New law boosts retirement benefits for Florida’s public employees

pensions retirement (Large)
For some 780,000 state employees and current retirees, aspects of their retirement will be like 2011 again.

Public employees are getting some of their benefits restored, according to a bill Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law Monday.

The Senate budget package (SB 7024) DeSantis approved reverts many aspects of the state’s retirement system for some back to pre-2011, when many changes were made in the face of a recession that saw much of the state’s real estate value evaporate.

It includes provisions that restore age and years of service requirements; improve retiree health insurance subsidies; increase the length of time allowable in the Deferred Retirement Optional Program (DROP); and increase employer contributions to investment plans by 2 percentage points for all participants in the Florida Retirement System (FRS).

It will affect nearly 629,000 members of the FRS and 151,913 current retirees.

An analysis of the bill said the new law will increase the state’s employer group contributions to be paid into the FRS Trust Fund over the next year by $350 million, compared to the current budget year. And the amount employer groups must contribute to the Retiree Health Insurance Subsidy Trust Fund will increase by $139.3 million from the current year.

Florida Professional Firefighters (FPF), a state association representing more than 27,000 firefighters and emergency medical services personnel in Florida, lobbied to get the minimum retirement age requirement dropped from 60 years old, back down to 55 for the Special Risk Class of employees. That class includes law enforcement, firefighters, corrections guards and emergency medical care positions.

The bill signing also increased the retiree health insurance subsidy for all FRS retirees from $5 per month to $7.50 per month.

The legislative passage of the budget package on May 5 drew cheers from Meredith Stanfield, the legislative policy director for FPF.

“What a session,” she tweeted, singling out House Speaker Paul RennerSenate President Kathleen PassidomoRepublican Sens. Doug Broxson, Ed Hooper, and Republican Reps. Demi Busatta Cabrera, Thomas “Tom” Leek and Democratic Rep. Joe Casello for the bill’s passage through both chambers without a nay vote. “Thank you to our amazing bill sponsors for putting firefighters and public employees first in this budget.”


Florida Politics Publisher Peter Schorsch contributed to this report.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].


  • Suze

    June 5, 2023 at 8:18 pm

    DeathSantis and MAGAs GOP will do anything to get votes after destroying human rights in florida

    • Except for the one thing

      June 6, 2023 at 7:52 am

      They’ll do anything except protect children from actual harm, the flying bullets. Instead they’ll make claims that books are dangers to children. Books. Just the books, or drag queens bearing books. Either way, today’s GOP platform is entirely this “Books are bad for children, but bullets are good for children.” What a bunch of Rons. Mo. Rons.

      • Lucinda Stratton

        June 6, 2023 at 11:43 am

        Google pay 95$ consistently my last pay check was $8200 working 10 hours out ofevery week on the web. My more young kin buddy has been averaging 15k allthrough ongoing months and he works around 24 hours consistently. I can’tconfide in how straightforward it was once I endeavored it out.This is myprimary concern………..



        Here►————➤ Fastdoller5.blogspot.Com

  • Dont Say FLA

    June 6, 2023 at 7:29 am

    But aren’t retirees the folks Rhonda refers to as “Woke”? Florida is where Woke goes to die. I assume that means retirees, because retirees, when they start to be cold all the time due to being elderly, they go to Florida where they wait to die. So why is Rhonda giving taxpayer money away to these folks who moved to Florida, having never paid one dime into Florida’s tax base excepting of course all their federal income taxes paid in liberal states which the feds redistribute to Conservative states, the states which are USA’s actual welfare queens.

  • Ron DeSantis Florida on the dole

    June 6, 2023 at 7:59 am

    Given how Florida has no state income tax, why is Florida even eligible to receive federal tax dollars? Shouldn’t Florida have to work to receive federal benefits? That is what was just demanded by Kevin McCarthy and his GOP when they held the world economy hostage trying to get some bones to toss to their voter base in hopes of not losing again. So, GOP got their work requirement. Florida needs to get to work collecting some income tax before the US Government gives Florida one red cent.

    • Mark

      June 6, 2023 at 10:55 am

      What in the world does a state income tax have to do with federal money? Floridians pay federal income taxes. States with state income taxes keep that money in the state’s coffers.

      • Ron DeSantis Florida on the dole

        June 6, 2023 at 1:06 pm

        You’ll have to ask Kevin McCarthy and “his” (lol) GOP House Reps about their demand that recipients of federal money prove that they work. Florida, having no state income tax, can’t prove it works, therefore Florida does not get any federal money. It’s all according to Kevin McCarthy and his boss lady Marjorie Taylor Green. Ask them for the specifics! I don’t agree with those two, but they did what they did. Ask them.

  • ScienceBLVR

    June 6, 2023 at 9:00 am

    Hmmmmm, just curious. Where’s the money for this vote pandering bill coming from? As a recent public school retiree, I do have a vested interest, but didn’t the legislature just decimate future public school funding? Hard to give out those pricey private school vouchers to everyone and still expect the public trough to continue to fund increased retirement benefits. Show me the money, DeSantis!

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704