Police officers in Florida do receive a pension. The Florida Retirement System (FRS) offers a defined benefit plan known as the FRS Pension Plan. This plan uses an officer’s income, years of service, and a 3% multiplier to determine a monthly benefit in retirement. The basic computation of the plan is as follows: Years of Service x 3% of Average annual compensation for the highest 5 years of salary during tenure = Annual benefit amount.
For instance, if an officer were to earn an average highest five years of compensation of $75,000 and work for the FRS for 25 years, their retirement benefit could be calculated like this: 25 Years x 3% – 75% of $75,000 average income = $56,250 annual retirement benefit. It’s important to note that years worked prior to 2011 will also include an annual cost of living adjustment towards the annual benefit in retirement. Another benefit of the pension plan is the Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP), which allows for a continuation of service for up to 5 years after a member enters the program. During this time, the member’s pension credits are stopped and calculated, and the monthly benefit is started. Instead of paying this benefit to the member directly, the funds are placed into the FRS trust fund where they accumulate tax deferred until the member retires from the DROP program where they are then paid to the member or can be rolled over.
In addition to the FRS Pension Plan, there are also local retirement plans for municipal police officers and firefighters. These plans are established for the benefit of police officers and firefighters under Chapters 175 and 185, Florida Statutes, and are overseen by the Municipal Police Officers and Firefighters’ Retirement Trust Funds Section (MPF), within the Bureau of Local Retirement Systems.
Under a revised policy, police officers can retire at age 55 or with 25 years of service, whichever comes first. This is the same threshold that was in place prior to 2011 when legislators cut benefits in the wake of the Great Recession and extended first responders’ retirement dates by five years.
In some cities, like Boca Raton, a police officer member who exercises normal retirement is entitled to receive a benefit payable monthly equal to 3.5% of the average monthly earnings for the highest three consecutive years of compensation multiplied by the member’s years of continuous service subject to a maximum of 84%.
For further knowledge, you can explore the Florida Retirement System’s website which offers the option of participating in two FRS retirement plans: the FRS Investment Plan and the FRS Pension Plan (which includes DROP).