Retirement Information Links

Pension Plan (Defined Benefit Plan)

The FRS Pension Plan is a traditional defined benefit program designed for longer-term employees who will be with FRS for most of their career. It pays a guaranteed monthly retirement benefit based on salary and service upon retirement. Employees qualify for a benefit upon vesting in the Pension Plan after completing six (6) years of creditable service with an FRS employer prior to July 1, 2011 (8 years vesting after July 1, 2011). In addition, vested employees are eligible for disability, death and survivor benefits and are offered the option of joining the Deferred Retirement Options Program (DROP).

Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP)

The Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP) allows employees to effectively retire and begin accumulating retirement benefits, without terminating employment, for up to 60 months from the date they first reach their normal retirement or eligible deferral date. To participate in DROP, an employee must be vested and eligible for normal retirement (based on years of service or age) as an active member of: the FRS Pension Plan. The earliest an employee may begin participation in DROP is the month they reach 62 years of age (Regular Class) or 55 years of age (Special Risk Class), or the month following the month they reach 30 years of service (Regular Class) or 25 years of service (Special Risk Class).

           Investment Plan (Defined Contribution Plan)

The FRS Investment Plan is a defined contribution program designed for employees who may leave FRS before reaching full retirement. Employees qualify for a benefit upon vesting by completing one (1) year of creditable service with an FRS employer. Accounts are portable and employees decide how much risk to take by allocating their account balance among investment funds. Under the FRS Investment Plan, there is no “normal retirement age.” After terminating all FRS-covered employment for 3 calendar months, employees can take the value of their account with them, regardless of their age. (Pre-payment penalties may apply).


Comparing the plans

The two FRS plans have many differences: how service and salary affect benefits, vesting rules, types of risks, availability of the Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP), payment options, early retirement options, survivor benefits and member contributions.

Changing Plans

After making their initial FRS plan selection, employees have a one-time chance to change their selection during their active working career with the FRS. This change, called a 2nd Election, allows them to switch from the Pension Plan to the Investment Plan, or vice versa.

Questions and Assistance

The FRS offers free help to assist with FRS plan choices, the management of your retirement account and general financial planning questions. You can call the MyFRS Financial Guidance Line toll free at 1-866-44-MyFRS (1-866-446-9377; TTY: 1-888-429-2160) between 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, Monday- Friday (except holidays) to speak with experienced financial planners from Ernst & Young at no cost to you. You can also use the personalized online Choice Services and Advisor Services available at

Assistance is provided to Manatee County employees seeking answers to fundamental retirement questions, counseling and completion of FRS retirement forms. Following are the contacts in the Human Resources Department available to assist you:      
           Michelle Petrilla, Human Resources Program Coordinator:  Ext. 3863