In addition to benefits payable from the Pension Plan, death benefits are also available from a variety of other sources. The State of Florida provides
a $50,000.00 death benefit if an officer is accidentally killed while engaged in the performance of law enforcement duties. If the officer is accidentally
killed while in hot pursuit or in responding to what is reasonably believed to be an emergency, an additional $50,000.00 is available. If the officer is
intentionally killed while engaged in the performance of law enforcement duties, the death benefit is increased to $150,000.00.
Moreover, the children and spouse of a police officer killed in the line of duty are entitled to a college education at a Florida state university,
community college or vocational-¬technical school at the expense of the state. The spouse and children of an officer killed in the line of duty also
receive free health insurance. Workers' Compensation provides benefits of up to $100,000.00 and funeral expenses of up to $5,000.00.
The United states Department of Justice has created a Public Safety Officer Death Benefit Program. Police officers killed in the line of duty receive a
$100,000.00 payment from the United States government. In addition, police officers killed while assisting federal agents also receive an additional
$50,000.00. These programs are administered by the United States Department of Justice, Law Enforcement Administration. Finally, Social Security
death benefits provide additional income based on statutory criteria.
Are benefits in this plan forfeitable?
As discussed above, if you separate from service before you vest with ten years of credited service, you will not receive any benefits from the Plan,
although you are entitled to a refund of your contributions. In addition, benefits are forfeitable pursuant to the provisions of Section 112.3173, Florida
Statutes, which provides for the forfeiture of retirement benefits of persons convicted of specific criminal offenses.
Are my pension benefits subject to claims for alimony, child support or any other creditor?
Under state law and local ordinance, this Plan is exempt from claims of creditors. The only exception is a court award
of child support or spousal support. Under Florida law, there is a specific exemption permitting these payments to be
made from the Fund.
In a divorce proceeding, a court can order a police officer to pay a portion of his or her benefits to a spouse once that benefit is received. Once
pension monies are actually paid to a retiree, the pension money is no longer exempt from attachment or claim by any creditor.
Are my pension benefits taxable?
Service retirement payments and non-duty disability pensions are taxable as ordinary income. The retiree will receive a tax form from the Pension
Fund every January reporting the income received in the prior year. Service-connected disability retirement pensions, coordinated with Worker's
Compensation, are generally considered to be tax exempt. For specific tax advice you should consult a qualified tax expert.
How do I apply for benefits?
Application for service retirement benefits is made by filing an application form with the Board's secretary. Application for disability retirement requires
the completion of a disability application form and submission to such medical exams as may be determined by the Board. All applications may be
obtained from the Board's Administrator as identified above.
If a member is dissatisfied with any benefit application brought before the Board, the member has the opportunity to appeal that decision within 30
days of the date of any written decision by the Board by filing a petition for common law certiorari in the circuit court of Broward County, Florida.
Under the City of Miramar Retirement Plan and Trust Fund for Police Officers, the following benefits are available for
members as listed below. The benefits would be the same for both Tier I and Tier II members unless otherwise
What benefits do I receive from the Fund?
Normal Retirement Date
TIER I: Members are eligible for normal retirement when the member reaches fifty-five (55) years of age and
completes ten (10) years of credited service, or when the member completes twenty (20) years of credited service,
whichever occurs first.
TIER II: Members are eligible for normal retirement when the member reaches fifty-five (55) years of age and
completes ten (10) years of credited service, or when the member completes twenty (25) years of credited service,
whichever occurs first.
Normal Retirement Benefit
Effective October 1, 2007, members are entitled to a monthly retirement benefit, upon reaching retirement age, that
is equal to:
TIER I: three and 1/4 percent (3.25%) of average monthly earnings (see below) times credited service. The
monthly retirement benefit for members who retire after completion of twenty (20) years of credited service shall be
eighty percent (80%) of average monthly earnings.
TIER II: three percent (3%) of average monthly earnings (see below) times credited service. The monthly
retirement benefit for members who retire after completion of twenty (25) years of credited service shall be
seventy-five percent (75%) of average monthly earnings.
Average monthly earnings (also called final monthly compensation) means 1/12 of the average annual compensation of the three best years of the
last ten years of credited services prior to retirement or entry into the DROP. Pensionable earnings shall include up to three hundred (300) hours of
overtime per year.
Average Monthly Earnings (AME)
Credited Service / Buy Backs for Military Service
Credited Service means uninterrupted service for which a contribution is made. A police officer, who, while employed by the City, takes a leave of
absence to enter the armed forces of the United States and then returns to the City, is allowed to make contributions to purchase credited service for
the time in the military. A police officer who was on active duty prior to becoming employed by the City may make contributions for up to a maximum of
four (4) years for the time spent on active military service. All military service credit must be purchased within two (2) years of entry into the plan or the
right to purchase military service shall be deemed forever waived.
Similarly, a member may be permitted to purchase prior police service under certain conditions. A member wishing to purchase
prior military or police service should contact the Administrator.
