Current Agenda

Pension News

Social Security extends depletion date to 2035, citing economy

Without intervention from Congress, Social Security’s combined trust fund reserves are projected to hit depletion in 2035, one year later than previously predicted. If they did face depletion, continuing income to Social Security’s trust funds would be able to pay 83% of scheduled benefits, according to the May 6 report. Depletion date is due to job and wage growth. The trust fund for disabled workers and their families does not face a depletion date for the next 75 years. Read More


The Myth That Public Workers Don’t Care About Pensions

Research shows that traditional defined-benefit plans (like the police and firefighter plan) still play a key role in attracting and retaining government employees. To maximize these benefits’ impact, employers need to make sure their workers understand them. With financial literacy being a significant challenge in the United States, it is critical that employers provide the necessary education around these benefits to maximize their potential in the battle to attract and keep talent. Read More


Public pension funding ratios dip in April – Milliman

The overall estimated funding ratio of the 100 largest U.S. public pension plans fell to 77.6% at the end of April following a month of negative investment returns. The drop in the funding ratio from the estimate of 79.7% at the end of March was primarily the result of negative market performance in April following positive returns in February and March. 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, administer the pension plan. The plan is a defined benefit plan that promises to pay a guaranteed benefit at retirement.

MEMBERS

  • 679 – Active members
  • 1,292 – Retired members and beneficiaries
  • 1,971 – 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 40% of the plan’s funding. Over the past 32 years, the plan had an average total return of 8.2% – greater than the assumed 7.2% 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 9-30-2021, the pension fund assets totaled $1.1 billion.

For more information, see the Annual Report Newsletter