Retirement Programs

2023 Florida Retirement System Changes

Effective July 1, 2023, there are several major changes to the Florida Retirement System (FRS) benefits due to new state laws. Select the Florida Retirement System tab below, for more information.

Deferred compensation

New Roth Contribution Option

Effective January 1, 2023, the County’s deferred compensation 457(b) plan will include a Roth option. Roth contributions are deducted from your paycheck on an after-tax basis, and therefore do not reduce gross taxable income. For some employees, it might make sense to pay taxes on account contributions now, rather than when money is withdrawn at retirement. You can contribute to both a pre-tax and Roth after-tax basis at the same time but there are restrictions. Tax considerations can be complex; it’s always a good idea to consult with a financial or tax advisor before making a decision on how Roth 457(b) savings may benefit your long-term savings.

Are You Ready for Retirement?

Saving for retirement begins with your vision for the future. Picture the life you want to live when you retire. Think about how young you’ll be, what you plan to do and how you’ll live.

Ask yourself:

  • Do you plan to retire from full-time employment as soon as possible, or wait until you’re fully eligible for Social Security?
  • What’s it going to take to maintain the lifestyle you want in retirement?
  • Do you plan to travel more—whether that means exotic vacations or extended visits to friends or family out of state?
  • What if your health takes a turn, since medical expenses increase as we age?

If your answers to yourself mean you need additional help preparing for retirement, St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners provides a Deferred Compensation 457(b) Plan for employees through Lincoln Financial. A deferred compensation plan allows you to place income into a retirement account where it sits untaxed until you withdraw the funds.

Start Saving for Retirement

Effective 11/1/22, new enrollments and contributions will be completed directly through Lincoln Financial. Log into your LFG account to change your salary reduction, view activity, name a beneficiary or take advantage of online planning tools and calculators.

Employee Benefit Limits

Check out Employee Benefit Limits for more information on your deferred compensation account limits, such as maximum salary deferral and age 50 catch-up contributions.

Deferred Compensation Questions?

Have questions about your account, loans, or distributions? Call the Lincoln Financial Customer Contact Center any business day, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time at 800-234-3500.

It’s important to assess what you’ve saved, the rate at which you’re currently saving, and how much more you need to meet your goals. But first, you’ll want to put in some time to figure out those targets, based on your desired lifestyle. To help you make decisions we also have a Senior Retirement Consultant with Lincoln Financial – Clark Newell, CRPC, AAMS. Clark is highly trained, experienced, committed to providing support through every step of the retirement planning process and can be reached at: clark.newell@lfg.com or 904-200-8736.

Floridaretirement plan (frs)

2023 Florida Retirement System Changes

Effective July 1, 2023, there are several major changes to the Florida Retirement System (FRS) benefits due to new state laws.

Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP) Expansion

DROP is a pension plan program for employees who have reached normal retirement date which allows them to simultaneously earn a salary and retirement income in order to accumulate a tax-deferred lump sum payment.

DROP is being expanded as follows:

  • Time Period
    The maximum time for eligible members to participate in DROP is expanded from 5 years to 8 years. This includes those employees currently participating in DROP.
  • Election Window
    The restricted 12-month election window has been removed. Employees may enter DROP any time after becoming fully vested and reaching their normal retirement date.
  • Interest Rate
    The annual interest rate has tripled from 1.3% to 4%, compounded monthly, for the accrued monthly DROP benefit.

Special Risk Class Normal Retirement Date

The normal retirement date for Special Risk Class members initially enrolled on or after July 1, 2011, is changed to either 25 years of creditable service or age 55, whichever is earlier.

Health Insurance Subsidy Increase

The monthly retiree Health Insurance Subsidy is increased by 50% from $5 to $7.50 for each year of creditable service. The maximum monthly benefit is adjusted from $150 to $225 and the minimum monthly benefit is adjusted from $30 to $45. This increase includes current retirees.

Pension Plan Employer Contribution Rates

The uniform normal cost and unfunded actuarial liability contribution rates paid by employers into FRS Pension Plan accounts is increased. New Contribution Rates (pdf)

Investment Plan Employer Contribution Rates

The contribution rate paid by employers into FRS Investment Plan accounts is increased by 2% in ALL membership classes.


SJC Florida Retirement Plan

St. Johns County participates in the Florida Retirement System (FRS) to assist employees in post-employment years. Employees qualify for retirement benefits as defined by the Florida Statute and benefits are described in the retirement guide issued by the FRS. The FRS offers two (2) plans: A pension plan and an investment plan. Plan selection is the employee’s responsibility and should be well researched prior to selecting.

The Florida State Retirement System has a wealth of information on their website and you can also register to access and manage your plan. Visit www.MyFRS.com to learn more.

Online Resources

It is never too early to plan for retirement! 
To ensure you are ready, be sure to follow the checklist from the Florida Retirement System (FRS) to make sure you don’t miss any critical retirement planning deadlines. 
Pension Plan Retirement Checklist  |  Investment Plan Retirement Checklist

FRS Financial Planning Online Workshops – Learn more about the Florida Retirement System (FRS) and take advantage of their Financial Planning Online Workshops. Workshop Calendar

On Demand Webinars

Questions?

For detailed information on retirement, visit the Florida Retirement System (FRS) website at www.myfrs.com or call (866) 446-9377 to speak with an FRS representative.