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Florida Retirement System

Pension Plan (Defined Benefit)

The Florida Retirement System (FRS) Pension Plan is a defined benefit plan in which qualified participants receive a monthly income for life that is based on age and/or years of service, average final compensation (AFC), and service credit.  A 3% employee contribution is required by Florida law.   For more information on the FRS Pension Plan, including a Summary Plan Description, go to http://www.myfrs.com/portal/server.pt/community/pension_plan/233.

For information on calculating your FRS Pension Plan benefits, please visit the ONLINE SERVICES link at www.frs.state.fl.us (Note: If you are using ONLINE SERVICES for the first time, your
user ID is your social security number, no spaces or dashes, and your password is your month and year of birth {example—021941}. After you login, follow all prompts.)

Investment Plan (Defined Contribution)

The FRS 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.  There is a 1 year vesting requirement and a 3% mandatory employee contribution.  Currently, the total going into your investment plan account is an amount equal to 9% of your gross salary, including the mandatory 3% employee contribution.

For more information on the FRS Investment Plan, including a Summary Plan Description, go to http://www.myfrs.com/portal/server.pt/community/investment_plan/234

To compare the plans, click here.

For general information on the investment plan, including contribution rates for the regular and special risk classes, go to www.myfrs.com or call the MyFRS Financial Guidance Line toll free at 1-866-446-9377; or TTY: 1-888-429-2160. Multi-lingual representatives are available from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

ORP (Optional Retirement Program)

The SUSORP is a 403(b), Internal Revenue Code, qualified defined contribution plan that provides full and immediate vesting of all contributions submitted to the participating companies on behalf of the participant. Employees in eligible positions (Faculty and A&P filling line positions) are compulsory participants in the Optional Retirement Program during the first 90 days of employment. If the employee fails to execute the enrollment form ORP-Enroll, choosing SUSORP membership and a provider company during that 90-day period, the employee will be defaulted to FRS membership.

The University of Central Florida contributes on behalf of the participants an amount equal to 5.14% of the participant’s bi-weekly gross salary as required by law. In addition, effective July 1, 2011, each participant is required to contribute 3% of their gross salary. Participants may also contribute a voluntary amount up to 5.14% of their own salary, however they are not required to do so. The mandatory 3% contribution does not count toward any voluntary contributions. Please view the following state website for more information at

http://www.dms.myflorida.com/human_resource_support/retirement/optional_plans/state_university_system_optional_retirement_program

To enroll in the ORP, participants must submit a completed ORP-Enroll accompanied by a completed application for an ORP provider(s). A Salary Reduction Agreement (SRA) must be submitted if the participant elects to make voluntary contributions.

As a participant of the SUS ORP, you have several options available to you regarding the distribution of your employer-funded benefits. Keep in mind that in order to receive these benefits, you must be terminated from all employment with all Florida Retirement System employers.

Currently, the following options are available:

  1. A lump-sum distribution to the participant;
  2. A lump-sum direct rollover distribution to an eligible retirement plan, as defined in s. 402(c)(8)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code.
  3. Periodic distributions.
  4. A partial lump-sum payment.
  5. Such other distribution options as are provided for in the participant’s optional retirement program contract.

For more information regarding these options, as well as survivor and death benefit options, contact your ORP provider.

Note: These options, as well as all of the regulations governing the administration of the SUS ORP, can be found in 121.35, F.S.

ORP Participating Companies

The five approved participating companies (and local representatives) with which participants must invest their ORP funds are:

  • VALIC RetirementContact: Jacquie Bletzacker: 407-375-2090, Kelly Torresin: 407-212-5003, Todd Chamelin: 407-780-8989
  • ING Contact: The Gabor Agency: Eddie Corbett: 407-277-0246, Oksana Sharapova (Govorit Po Ruski): 407-902-7188,  Pat Tierney: 407-252-3151
  • Jefferson National  Contact: The Gabor Agency: Eddie Corbett: 407-277-0246, Oksana Sharapova (Govorit Po Ruski): 407-902-7188,  Pat Tierney: 407-252-3151
  • MetLife Investors Contact: Don Ogg: 407-782-5051, Liliana De Lara: 407-744-5593
  • TIAA-CREFContact: George “Sandy” Couch: 813-205-3186, Barbara A. Vaught: (407) 335-9608

FICA Alternative Plan

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. Under the UCF 401(a) FICA Alternative Plan participants contribute 7.5% of their compensation to an account in their name. Enrollment in the plan is mandatory and automatic for all OPS non-students, Medical Residents, Post-Doctoral Associates and Adjunct Faculty. Full-time student employees, Graduate Assistants, Graduate Teaching Assistants, Graduate Research Assistants, and employees holding dual compensation positions do not currently pay Social Security taxes and will not be enrolled in the plan.

