HB 1121, Florida Retirement System, sponsored by Representatives Robin Bartleman (D-Weston) and Josie Tomkow (R-Auburndale), was signed by Governor Ron DeSantis. Current retirement statutes do not specifically authorize Florida Retirement System (FRS) retirees to provide volunteer services to FRS employers within one year of retirement without jeopardizing their retirement benefits. This bill authorizes an FRS employer to establish a post-employment volunteer program that allows retirees to provide civic, charitable, and humanitarian services during their first year of retirement.
“Over 20,000 FRS employees retire each year. They have dedicated their lives to the State of Florida, as law enforcement officers, agency staff and teachers. Community service is in their blood,” said Representative Bartleman. “Upon retirement many look forward to giving back to their community by serving as guardians ad litem or by volunteering in their grandchildren’s classroom. There are law enforcement officers who want to volunteer with K-9 dogs and volunteer for reserve officer programs. This bill will now give them the opportunity to do so without the risk of losing their benefits.”
The bill specifies the criteria in which the volunteer program must operate so that each retiree and the FRS program remain in compliance with Internal Revenue Service regulations.