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Pension News

Florida Senate president targets local governments

Senate President Wilton Simpson suggested they could revisit a Senate proposal that would have blocked new government employees from enrolling in the traditional guaranteed pension system and required them to enroll in a 401(k)-style account. The "Report of the Florida Local Government Efficiency Task Force" recommended a task force would be charged with examining issues related to migrating local government pension plans to the Florida Retirement System. If the recommendation is enacted and FRS goes DC - all our local employees could suddenly find themselves in a DC account as opposed to a defined benefit plan. Read More


Florida Pensions Agree to Settle Perrigo Lawsuit for $31.9 Million

Pharmaceutical company Perrigo has agreed to pay $31.9 million to settle a class action securities lawsuit led the City of Boca Raton General Employees’ Pension Plan and Palm Bay Police and Firefighters’ Pension Fund. The suit alleged that Perrigo “made material misrepresentations and omissions” to investors regarding a €1.636 billion ($1.9 billion) tax liability assessed by the Irish government. The case centers on a disclosure Perrigo made after the stock market closed Dec. 20, 2018, announcing that its subsidiary received a notice of amended assessment from Ireland’s tax authority saying it owed the €1.636 billion in back taxes. Shares of Perrigo fell 29% the following day to $37.03 from $52.36. Read More


Florida taking action against Communist China and 'woke' corporations

The state of Florida is taking action against the communist country of China and “woke corporations” operating in the state, Gov. Ron DeSantis says. The state will investigate its holdings in Chinese companies and “retake control of its shareholder proxy voting from ideology-crazed investment funds,” the governor said. The three trustees voted to make several significant policy changes impacting how the SBA invests the proceeds of the state’s retirement system investment plan and over 30 funds the SBA is tasked with overseeing by state statute. They announced they would be conducting a survey of all of the investments of the Florida Retirement System to determine how many assets Florida has in Chinese companies. Read More

Quick Facts

PLAN

The City of Fort Lauderdale is the sponsor of the Fort Lauderdale Police and Firefighters’ Retirement System. All Fort Lauderdale sworn police officers and firefighters are eligible to participate in the plan. A seven-member Board of Trustees, who are either elected by the employees or appointed by the Mayor, administers the pension plan. The plan is a defined benefit plan that promises to pay a guaranteed benefit at retirement.

MEMBERS

  • 793 – Active members
  • 1,167 – Retired members and beneficiaries
  • 1,930 – TOTAL PLAN PARTICIPANTS

FUNDING Public safety officers contribute 10% of earnings into the pension plan. Members also pay 7.65% of earnings into Social Security and Medicare. Additional revenue to the pension plan comes from the State of Florida insurance premium tax, the City of Fort Lauderdale, and earnings generated on the invested assets. The plan’s investment returns provide 67% of the plan’s funding. Over the past 28 years, the plan had an average total return of 8.75% – greater than the assumed 7.4% rate of return.

BENEFITS Retirement benefits are based on (1) average final earnings, (2) years of service, and (3) a benefit formula. Public safety officers can retire after 20 years of creditable service (or after 10 years at age 55). Overtime and unused leave do not increase retirement benefits. After 20 years of service, public safety officers are eligible to receive a retirement benefit equaling 60% of their monthly earnings. Retirement benefits are not automatically adjusted annually for cost of living changes. Retirees have not received a COLA since 2001.

DISABILITY Service-related disability benefits provided by the plan cannot exceed 65% of current monthly earnings. Non-service benefits cannot exceed 50% of monthly earnings, with reductions for Social Security benefits, Workers Compensation, or other earned income. The Fort Lauderdale Police and Firefighters’ Retirement System was established by City Ordinance and became effective January 3, 1973. As of 9-30-2019, the pension fund assets totaled $927 million.

For more information, see the Annual Report Newsletter