Please be advised that the FICA Alternative Plan is considered to be a “tax qualified plan” for purposes of determining your ability to make before-tax contributions to an individual retirement account (“IRA”). If your total income (or, if married and filing a joint return, the total income of you and your spouse) exceeds certain levels you may not be eligible to make before-tax contributions to an IRA due to your participation in the FICA Alternative Plan. Accordingly, you may want to seek the advice of your individual tax advisor before making IRA contributions.

Effect of Plan Participation on Social Security Benefits

Benefits of the Plan

Contributions to the plan are made on a pre-tax basis. This is the least expensive way to save for retirement, and allows participants to accumulate a higher retirement benefit. Participants pay no taxes on their earnings or contributions in their accounts until retirement. Both UCF and participating employees permanently save the 6.2% Social Security tax. Any benefits which the participant has earned under Social Security or any other retirement plan will not be reduced by participating in this plan.

How The Plan Works

Participation in the plan is mandatory. Eligible employees will be automatically enrolled in the plan as of their first paycheck. Once a contribution has been made to the plan, the employee will receive an Enrollment/Designation of Beneficiary form and an introduction letter from TIAA CREF, the plan Administrator. The plan is funded with TIAA CREF’s Life Cycle fund. However, employees can opt to diversify their funds among other investment options with TIAA CREF.

Withdrawal Periods

Withdrawals from the plan may be made at the following times:

  1. Termination of employment
  2. Retirement
  3. After age 70 1/2 or retirement, if later, when the IRS requires minimum distributions be made to the participant each year
  4. Participant’s total disability
  5. Participant’s death

Withdrawals from your account may be made in a lump-sum cash payment (IRS 10% penalty on early withdrawals may apply) or plan balances may be rolled over to an IRA or other eligible retirement plan. No IRS penalty applies to these transfers.

Who is the Plan Administrator?

TIAA CREF (Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association, College Retirement Equities Fund) is the recordkeeping and administrative firm that specializes in qualified retirement plans. They offer a wide range of investment products and services designed to meet specific financial needs. For more information, participants can contact TIAA CREF at 1-800-842-2776 or by accessing their website at http://enroll.tiaa-cref.org/ucf/.

Bencor was the recordkeeping and administrative firm prior to April 13, 2007. These duties have been transferred to VALIC. For account information and distribution requests prior to this date, please contact VALIC at 1-800-448-2542 or visit their website at www.valic.com

DROP (Deferred Retirement Option Program)

The Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP) allows you to retire and begin accumulating your retirement benefits, without terminating employment, for up to 60 months from the date you first reach normal retirement. While participating in DROP, your monthly retirement benefits remain in the FRS Trust Fund, earning tax-deferred interest, while you continue to work (but you do not earn additional service credit for retirement). When your DROP participation ends, you must terminate all employment with FRS employers. At that time, you will receive payment of the accumulated DROP benefits, and begin receiving your monthly retirement benefit (in the same amount as determined at retirement, plus annual cost-of-living increases). For many, this is the “best of both worlds,” providing both a guaranteed lifetime benefit and a lump sum to be invested by the member after DROP ends.

Who is eligible to join DROP?

You must be vested and eligible for normal retirement (based on your years of service or age) as a member of: The Florida Retirement System (FRS), The Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS), or The State and County Officers and Employees’ Retirement System (SCOERS).

Note: FRS renewed members and members of the various optional retirement programs available under the FRS are not eligible to participate in DROP.

For most FRS members, normal retirement date is when you are vested and reach age 62, the age after 62 when you become vested, or when you complete 30 years of service regardless of your age, whichever occurs first (for Special Risk Class members normal retirement date is age 55 and 6 years of Special Risk Class service; 25 years of Special Risk Class service, regardless of age; or age 52 and a total of 25 years of service including Special Risk Class service and active duty wartime military service).

