House Ways and Means Committee Approves Medicare Expansion
The House Ways and Means Committee voted to advance a measure expanding Medicare coverage to include vision, hearing and dental care. Under the plan, vision benefits would begin in 2022 and hearing would be added in 2023 while dental coverage would start in 2028. The 24-19 vote to send the measure to the House Budget Committee fell almost entirely along party lines, with Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) joining Republicans in voting against it. Read More
Florida pension leader says on track to restrict Unilever
Florida's top pension investment officer said he expects the state will restrict purchases of Unilever PLC assets starting in late October after the company's Ben & Jerry's brand halted sales in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Ash Williams, chief investment officer of the Florida State Board of Administration, said "we've not seen any meaningful response from Unilever" after discussions with the company. Florida's funds have about $139 million worth of Unilever stock Read More
The Social Security Trust Fund Is in Better Shape Than Expected. For Now
The latest Social Security Trustees report projected date that the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund, which pays benefits to retirees, was to be depleted by 2033, one year earlier than reported in 2020. The Disability Insurance Trust Fund will pay benefits until 2057, eight years earlier than last year’s report. Once the funds are depleted, the OASI should be able to pay 76% of scheduled benefits, while the DI will pay 91% of scheduled benefits. But this is better than some retirement experts feared at the height of the pandemic. Read More
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.
- 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