Faculty & Staff Retirement Plans
Employees of The University of West Florida have access to a variety of retirement planning resources. All employees in established, eligible positions are members of the Florida Retirement System from their first day of employment. This page will provide employees with the various options available to them for their retirement planning and their future.
UWF employees have several options to choice from in deciding on their retirement plan. The options available to an employee depend upon their position within the classification system at UWF. This page contains information about state retirement systems in Florida, including the FRS, the fourth largest public system in the nation.
The Florida Retirement System (FRS) offers two retirement plans for state employees. These are the FRS Pension Plan and the FRS Investment Plan. In addition, the State University System Optional Retirement Plan is an alternative to the FRS plans for Faculty and qualified University Work Force Exempt employees.
You may also want to visit the MyFRS website, which is a cooperative website of the Department of Management Services and the Florida State Board of Administration. It is part of the MyFRS Financial Guidance Program and offers online planning models and choice tools to help employees eligible for membership in the FRS to choose between the FRS Pension Plan and the FRS Investment Plan. The website also provides access to resources available under both plans.
FRS Pension Plan
The State of Florida Department of Management Services sponsors a defined-benefit pension plan. Benefits are determined by a formula which includes years of service, earnings and age at retirement. Each pay period, employees currently pay 3.00% and the University contributes an amount set by the Florida Legislature. The Florida Retirement System must ensure that sufficient funds are available when your benefits are due and bears the market risk and investment decisions.
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.
FRS Investment Plan
The FRS Investment Plan is administered by the Florida State Board of Administration (FSBA). The Investment Plan is a defined contribution plan, in which employer and employee contributions are defined by law, but your ultimate benefit depends in part on the performance of your investment funds. Unlike the Pension Plan, there is no fixed benefit level at retirement. The Investment Plan directs contributions to individual member accounts, and you allocate your contributions and account balance among various investment funds. Your Investment Plan retirement benefit is the value of your account at termination.
State University System Optional Retirement Program (SUSORP)
The SUSORP is a defined-contribution plan sponsored by the State of Florida available as an alternative to the FRS plans for faculty and qualified University Work Force Exempt employees. Each pay period, employees currently contribute 3.00% and the university will contribute a percentage of your earnings to an annuity plan. Employees may make additional contributions on a voluntary basis as permitted by the plan. The program is intended to aid the university system in recruiting eligible employees by offering more portability to those employees who do not expect to remain in the system long enough to become vested in the Florida Retirement System (eight years). Your benefits are determined by the dollars in your account at the time of retirement.
Comparing the Plan Options
Employees are encouraged to visit the MyFRS website, the cooperative website of the FSBA and the Division of Retirement, or call the toll-free help line at 866-446-9377 to compare the plan options.
Retirement Plan for OPS Employees
The Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1990 (OBRA 90) introduced into the law IRS Section 3121(b) (7) (f). As a result, temporary employees of a government entity may deposit money into a private retirement plan instead of Social Security. The University of West Florida began the FICA Alternative plan for its OPS Staff in September 2010. In depth information is available on the FICA Alternative Plan pages.
- Brochure for ORP-Eligible Employees
- Comparison Resources for FRS Pension and Investment
- FRS News
- FRS Member Handbook
- FRS Division Forms
- Tax Deferred Annuities Local Contacts
Tax-Sheltered Annuities & Supplemental Plans
Employees in OPS or Line Item positions are eligible to contribute to these investment plans:
We are pleased to introduce a new Web-based tool called Retirement Manager!
The Retirement Manager provides certificates for LOANS and HARDSHIPS for all 403(b) Voluntary plans. The certificate is required for these transactions.
Retirement Manager is a convenient, secure, Web-based access point from which you can manage your retirement plan accounts anytime and anywhere, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Simply go to the Retirement Manager Web-based access point.
You can use the Retirement Manager site to:
- Learn more about your retirement savings plan(s)
- View aggregate balance information across investment providers
- Request a Loan Certificate
- Request a Distribution Eligibility Certificate for the following transactions:
- Hardship Withdrawal
- In-Service Exchange
- Read educational articles on a range of financial planning topics
- Calculate what you will need to stay on track for retirement with easy-to-use financial calculators
We are pleased to introduce a new support line for assistance with the Retirement Manager application!
Effective January 7, 2019, the Retirement Manager support line is available to take calls from all University of West Florida employees regardless of their investment provider selection. The support line is staffed with a dedicated group of Client Service Professionals that are available to provide guidance on the login process, general navigation questions, and how to use the enrollment and disbursement transaction screens. Please note that account specific questions related to a particular provider should still be addressed directly to the provider.
The participant support line is available Monday through Friday (excluding holidays) from 7:00AM to 6:00PM Central time.
Retirement Manager Support Line: 1-866-294-7950
We are confident you will benefit from this valuable new enhancement to your retirement planning tools. If you have any questions, please contact Jeff Comeau at (850) 474-2610.
Financial Planning for Employees
Human Resources offers free seminars twice a year to assist with topics such as estate planning, investing, and Social Security & Medicare. Sign up for these sessions on the Professional Development Learning Library.
Preparing for Retirement
Faculty and staff desiring more information on applying for retirement benefits are encouraged to speak with our Human Resources Benefits Team. In addition, a wealth of information is available online regarding applying for your benefit, what to expect after retirement, and the Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP). Please visit our detailed "Preparing for Retirement" page.
Working after Retirement
Educate yourself about the guidelines and requirements for returning to work. The Human Resources Benefits Section is here to assist you with your questions on the requirements of returning to work after you retire from the State of Florida. Reviewing the following documents is highly encouraged if you are considering returning to state employment. For individual discussions and counseling, call Human Resources at 850-474-2694 or email Adrian Rowley or Jeff Comeau.