You may begin DROP participation in the month you reach your normal retirement date based upon your age, or in the month after the month you reach your normal retirement date based upon your years of service. For example, if you are vested and reach age 62 on May 22, your normal retirement date is May 1. However, if you reach 30 years of service in August, your normal retirement date is September 1.

If you reach your normal retirement date based on your years of service before age 57 (age 52 for Special Risk Class members) or reach your normal retirement date while holding an elected term of office, you may qualify to defer your DROP participation to a future date.

You must notify Human Resources of your election to participate in DROP and the dates you have chosen to participate in DROP no later than 12 months after you reach your normal retirement date (or after the date permitted under one of the DROP deferral exceptions). View the Division of Retirement’s DROP brochure.

Upon entering DROP, you will receive a compulsory payout of all accrued annual leave up to the applicable limits of your employment class (240 hours for USPS, 352 hours for A&P and 12-month faculty, and 480 hours for Executive Service). The payout may be deferred to an existing 403(b) and/or 457 account up to the applicable IRS limits. However, the election to defer your payout to these plans must be made no later than the month before your DROP participation takes effect.

Because DROP does involve many variables, you are encouraged to contact the MyFRS Financial Guidance Line at 1-866-663-4735 or run an estimate at http://www.myfrs.com. Then contact the Human Resources Benefits Section at 407-823-2771, or benefits@ucf.edu, to complete DROP enrollment forms.

Phased Retirement Program

As outlined in the most current faculty Collective Bargaining Agreement, Article 24

24.6 Phased Retirement Program

(a) Eligibility

  1. Employees who have accrued at least six (6) years of creditable service in the Florida or Teachers Retirement System (FRS, TRS)  or Optional Retirement Program (ORP), except those employees referenced in 24.6(a)(2), are eligible to participate in the Phased Retirement Program. Such eligibility shall expire on the employee’s 63rd birthday. Employees who decide to participate must provide written notice to the University of such decision prior to the expiration of their eligibility, or thereafter forfeit such eligibility.
    Employees who choose to participate must retire with an effective date not later than 180 days, nor less than ninety (90) days, after they submit such written notice, except that when the end of this 180-day period falls within a semester, the period may be extended to no later than the beginning of the subsequent term (semester or summer, as appropriate).
  2. Employees not eligible to participate in the Phased Retirement Program include those who have received notice of non-reappointment, layoff, or termination, and those who participate in the State’s Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP).

(b) Program Provisions

All participants must retire and thereby relinquish all rights to tenure as described in Article 15, except as stated otherwise in this Article. Participants’ retirement benefits shall be determined as provided under Florida Statutes and the rules of the Division of Retirement.

