What is FRS?
FRS stands for the Florida Retirement System. It is a system that provides a pension benefit to anyone gainfully employed in the State of Florida on a full time basis. If you were employed before July 1st 2011, you are subject to a certain set of rules, whereas if you were employed after July 1st 2011, you are subject to a new set of rules. This is true for both high-risk and regular class members.
The Florida Retirement System is a defined benefit pension plan whereby the benefit that you ultimately receive is formula-driven. The benefit is based on your years of service, the 5 highest years of your income, and a multiplier. This pension plan (the defined benefit plan) has been slated to be done away with by the State of Florida for new hires after January 1st
2014, and a defined contribution plan is slated to take its place. The defined contribution plan is very much like a 401(k)-style plan where the risk is shifted from the State of Florida to you, the employee.
It is our understanding that if the new plan is passed by the State of Florida, the state will continue to make contributions to your retirement plan as they currently do. How high of a contribution we do not know at this time. You, the employee, will ultimately have to decide where this money is invested and the risk/reward lays with you, the employee, rather than the State of Florida.
The existing State of Florida plan is approximately 87% funded currently. The plan was more than 100% funded at one point in time. The current plan is slated to be done away with, as it is an expensive plan and the state does not want the risk of paying a promised benefit for an indefinite period of time.