Current Agenda

Pension News

Florida Retirement System returns -6.3% for fiscal year

Florida Retirement System (FRS) returned a net -6.3% for the fiscal year ended June 30. The $180 billion pension fund's return exceeded the benchmark return of -9.1% for the period. For the three, five and 10 years ended June 30, the pension fund returned an annualized net 7.7%, 7.7% and 8.6%, respectively, above the respective benchmarks of 5.7%, 6.2% and 7.4%. The pension fund had returned a net 29.5% for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2021. Among the 56 U.S. public pension fund returns tracked by Pensions & Investments, the median return for the period was -5.4%. Read More


Barclays (BCS) Sued for Exceeding Bond Sale Limit by $17.6B

A lawsuit was filed against Barclays PLC BCS in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan by two Florida pension plans — the City of North Miami Beach Police Officers’ and Firefighters’ Retirement Plan, and the City of North Miami Beach General Employees’ Retirement Plan. Shareholders claim that BCS defrauded them with its sale of $17.6 billion more debt than regulators had allowed. Per the complaint, Barclays made “materially false and misleading” assurances in its annual reports that its internal controls over financial reporting were effective. There are claims that BCS overstated profits, and understated operating and “litigation and conduct” expenses by not disclosing the over-issuance in its 2021 earnings releases. Read More


Facing Staff Shortages, Trumbull Debates Return to Defined Benefit Pensions for Police

Town officials may reinstate a defined benefit pension plan for local police officers in an effort, to improve employee retention. Police departments across the state have struggled to hire officers over the last few years. Trumbull (CT) is no different – the full strength of the department is 82 officers, but the town currently employs 69. “Everybody’s having a recruitment issue in probably a lot of professions,” said Chief of Police Michael Lombardo. “We’ve had that issue like everybody else, but we’re also now dealing with a retention issue.” According to Lombardo, eight letters of resignation last year 2021 from the department mentioned the absence of a defined benefit pension plan as their reason for leaving. 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