Judge Rules 3% Contribution Unconstitutional!

ruled the mandantory employee contributions to the Florida Retirement System and the members’ retirement plans to be unconstitutional

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Judge Jackie Fulford has ruled the mandantory employee contributions to the Florida Retirement System and the members’ retirement plans to be unconstitutional.  In recognizing the legislature made the law in respect to the budget crisis, Judge Fulford said “This court cannot set aside its constitutional obligations because a budget crisis exists in the State of Florida.”

More to come as we investigate what is in store!  Stay tuned.

  • Steve,Tampa Bay

    The Judge made the correct ruling. Mandatory employee contributions should start with NEW hires only. The same should go for the DROP reductions also. I felt like the rug was pulled out from under me and was NOT fair to hard working civil servants who have worked in the Trenches for many years and putting my life on the line in making our community the best it can be. Thank you.

  • http://www.floridaretirementsystem.info FRS Options

    No members need to hope it makes it through the appeals process. The Legislators seemed pretty intent on appealing.

  • Datj2003p

    It,s about time somebody or group’s puts Gov Rick Scott and his clan in their place. maybe we can get some of our money back

  • Coolio6784

    You agree to the lower pay as a teacher by only working 9 months out of the year and a pension that is almost second to none.  The grass isn’t greener.  Teachers have it pretty good in my opinion in the big picture of things.

  • Russw5Russ8

    It is my understanding over $800,000 has been spent to date defending the mandantory contributions. Our tax dollars at work for sure. I also understand that the outside law firm hired has connections to Scott…..No suprise to me…

  • http://www.floridaretirementsystem.info FRS Options

    We are not sure of the amounts, but the Governor did request to use outside attorneys, as he felt the state attorney’s lacked the expertise for the issue. It was apparently a firm he had some interaction with in the past.

  • Dean Tecklenburg

     Most folks have Mon-Fri 9-5  jobs…Not teachers! I am married to a retired teacher who put more hours during the year in 9 months than I could ever imagine working my 12 month job…School hours and nights and weekends for 9 months blew away the hours I worked full time…Know what your talking about by thinking things through before commenting on them…

  • Crogers5_0

    I’m not a teacher but I did work in the schools for 5 years and I have to admit I once thought the same way about teachers having “it made”. THEY DO NOT. Anyone who thinks that should spend one day in a classroom and they will feel ery differently. Today’s kids and parents for that matter are very challenging. I applaud the teachers, I wouldn’t want their job !

  • About to retire.

    I taught for 19 years. Then I started teaching in a college of education. in the last two years we have seen enrollment go down almost 25%

    result? More and more unprepared, “temporary” teachers that fill the gap for a short time. the students suffer. Welcome to the future of education.

  • http://www.floridaretirementsystem.info FRS Options

    As it currently stands, ALL FRS members must pay the 3%. If Judge Fulford’s ruling is upheld, then NO employees will pay the 3%. It would then be up to the legislature to mandate a contribution from new employees, but thus far, there is not bill or ruling as such that we are aware of.

  • Liz

    I agree, I have worked for the county over 25 years and planned on signing up for DROP in a couple more years.

  • Dandy1441

    I’m in the basic plan were I would receive 1.6% of my annual salary per year worked. So why am I paying 3% to get it. The legislature indiscriminately placed the basic plan workers in the catagory with the teachers and police and fire who receive 3% for each year worked. The basic plan members have to pay 3% per year to recieve 1.6%, 20 years from now! That’s a pretty sweet deal for the state woudn’t you agree?. To put it into perspective I work for 20 years and pay 3%/yr, and retire at 62 and receive 1.6%/yr. I have to be 102 years old just to break even.

  • http://www.floridaretirementsystem.info FRS Options

    You have a few things skewed. Teachers don’t get 3% per year service credit, they are regular members like yourself. Also, your math isn’t quite right. You pay 3% of your salary each year, but you get 1.6% per year of service. For instance, let’s assume you make $50,000 per year. 3% of that is $1500. If you work 30 years, it is 30 times $1500, or a total of $45,000 over the 30 years. At retirement you would get 30 years times 1.6%, or 48% of your final income (we’re assuming $50,000), or $24,000 per year, plus whatever your COLA is, for the rest of your life. However you cut it, you make back 30 years of contributions in less than 2 years of retirement. It is not a bad investment. It isn’t quite so simple as saying you pay 3 to get 1.6. Hope that helps!

  • Financialvis

    I notice that the 3% is still being deducted from my paycheck although the judge ruled it as being unconstitutional….Does anyone have an update?

  • http://www.floridaretirementsystem.info FRS Options

    The 3% will continue to come out pending the State’s appeal of Judge Fulford’s ruling. The appeal was fast-tracked (relative term when dealing with Lawyers, politicians and the court system) to the Florida Supreme Court, and the case is to begin being heard in September. There is no telling how long it might take, nor what direction the ruling might take. We will keep you posted as information is available.

  • County employee

    At this point, any refunds of contributions are in the hands of the Florida Supreme Court. As soon as they make a final ruling on the legality of the contributions, there will be no refund. If the affirm the lower court ruling, it would then be determined when and how a refund would be made.