How The Florida State Teacher Retirement System Works

How The Florida State Teacher Retirement System Works

If you are a teacher in Florida, you are likely part of Florida’s state pension retirement system. It allows you to access retirement benefits as soon as you hit retirement.

Throughout your career, you contribute a small amount to your district’s pension plans. 

Unlike the other states, Florida offers state teachers two retirement plans: 

the FRS pension plan,
and the FRS investment plan.  

This allows teachers to begin withdrawing retirement funds, as soon as you hit retirement!

How FRS Pensions Are Calculated In Florida

The pension for state teachers is not a fixed amount but is calculated depending on different factors, such as:

Years of service,
Average of your five highest salaries,
Membership class,
Payment options.

Considering the above-mentioned points, here is a quick way to find out how long your pension will last you during retirement. Fill out the form below, and you will receive a complete pension projection. 

You’ve been working hard your whole life for your pension, it’s about time your pension starts working for you! Get started with a State Teacher Pension Projection.

Sign up below!

We recommend reading “Do All Teachers Get Pensions?” after this article.

Eligibility Criteria For The FRS Retirement Plan

The eligibility for the pension depends on the plan you chose for retirement. In Florida, the state teacher has two options to select for their retirement.

The pension plan, 
The investment plan,

Both of these plans have different eligibility criteria and different requirements. In the pension plan, the employees vest after six years, whereas, in the investment plan, they vest after one year. Below is a deeper breakdown of the two MyFRS plans.

Comparison of the FRS Retirement Plans

Both plans require you to contribute 3% of your annual salary, starting with your first paycheck. Unfortunately, you are unable to change the amount you contribute, the Florida legislature sets the contribution rates. For both plans, employers contribute a fixed percentage of your salary to the plan you choose.

Investment Plan

For Teachers who want greater control of their retirement plan, and flexibility in how their benefit is paid out during retirement.
Once you complete 1 year of service, you will own all of the contributions and earnings in your account.
Investment plan choices are made by YOU.
Your benefit is based on your account balance.
When you retire, your benefit can be paid to you as a lump sum, a rollover, an annuity, a customized payment plan, or a combination of these.


Pension Plan

For Teachers who are not comfortable with choosing investments and managing their own portfolios.
Once you complete 8 years of service, you will qualify for a benefit which is payable when you reach retirement age.
Investment plan choices are made by the State.
Your benefit is based on a formula, using your salary, years of service, FRS membership class, and age.
When you retire, your benefit can be paid to you as monthly payments throughout your lifetime, including to your designated beneficiary after your death.

Source: MyFRS Florida Retirement System

How Much Does The State Teacher Retirement Plan Cost In Florida?

Once you become a State Teacher, you automatically enroll in the Florida Retirement Plan, which is operated by the state. The employees have to contribute 3% of their salary every month to the pension plan, and the state contributes 6.7% to the teachers’ pension funds. The funds provided by the state for the employee’s pension are further divided, half of it is for the benefits, and the other half goes for the unfunded liabilities.

Florida teachers’ retirement plan is incredibly beneficial for the teachers who have served for a long time. Remember that not all the teachers receive the same pension; it varies with their age and service length. 

Let Us Help You Prepare For Retirement

Teacher retirement plans are generally confusing and not understood by most teachers. Don’t let yourself end up with a lousy retirement plan. If you don’t know which retirement plan is most appropriate and beneficial to you, get in touch with an expert pension consultant or retirement planning advisor at National Educational Service. 

The experienced professionals at National Educational Service have helped state teachers select retirement plans that fit their individual needs since 1982.

Whether you want to retire early or not, National Educational Services can help you every step of the way. 

Fill out the form below and we will email you a complete projection of your State Teacher Pension Benefits based on your projected Teacher Retirement Date. 

Get a FREE State Teacher Pension Projection Below!


Sign up for a state pension workshop below!

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