Florida SBA Halts Funding to Chinese Investments
The Florida State Board of Administration, the $250 billion public retirement system, announced that it has, for now, stopped funding new investment strategies in China as it continues to assess the risks. If other allocators follow Florida’s move, it could rattle U.S. and other asset managers that have significant exposure to China through their funds or have invested heavily to set up offices in the country. The ban, which came at a meeting late last month, would include all Florida Retirement System investments. Read More
Lakeland Employee Pension Reports $30.28 Million Surplus, Yielding Bonuses to 1,331 Retirees
The stock market has been good for investors the last two years and among beneficiaries nationwide are public employee retirement plans, including the pension system for city of Lakeland employees and retirees. According to the Lakeland Employment Pension System’s board, the $1.27 billion fund had a $30.28 million surplus as of Oct. 1 with “no unfunded actuarial accrued liability.” As a result, the board in March recommended city commissioners set aside $2 million for a retiree bonus. Read More
Benefits Jump as a Reason to Join or Stay with an Employer
With the tight labor market showing little sign of abating, employers are finding it more important to use health and retirement benefits to attract and keep workers. The 2022 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey of more than 9,600 U.S. employees found that: 60 percent of respondents cited their employers' retirement benefits as an important reason they remain with their current employer, compared with 41 percent in 2010; Nearly half said their company's retirement programs (47 percent) and health care benefits (48 percent) were important reasons why they joined their employers, versus 25 percent and 32 percent who said so in 2010, respectively. 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