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The Florida Retirement System, or FRS, offers two retirement plans for state and county workers: the FRS Pension and FRS Investment plan. Both offer terrific benefits; which one is right for you?

What is the Florida Retirement System?

What is the FRS?

The Florida Retirement System, or FRS, offers two retirement plans for state and county workers: the FRS Pension and FRS Investment plan. Both offer terrific benefits; which one is right for you?

What is: What is the Florida Retirement System? Put simply, FRS is a Florida-state-run retirement plan for state and county workers.

As a county employee, you are a member of the Florida Retirement System or FRS.

As such, you have the option of two retirement plans: the FRS Investment Plan and the FRS Pension Plan. Both terrific plans offer important benefits.

Questions to Consider

Your FRS benefit may make up the bulk or base of your retirement. Each plan has its distinct pros and cons so what you choose needs to match your individual situation. Here are a few things to take into consideration when choosing a plan.

  • How long have you been working at the school system?
  • Your age
  • Do you plan on retiring with the school system or move into another opportunity?
  • Are you someone who enjoys active “control” over their investment?
  • Are you more aggressive or conservative when it comes to your money?
  • Do you worry you might outlive your money?
  • Are you someone who doesn’t want to worry about how their money is invested?
  • Are you at a point where you would like to participate in the DROP program?
  • If I wanted to change plans is that possible?

FRS Investment Plan

How It Works

The FRS Investment Plan is a defined contribution plan, in which employer and employee contributions are defined by law, but your ultimate benefit depends in part on the performance of your investment funds.

The FRS Investment Plan is funded by employer and employee contributions that are based on your salary and your FRS membership class (Regular Class, Special Risk Class, etc.). The Investment Plan directs contributions to individual member accounts, and you allocate your contributions and account balance among various investment funds. (Participant contributions are not allowed.)

Your Investment Plan retirement benefit is the value of your account at termination. Unlike the Pension Plan, there is no fixed benefit level at retirement. However, a guaranteed lifetime cost of living payment option (based on the benefit to be distributed) can be purchased and is available with annual 3% cost of living increases, like the Pension Plan.

Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of the Investment plan:


  • After 1 year of service you are vested.
  • Your account balance has more time to grow, if you are a younger employee
  • Significant growth is possible if your investments do well.
  • You can choose from a highly diversified choice of investment funds.
  • If you decide to move to another company, you can leave your account in the plan to grow or roll it over in another qualified retirement plan.
  • Flex distribution options are available.
  • Have a retirement plan benefit from a previous employer you may be able to roll it over to your investment plan.
  • You may be eligible for disability benefits.


  • There is a risk involved. Suppose your investments in your account don’t perform well your retirement benefit my decrease in value.
  • You need to monitor your investments actively.
  • This is a long-term approach to investment that requires discipline to see through.
  • You may not have enough time as an older employee to accumulate a significant account balance before you retire.
  • With poor planning you could outlive your benefit.
  • If you decide to transfer to the pension plan but your investment plan account balance is lower than the amount needed to fully fund your Pension Plan account. The remaining amount is your responsibility to make up as such a buy-in may not be affordable.

* Information sourced from: https://www.myfrs.com

FRS Pension Plan

How It Works

*The FRS Pension Plan is a defined benefit plan; in which you are promised a benefit at retirement if you meet certain criteria. The amount of your future benefit is determined by a formula, based on your earnings, length of service, and membership class, and may be adjusted by a cost-of-living increase each July (adjustment only applicable for FRS service earned prior to July 1, 2011). If you are initially enrolled in the Pension Plan on or after July 1, 2011 you will not have a cost-of-living increase after retirement. Your benefit is pre-funded by contributions paid by your employer. The Florida Retirement System must ensure that sufficient funds are available when your benefits are due and bears the market risk and investment decisions.

Let’s look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of the Pension plan:

* Pros:

  • If you spend your full career in the pension plan you can earn a significant benefit.
  • You don’t have to worry about investing with this plan.
  • Once fully vested you may receive a benefit even if you retire early.
  • Your benefit cannot be outlived.
  • You can participate in DROP.
  • You are eligible for the Health Insurance Subsidiary.
  • A cost of living adjustment will be applied to the portion of your benefit that is based on service earned prior to July 1,2011 if any.

* Cons:

  • It may take many YOS to build a significant benefit
  • You will have no benefit if you leave before vested (8 years)
  • You have no say or oversight of how your money is invested
  • There are no lump sums just monthly payments
  • If you choose early retirement your benefit will be reduced
  • If you decide to transfer from the pension plan to the investment, you are not vested until 8 years. If you leave before 8 years, you may forfeit the amount transferred over.
  • Service after July 1, 2011 have no cost of living adjustment.

* Information sourced from: https://www.myfrs.com

How We Can Help You

At Voyage Retirement Solutions we understand that planning for your retirement can be overwhelming and puzzling. With our understanding of the FRS Investment and Pension plans we can clearly explain and answer any questions you may have.

Our knowledgeable retirement representatives can take you step by step in helping you understanding your FRS plan. All it takes is a simple conversation to get started.

We understand that the roadmap that leads to retirement isn’t a race but a journey.
That is why we view our relationship with our clients as a partnership we want to be with you every step of the way.

Our goal is to provide each of our clients “Guidance with Confidence.” We would be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have concerning the FRS plans, DROP, or any aspects of your retirement.

Let us help you!

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Securities offered through GWN Securities, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. 11440 N Jog Road, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418. (561)472-2700. Voyage Retirement Solutions, LLC and GWN Securities, Inc. are non-affiliated companies. Voyage Retirement Solutions does not represent, nor are they affiliated with the Florida Retirement System. (FRS)


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Get access to our helpful retirement kit which includes two guides that address topics you should consider when planning your retirement.

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Securities offered through GWN Securities, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. 11440 N Jog Road, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418. (561)472-2700. Voyage Retirement Solutions, LLC and GWN Securities, Inc.are non-affiliated companies.

Voyage Retirement Solutions and its representatives do not represent, nor are they affiliated with the Florida Retirement System (FRS).

*Guarantees provided by insurance products are backed by the claims-paying ability of the issuing carrier.

The retirement kit is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide tax or legal advice. By requesting this report you may be provided with information regarding the purchase of insurance and investment products in the future.