  1. Payment for Unused Leave. Participants shall, upon retirement, receive payment for any unused annual leave and sick leave to which they are entitled.
  2. Re-employment.a.Prior to re-employment, participants in the Phased Retirement Program must remain off the State or University payroll for one (1) calendar month following the effective date of retirement in order to validate their retirement, as required by the Florida Division of Retirement. Participants must comply with the re-employment limitations that apply to the second through twelfth month of retirement, pursuant to the provisions of either the Florida Retirement System (which includes ORP) or the Teachers Retirement System, as appropriate.b. Participants shall be offered re-employment, in writing, by the University under an Other Personal Services (OPS) contract (NOTE: exceptions to this provision are described in Section 24.6(b)(13)) for one-half of the academic year, however, the University and employee may agree to less than one-half of the academic year. The written re-employment offer shall contain the text of Section 24.6(b)(3)d. below.c. Compensation during the period of re-employment shall be at a salary proportional to the participant’s salary prior to retirement, including an amount comparable to the pre-retirement employer contribution for health and life insurance and an allowance for any taxes associated with this amount. The assignment shall be scheduled within one (1) semester unless the participant and the University agree otherwise, beginning with the academic year next following the date of retirement and subject to the condition outlined in (3)a.d. Participants shall notify the University in writing regarding acceptance or rejection of an offer of re-employment not later than thirty (30) days after the employee’s receipt of the written re-employment offer. Failure to notify the University regarding re-employment may result in the employee’s forfeiting re-employment for that academic year.
  3. Leave for Illness/Injury.a.Each participant shall be credited with five (5) days of leave with pay at the beginning of each full-time semester appointment. For less than full-time appointments, the leave shall be credited on a pro-rata basis with the assigned FTE. This leave is to be used in increments of not less than four (4) hours (1/2 day) when the participant is unable to perform assigned duties as a result of illness or injury of the participant or a member of the participant’s immediate family. For the purposes of this Section, immediate family shall include the participant’s spouse, mother, father, brother, sister, natural, adopted, or stepchild; or other relative living in the participant’s household.b. Such leave may be accumulated; however, it may not be used for participation in the Sick Leave Pool, and upon termination of the post-retirement re-employment period, the participant shall not be reimbursed for unused leave.
  4. Personal Non-Medical Leave.a. Each participant who was on a twelve (12)-month appointment upon entering the Phased Retirement Program and whose assignment during the period of re-employment is the same as that during the twelve (12)-month appointment shall be credited with five (5) days of leave with pay at the beginning of each full-time semester appointment. This leave is to be used in increments of not less than four (4) hours (1/2 day) for personal reasons unrelatedto illness or injury. Except in the case of emergency, the employee shall provide at least two (2) days notice of the intended leave. Approval of the dates on which the employee wishes to take such leave shall be at the discretion of the supervisor and shall be subject to the consideration of departmental and organizational scheduling.b. Such leave shall not be accumulated, nor shall the participant be reimbursed for unused leave upon termination of the post-retirement period.
  5. Re-employment Period.a.The period of re-employment obligation shall extend over five (5) consecutive academic years, beginning with the academic year next following the date of retirement. No further notice of cessation of employment is required.b. The period of re-employment obligation shall not be shortened by the University, except under the provisions of Article 16 of the Agreement. During the period of re-employment, participants are to be treated, based on status at point of retirement, as tenured employees or non-tenure-earning employees with five (5) or more years of continuous service, as appropriate, for purposes of Sections 13.2(a) and (b) of the Agreement.
  6. Declining Re-employment.a. A participant may decline an offer of re-employment during any academic year. However, the participant has a professional obligation to notify the University of such a decision sufficiently in advance of the participant’s anticipated start date. Such a decision shall not extend the period of re-employment beyond the period described in Section 24.6(5)b. At the conclusion of the re-employment period, the university may, at its option, continue to re-employ participants in this program on a year-to-year basis.b. Similarly, the participant has the professional obligation, following acceptance of an offer of re-employment, to provide reasonable and sufficient notice of changed circumstances and/or intentions to the effect that the participant will not be honoring the re-employment acceptance. Failure to provide reasonable and sufficient notice shall result in the participant’s termination from the PRP program and all rights provided therein. For these purposes, two months shall be deemed reasonable and sufficient. Where, due to the lateness of an offer of re-employment, two months are not available, then one-half the period of time between the offer and the anticipated start date shall be deemed reasonable and sufficient.c. Resignation. A participant who wishes to terminate his/her PRP re-employment contract prior to the end of the contract ending date, has the professional obligation, when possible, to provide the University with sufficient notice to avoid scheduling and classroom disruptions. If the participant has a funded research assignment only, he/she has a professional obligation to provide a minimum of a one-month notice of resignation. Failure to provide reasonable and sufficient notice may result in the participant’s termination from the PRP program.
  7. Salary Increases.Participants shall receive all increases guaranteed to employees in established positions, in an amount proportional to their part-time appointment, and shall be eligible for non-guaranteed salary increases on the same basis as other employees.
  8. Preservation of Rights.Participants shall retain all rights, privileges, and benefits of employment, as provided in laws, rules, the BOT-UFF Agreement, and University policies, subject to the conditions contained in this Article.
  9. Payroll Deductions.The UFF payroll deductions, as specified in Article 26, if applicable, shall be continued for a program participant during each re-employment period.
  10. Contracts and Grants.Nothing shall prevent the employer or the participant, consistent with law and rule, from supplementing the participant’s employment with contracts or grants.
  11. The decision to participate in the Phased Retirement Program is irrevocable after the required approval document has been executed by all parties.
  12. OPS Exception.The provisions for re-employment on an OPS contract are in effect only for new PRP participants whose initial re-employment occurs during the 1992-93 academic year or thereafter.

