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FRS Retirement Eligibility

Miami-Dade County provides retirement benefits for eligible employees through the Florida Retirement System (FRS).  Enrollment is automatic for full-time and part-time employees.

The FRS is qualified under Section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code and provides a defined benefit (FRS Pension Plan) and a defined contribution plan (FRS Investment Plan) option.  Under the defined benefit plan, for every month an employee receives a paycheck, they receive one month of service credit; if the employee participates in the defined contribution plan a contribution is made to their account and the employee is responsible for managing their investments.

In order to qualify for the retirement benefit, an employee must be vested.  Effective July 1, 2011, the legislature amended the retirement plan and redefined normal retirement age and the vesting requirements for new members.  In addition, FRS members must contribute 3% of their salary towards their retirement benefit, on a pre-tax basis (the salary is reduced by the amount of the employee contribution before determining the federal income tax deduction); the remainder is paid by the employer. Members participating in the Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP) and re-employed retirees who do not qualify for renewed membership are not required to make the 3% contribution

Members Enrolled in the FRS Prior to July 1, 2011

When you retire, you'll want to maintain the lifestyle you currently have. Social Security and the Florida Retirement System are not intended to replace all of your income at retirement. It is wise to start a savings plan now. The Deferred Compensation Plan is a tax deferred savings plan that can be used at retirement to supplement your Florida Retirement System and Social Security benefit.

  • Vesting for FRS Pension Plan benefit eligibility will be after the completion of 6 years of creditable service.
  • The average final compensation (AFC) used in calculating retirement benefits will be the highest 5 fiscal years of salary.
  • Members of the Regular Class, Senior Management Service Class and Elected Officers’ Class will reach their normal retirement date:
  1. The first day of the month the member reaches age 62 and is vested; or
  2. The first day of the month following the month the member completes 30 years of creditable service, regardless of age before age 62.
  • Members of the Special Risk Class will reach their normal retirement date:
  1. The first day of the month the member reaches age 55 and is vested; or
  2. The first day of the month following the month the member completes 25 years of creditable service in the Special Risk Class, regardless of age before age 55; or
  3. The first day of the month following the date the member reaches age 52 and completes 25 years of service comprised of Special Risk Class service and up to 4 years wartime military service purchased under Section121.111, Florida Statutes.
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Members First Enrolled in the FRS on or After July 1, 2011

  • Vesting for FRS Pension Plan benefit eligibility will be after the completion of 8 years of creditable service.
  • The average final compensation (AFC) used in calculating retirement benefits will be the highest 8 fiscal years of salary.
  • Members of the Regular Class, Senior Management Service Class and Elected Officers’ Class will reach their normal retirement date:
  1. The first day of the month the member reaches age 65 and is vested; or
  2. The first day of the month following the month the member completes 33 years of creditable service, regardless of age before age 65.
  • Members of the Special Risk Class will reach their normal retirement date:
  1. The first day of the month the member reaches age 60 and is vested; or
  2. The first day of the month following the month the member completes 30 years of creditable service in the Special Risk Class, regardless of age before age 60; o
  3. The first day of the month following the date the member reaches age 57 and completes 30 years of service comprised of Special Risk Class service and up to 4 years wartime military service purchased under Section121.111, Florida Statutes.

Under the defined benefit plan, an employee’s annual benefit will be determined by multiplying the years of service by a percentage value and by the average of the five highest years of creditable salary.  An employee may retire before reaching normal retirement age, but the annual benefit will be reduced by 5% for each year under normal retirement date.  With the defined contribution plan, the employee’s benefit amount depends on the investment returns earned on contributions.

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Salaries Exceeding Federal Limits

Federal law, under section 401(a)(17) of the Internal Revenue Code, limits the amount of annual salary that may be applied towards retirement under a qualified retirement plan.  Employees who initially became members of the FRS on or after July 1, 1996, are subject to a $150,000 limit, incrementally indexed for cost-of-living increases after 1996.  Employees who initially became members of the FRS before July 1, 1996, are subject to a higher limit (also adjusted annually by the IRS to reflect cost-of-living increases). 

The current limits are:

Date Member on or after 7/01/1996 Member prior to 7/01/1996
7/01/2011 $245,000 $363,820
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Disability Retirement

Retirement benefits may be provided to employees with eight years of creditable service who become totally and permanently disabled.  Employees who become disabled in the line of duty may become eligible for disability benefits regardless of their length of service.

Additional information on the FRS is available by calling 1-888-738-2252 or online or www.MyFRS.com

As a supplement to the retirement benefits under the FRS, Miami-Dade County offers employees a deferred compensation program.

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Page Last Edited: Wed Apr 9, 2014 10:28:13 AM
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