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Florida may tighten lucrative DROP provision for government retirees

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  • Florida may tighten lucrative DROP provision for government retirees

    Florida may tighten lucrative DROP provision for government retirees
    Associated Press
    10:50 AM EDT, July 21, 2008
    TALLAHASSEE - It's an offer many private sector workers wish they could get -- briefly retire and take thousands in a lump sum payment. Then go back to work at your old job and collect both a full salary and a pension.

    Roughly 100,000 Florida state employees, teachers and other education employees have done just that. They're taking advantage of a 10-year-old program originally designed to keep talented and experienced people in hard-to-fill jobs like police or firefighters.

    But now some Florida lawmakers want to tighten the Deferred Retirement Option Program, saying decisions on who can or cannot participate have become too political. Gov. Charlie Crist also has criticized DROP, arguing it has too many loopholes that make it an easy target for abuse.

    In March, more than 1,200 state employees were collecting two or more pensions, with 131 of them collecting at least two pensions and a salary.


    Those getting two pensions and a salary include school principals, teachers, sheriff's deputies, health department employees, deputy clerks of the court and other public employees in Florida, a records review by the St. Petersburg Times found.

    Many of the state employees receiving more than one pension retired years ago and work to supplement relatively low retirement payments. Many are teachers in areas such as Miami-Dade County, where the school system faces a teacher shortage.

    But more than 200 elected officials and 200 senior managers have quietly retired and continued to work, with many remaining in the same job where they earned their pension.

    Florida has made it too easy for employees to take advantage of the system, said Keith Brainard, director of research for the National Association of State Retirement Administrators.

    Many of these employees are enrolled in the state's Deferred Retirement Option Program, called DROP. It was created in 1998 to encourage retirement of highly paid, senior employees to make room for advances among younger, lower-paid employees.

    But state lawmakers amended the law to help a fellow legislator collect a pension he had earned before his election to the Legislature. Now anyone who enrolled in DROP after July 1, 2002, can take a month off work and then return at full salary.

    Sen. Bill Posey, R-Rockledge, tried unsuccessfully to change the law last year with a bill that would have prohibited employees from being rehired by the same agency. Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, has introduced a bill (SB 2830) this year that would prevent elected officials from collecting a salary and a pension.

    The Florida House also is looking at the issue, said Rep. Frank Attkisson, R-Kissimmee, chairman of the House Council on Government Efficiency.

    "It is obvious we have to do something," Attkisson said. "The idea that elected officials can retire, take a chunk of change and keep going is just appalling
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  • #2
    Politics is the mother of all F*** Ups....

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    • #3
      yeah all those cops and teachers getting 80% or less of their 40,000 salaries after retirement is just sickening. note sarcasm.
      "In a bacon-and-egg breakfast, the chicken is involved, but the pig is committed." - Brian Billick

      Be that pig.

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      • #4
        Florida is turning into one of the un friendlyest states for workers. First Amendment 1 now this.

        Comment


        • #5
          Florida is a third world country.
          It is Attitude, not circumstance, that makes Success possible even in the most unlikely conditions.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by ChRdy21799 View Post
            Florida is a third world country.
            Absolutly. One more case of politicians screwing things up. And since their mostly attorneys, one more case of attorneys screwing things up. How about this, don't mess with DROP, just tighten the rules on elected officials abusing DROP.

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            • #7
              With all due respect to fellow civil workers who do much of a thankless job under difficult conditions with low pay, you guys have little room to complain versus many other areas of the country. Coming from a location just a few states away from yours, we have nothing even remotely close to a DROP plan, we have a 30 year retirement system, no longevity pay, no take home vehicles, no standard issued TASERS, starting pay in the low 30k for nearly all agencies in the state, absolutely nothing in the way of a bargaining agreement or TRUE Union...shall i continue?

              Florida has its problems, i won't disagree...but before making any complaints and gripes, consider looking at what other states and agencies, even just the ones in your area of the US, are offering for their civil workers. It may make you re-appreciate what the Florida "system" has to offer.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by enisei View Post
                With all due respect to fellow civil workers who do much of a thankless job under difficult conditions with low pay, you guys have little room to complain versus many other areas of the country. Coming from a location just a few states away from yours, we have nothing even remotely close to a DROP plan, we have a 30 year retirement system, no longevity pay, no take home vehicles, no standard issued TASERS, starting pay in the low 30k for nearly all agencies in the state, absolutely nothing in the way of a bargaining agreement or TRUE Union...shall i continue?

                Florida has its problems, i won't disagree...but before making any complaints and gripes, consider looking at what other states and agencies, even just the ones in your area of the US, are offering for their civil workers. It may make you re-appreciate what the Florida "system" has to offer.

                Thats why we work here bro! Where else can you speak your mind get descent pay and p/u cuban coffee 24/7.....one other thing and be represented by the PBA!!! SFL is an awesome place to work and play but MF to survive and raise descent kids with a chance to survive. One of these days through our efforts we will get full medical when we retire like NY boys!! They collect two pay checks live in FL and talk trash more than we do about how bad things are here, gotta luv it...

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                • #9
                  I LOVE MY HOME STATE FLORIDA!!!!...Like it was said, there are places that are worst off...I'm looking forward to one day being a LEO here in the Sunshine State...We have our probems, but there's no place like home, there's no place like home....
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