New Social Security Website Designed for Easier Use
The website, SSA.gov, was redesigned with the goal of people finding what they need more easily, understanding their benefits and reducing in-person visits. The administration also said that people not yet receiving benefits can use their online account to get a personalized Social Security statement that provides their earnings information as well as estimates of their future benefits. People can sign up for an account at www.ssa.gov/myaccount/. Read More
New Research Finds Pension Plans Alone Often Don’t Provide Retirement Income Adequacy for State and Local Government Employees
A first-of-a-kind analysis finds that retirement is growing more challenging for public sector workers. State and local employees in a typical public defined benefit (DB) pension plan need to save about four to six percent of their salary on their own to ensure adequate retirement income. The report also finds that defined contribution (DC) plans provide less retirement income than DB plans in a typical cost-equivalent conversion for career employees. Read More
Important, new, year-end changes impacting employers and their employee benefit plans
Congress passed legislation known as “SECURE Act 2.0.” SECURE Act 2.0 includes a number of new rules and opportunities for employers and their qualified retirement plans. One important change is: Increased age for required minimum distributions. The current age at which a qualified retirement plan must start forcing distributions for many participants is age 72. For any individual who attains age 72 after December 31, 2022, and age 73 before January 1, 2033, the new applicable age is 73. For an individual who attains age 74 after December 31, 2032, the applicable age is 75. 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, administer the pension plan. The plan is a defined benefit plan that promises to pay a guaranteed benefit at retirement.
- 708 – Active members
- 1,237 – Retired members and beneficiaries
- 1,945 – 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 84% of the plan’s funding. Over the past 31 years, the plan had an average total return of 8.8% – greater than the assumed 7.3% 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