(c) PRP Information Document

The University shall distribute information describing the PRP to the UFF, upon request. The Human Resources Department provides retirement information and assistance for employees of the University, including information about the Phased Retirement Program.

Pre-Tax Investments

One way to meet long-term financial goals is to participate in tax-deferred programs that serve to supplement employer-sponsored retirement plans. The IRS defines the 403(b) and 457 plans that are available to all UCF employees as retirement plans. This designation brings with it specific rules regarding but not limited to loans, hardship distributions, rollovers, in-service distributions, and plan-to-plan transfers.

Given that 403(b) and 457 plans are designed for long-term planning, employees should consider alternative options to save for immediate needs.

Participating 403 (b) and 403(b)(7) Companies

Don Ogg – 407-782-5051, Liliana De Lara – 407-744-5593

George “Sandy” Couch – 813-205-3186, Barbara A. Vaught: 407-335-9608

Jacquie Bletzacker: 407-375-2090, Kelly Torresin: 407-212-5003, Todd Chamelin: 407-780-8989

1-800-662-2003

The Gabor Agency: Eddie Corbett: 407-277-0246, Oksana Sharapova (Govorit Po Ruski): 407-902-7188,  Pat Tierney: 407-252-3151

The Gabor Agency: Eddie Corbett: 407-277-0246, Oksana Sharapova (Govorit Po Ruski): 407-902-7188,  Pat Tierney: 407-252-3151

Phil Mendelson: 407-249-4038, Sarah Nicolaides: 407-312-3511, Alex Garcia (Se habla espanol): 407-314-0110
1-800-492-7670
Gene Varela: 407-335-0834

457 Deferred Compensation
The 457 plan is administered by the State Office of Deferred Compensation; employees interested in more information may call 1-877-299-8002 or visit their web site at www.myfloridadeferredcomp.com.

Contribution Limits for 403(b) and 457 Pre-Tax Investment Plans

Click here to 403b v 457

Because of the extensive changes in legislation governing these plans, employees should contact approved 403(b) and 457 plan providers to determine the eligibility of tax-deferral limits and enrollments in either plan. Optional Retirement Program (ORP) participants also will need to ensure they remain within the bounds of 402(g) and 415 limits. The 415 limit includes both employer and employee contributions. Employees may defer up to the maximum limits to both a 403(b) and 457 plan.

Employees enrolled in tax-deferred plans, including ORP participants, should review deductions each calendar year or when changes in salary occur to ensure they do not exceed the maximum limits allowed by the IRS. Employees should contact their provider company for assistance.

Disability Benefits

To qualify for disability retirement under the Florida Retirement System Pension Plan, you must be totally and permanently disabled from performing any useful and efficient service as an officer or employee, and your injury or illness must have occurred before you terminated employment or joined DROP. If you are a retiree with renewed membership or are in DROP, you are not eligible for disability benefits. Disability benefits are not reduced for early retirement. Two types of disability benefits are payable:

Regular Disability

To qualify for regular disability retirement, you must complete at least 8 years of creditable service, regardless of the vesting requirements for your membership class. If approved, your option 1 annual benefit will be at least 25 percent of your Average Final Compensation. If your actual earned benefit based on your years of service would be higher than the 25 percent minimum regular disability benefit, the higher benefit amount will be paid.

In-Line-Of-Duty Disability

You are covered for in-line-of duty disability beginning on your first day of covered employment. To qualify for an ILOD disability, your disability must be caused by an injury or illness that happens in the actual performance of duties required by your job. Your minimum in-line-of-duty disability benefit will be 42% of your Average Final Compensation under Payment Option 1 [or 65% if you're in the Special Risk Class]. Your benefit will be based on your actual years of creditable service multiplied by your percentage value for regular retirement benefits if it is higher than the 42% or 65% minimum. As a member of the Regular Class, the minimum yearly benefit paid under option 1 for this type of disability is 42 percent of your AFC. If your actual earned benefit, based on your years of service, would be higher than the 42 percent minimum disability benefit, the higher benefit amount would be paid.

Investment Plan disability provisions are the same as those in the Pension Plan. If you want to and are eligible to retire because of a disability, your retirement plan participation will be transferred to the Pension Plan. You will receive benefits under the provisions of that Plan. Your Investment Plan account balance will be transferred to the Investment Plan Disability account to help fund your disability benefit.