of DROP||Complete benefits package to retain or decline coverage you have access to upon retirement.|
|2 months prior to retirement||
Retirement Awards Selection
Notify Supervisor of impending retirement approximately a month prior to last workday. Contact Controller's office to resolve any outstanding debts owed to the University or to address annual leave payouts and sick leave if applicable. Follow departmental/OHR regulations for terminating employment with the University. Department should forward completed action sheet, separation checklist, exit interview, final leave sheet.
Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP)
Employees in the Florida Retirement System Pension Plan are offered an alternative method for payment of retirement benefits for a specified and limited period. This is available for members of FRS, TRS and SCOERS. Under this program, you may retire and have your FRS benefits accumulate in the FRS Trust Fund, earning interest, while you continue to work for an FRS employer for up to 5 years. You are eligible to participate in the DROP when you are a participant of the Pension Plan, are vested, and have reached your normal retirement date.
Under this program, you stop earning service credit toward a future benefit, have your retirement benefit calculated at the time your DROP period begins and your monthly retirement benefits accumulate in the FRS Trust Fund, earning interest, while you continue to work for an FRS employer. Upon termination, your DROP account is paid to you as a lump sum payment, a rollover or a combination partial lump sum payment and rollover. Monthly benefits are paid to you in the amount, as calculated upon entry into DROP, plus any applicable cost-of-living adjustments for intervening years.
When debating the option of entering the DROP program, speak to the Human Resources Benefits Team where you can gain valuable insight into the program and your available options. Also, contact the MyFRS Guidance Line for additional, helpful information. They can be reached at 866-446-9377.
For the UWF Human Resources DROP process checklist, click here.