For an overview regarding the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA),
please visit www.dol.gov/elaws/vets/userra/userra.asp or you may also visit the Department of Labor regarding
FAQ's for Reservists Being Called to Active Duty at www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq_911_2.html.
If a member completes ten (10) years of credited service and is age fifty (50), the member may elect an early retirement benefit. This retirement
benefit may be taken in either of two ways. It may commence immediately on the date of early retirement and continue during the police officer's
lifetime. The benefit is reduced by three (3%) percent for each year by which the starting date of the benefit precedes the normal retirement date.
Alternatively, a police officer may receive a deferred retirement benefit by waiting to receive a pension benefit until the member reaches normal
retirement age. This benefit will continue during the member's lifetime and will not be subject to the three percent (3%) per year early retirement
reduction. The amount of the early retirement benefit is computed the same as for normal retirement, except that the average monthly earnings and
credited service are determined as of the date of early retirement.
Normal Retirement Benefit Payment Options
Pension benefits may be paid in a number of ways. The normal form of retirement benefit is called a ten year certain and life thereafter benefit. This
means that a member receiving this form of retirement payment will receive pension payments for the member's entire life with a guarantee of
receiving at least ten years worth of pension benefits (120 monthly payments). If the member dies prior to receiving at least 120 monthly payments,
the remainder of the 120 monthly payments will be made to the member's beneficiary until a total of 120 monthly payments have been made to the
member and his beneficiary. If there is no beneficiary living at the time the member dies, the balance of the 120 guaranteed monthly payments will be
commuted to a single sum and will be paid into the member's estate. If the beneficiary of a deceased member dies before receiving the balance of the
120 guaranteed monthly payments, the balance of the payments are commuted to a single sum and are paid into the beneficiary's estate.
If a member dies after their normal retirement date but before receiving benefits, the member's beneficiary shall be entitled to 120 monthly payments
in an amount equal to that which the member would have received had he retired on the date of his death. In the case of the death of a married
member who is eligible to retire and has not yet begun receiving pension benefits, the surviving spouse may elect to receive benefits equal to those
which would have been paid had the member retired on the day prior to his or her death and elected a one hundred percent survivorship option.
Optional Forms of Benefit Payments
As an alternative to the ten year certain and life thereafter benefit, members may elect one of several joint and survivor annuities. This means that a
member may choose to receive a benefit during the member's lifetime and to have the benefit continue after death to the member's spouse or other
relative for the remainder of the spouse's or other relative's life. The options for the joint survivor annuity are to leave a fifty (50%) percent, sixty-six
and two-thirds (66 2/3%) percent, seventy-five (75%) percent, or one hundred (100%) percent benefit to the surviving joint annuitant. The consent of
a member's joint annuitant is not required for the selection of any option.
After electing a joint and survivor annuity, a retiree may thereafter change the designated joint pensioner, but only if the Board consents to such
change and if the joint pensioner last previously designated is still alive. The consent of a member's joint pensioner to any such change shall not be
required. The Board may request evidence of the good health of the joint pensioner that is being removed and the amount of the retirement income
payable to the retiree upon the designation of a new joint pensioner shall be actuarially re-determined taking into account the ages and sex of the
former joint pensioner, the new joint pensioner, and the member.
If a joint pensioner dies before the member has retired, the selected option is canceled and the retirement income automatically converts to a ten
year certain and life annuity, unless the member designates a new beneficiary prior to retirement.
Another option a member may choose is a single life annuity. This means that a member’s benefit will continue for his or her life, but upon death the
benefit ceases. There is no minimum payment guaranteed and no survivor benefit under this option.
Disability retirees shall be eligible to elect optional forms of payments as set forth above.
How Benefits are Calculated and Paid
A member who completes 10 years of credited service becomes fully vested in the fund. This
means that no further service is required in order to receive a pension upon reaching early or
normal retirement age. Instead of waiting until the member reaches retirement age, the member
may elect to immediately receive a refund of accumulated contributions which will be paid in a single
lump sum. A member electing to receive an immediate refund of contributions forfeits the right to
receive a monthly pension.
If a member stays employed after the member's normal retirement date, the member may take a delayed retirement. The delayed retirement benefit is
computed in the same manner as for normal retirement, except that average monthly earnings and credited service are determined as of the date of
the member's actual retirement date.
Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)
TIER I: Effective October 1, 2001 an annual cumulative two percent (2%) cost of living adjustment (COLA). The COLA applies to all retirees and
DROP participants who were employed on or after October 1, 2001, including DROP participants who had entered the DROP prior to October 1,
2001. COLA payments commence five (5) years after retirement or entry into the DROP, but no earlier than October 1, 2006.
TIER II: No COLA. The Tier 2 plan does not contain a Cost Of Living (COLA) benefit.
What if I die before I retire?
If a member dies before completing ten years of service, a death benefit is payable to the designated beneficiary in an amount equal to
the member's accumulated contributions. If a member dies before retirement but after ten years of credited service, the designated
from the Pension Plan are located in the chart set forth at the end of this summary plan description.
|Completed Years |
of Credited Service
with the City