The Florida Retirement System (FRS) is the fourth largest public retirement system in the United States. The FRS has over 900 participating agencies and over 700,000 active members. In order to join the FRS, an employer must be a  municipality, independent special district, metropolitan planning organization or public charter school. Participation in the FRS is optional for all municipalities, independent special districts, metropolitan planning organizations and public charter schools. Participation is compulsory for all state and county entities.

An eligible employer can join the FRS for four covered groups: general employees, police officers, firefighters and elected officials. An employer can join for the covered groups collectively or individually. There are no designated joining periods. An employer can join the FRS throughout the entire year. Also, social security coverage is mandatory for all FRS participating agencies.

Employers must enroll and report all employees who fill a regularly established position, under the designated covered group. A regularly established position is any full-time or part-time positions that is in existence for longer than six (6) consecutive months.  

The FRS is an employee and employer contributory retirement plan. Effective July 1, 2011, employees began contributing 3% of their gross monthly salary on a pre-tax basis. The employer also contributes an amount equal to the gross monthly salary multiplied by the corresponding employer rate (please see contribution rates).

The contribution rates are determined by the Florida Legislature and are reviewed yearly. The contribution rates do have the capability to fluctuate. For a complete list of FRS contribution rates please refer to Contribution Rate History.

The FRS offers two types of retirement plans to its members: pension plan and investment plan. Both plans are a 401a. For a description of each plan, please view "Comparing the Plans".

Employers have the option to purchase past service for its employees upon joining the FRS. If employees are currently covered under a retirement plan, past service can only be purchased for those who are not eligible to receive a future benefit under that plan, per Section 121.081(1)(h)1 of the Florida Statues. If the employer purchases past service, it must purchase the same period of time for all eligible employees. Past service is always purchased at the regular class rate under the pension plan.

In order to join the FRS, please complete the following questions. Once all questions are answered and the appropriate documents received, a joining packet will be mailed out. Joining the FRS is an irrevocable decision. There are no provisions to opt out once an entity begins participating.