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6.216 Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP)

6.216 Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP)

Chapter 6.00: Personnel

6.216

DEFERRED RETIREMENT OPTION PROGRAM (DROP)

POLICY

The Deferred Retirement Option Program (“DROP”) as defined in Chapter 121, Florida Statutes, is an alternative method of deferred payment of retirement benefits for up to 60 months after an eligible member of the Florida Retirement System reaches his/her normal retirement date but wishes to continue employment with a Florida Retirement System employer. In order to participate, the employee must submit a binding letter of resignation, establishing a deferred termination date. DROP will allow the participant to defer all retirement benefits payable during the DROP period. Upon termination of DROP, the participant will receive the DROP benefits and their regular retirement benefits under Chapter 121, Florida Statutes.

I. Participation in DROP: All members of the Florida Retirement System are eligible for DROP.

Members electing to participate in DROP must meet the eligibility and timeline requirements outlined in Florida Statute.

II. Benefits Payable – Sick Leave: Employees will be paid terminal pay for accumulated sick leave at retirement, or, if service is terminated by death, to his/her beneficiary. Upon election to participate in DROP, previously accumulated sick leave shall be paid to the employee using the following payment schedule. For instructional staff and educational support personnel, the partial payment amount will be based on the employee's daily rate of pay for the school year immediately preceding the payment. For personnel other than instructional staff or educational support employees, the amount of terminal pay for accumulated sick leave earned prior to June 30, 2004, shall be based on the employee’s daily rate of pay for the school year immediately preceding the payment. Terminal pay for accumulated sick leave earned after June 30, 2004, will be based on no more than the daily rate of pay applicable at the time the sick leave was earned.

A. Deferred Termination Date: Payment Schedule

1. 0 through 12 months: One (1) lump payment in the month following the last day worked

2. 13 through 24 months: 50% at the end of the first 12 months and final payment in the month following the last day worked.

3. 25 through 36 months: 33-1/3% at the end of each 12 month period and final payment in the month following the last day worked.

4. 37 through 48 months: 25% at the end of each 12 month period and final payment in the month following the last day worked.

5. 49 through 60 months: 20% at the end of each 12 month period and final payment in the month following the last day worked.

B. The DROP employee will have the option to use sick days accrued prior to his/her entrance into DROP during years in DROP provided the employee has used all sick days appropriated in any given DROP year. Any sick days already paid out to the employee based on the above schedule will no longer exist and therefore not be available to the employee.

C. Sick leave will be earned during DROP as prescribed by state statutes.

D. Employees who have participated in DROP, upon separation of employment from the District following DROP, shall have accumulated sick leave earned during that period paid into a "Special Pay Plan" for terminal pay as follows:

• Those with one to three years of Okeechobee DROP service shall receive an amount equal to thirty-five percent (35%) of their base daily rates of pay for each accumulated day.

• Those with four to five years of Okeechobee DROP service shall receive an amount equal to forty percent (40%) of their base daily rates of pay for each accumulated day.

III. Benefits Payable – Annual Leave: Employees electing to participate in DROP shall be entitled to terminal pay for accrued annual leave as required by state law, Board Policy and/or union contract. Upon election to participate in DROP, and the employee’s election to receive a lump-sum payment of accrued annual leave, payment shall be made in the last paycheck prior to the effective beginning date of DROP.

A. Annual leave earned prior to entering DROP which exceeds the maximum lump sum payment allowed by Board Policy may be used during DROP; however, the employee shall not be entitled to compensation at the end of DROP for any unused portion of the accumulated leave.

B. Employees will earn annual leave during the DROP period as prescribed by Florida Statute, Board Policy and/or union contract. Annual leave accumulated during DROP participation will not be paid to the employee at the end of DROP participation, except to the extent the employee has earned additional annual leave which combined with the original payment does not exceed the maximum lump-sum payment allowed by Board Policy.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY: 1001.41, 1012.22, 1012.23, F.S.

LAWS IMPLEMENTED: 121.091, 1001.43, 1012.23, F.S.

STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION RULES:

HISTORY: Adopted: 07/14/1998

Revision Date(s): 01/20/2009, 06/12/2012

Formerly: New

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