How do I contact the Retirement System Administrative Office?
What is COLA?
What is the monthly supplement?
What does vesting mean?
If I leave the city, how do I get my refund check and how long will it take?
Can I borrow against my pension?
Can I buy back military time?
Can I buy back time when I was on an approved leave of absence without pay?
How do I obtain income verification and how long does it take?
How much have I paid in to the Pension Plan?
If I die after retirement and have no spouse, what happens to my benefit?
How will my Social Security be affected by my pension?
How is the pension administered?
What is the Pension Advisory Committee?
What is the Corrections Officers Pension Advisory Committee?
How much is the City of Jacksonville Retirement System worth at this time?
What makes up the City's Portfolio of Pension Investments?
What does the City's Retirement System Pension Office do?
Can a current employee purchase previous service and apply that toward retirement?
Can an employee continue city insurance coverage as a retiree?
Is there a death benefit for retirees?
Will my pension be affected if I take a job after retiring?
What types Disability Benefits are offered in the Pension Plan?
What would happen if a Pension Plan member became disabled?
What happens when an Active Employee dies?



How do I contact the Retirement System Administrative Office?
The Retirement System Administrative Office is located at City Hall – St. James, 117 West Duval Street, Suite 330, Jacksonville, FL 32202. The main number is 904-255-7280 or you may e-mail us at citypension@coj.net.


What is COLA?
COLA stands for Cost Of Living Adjustment. Retirees are eligible to receive annual COLA increases beginning five years from their group retirement date. The COLA is fixed at 3% each year, and is paid on the first full pay period in April.

Upon retirement, each retiree is assigned a group date of April 1st, based on the fiscal year in which he or she retired. The fiscal year runs from October 1 through September 30. The group date determines when the retiree's Cost of Living Increase will commence.

For example:

If you retired on Sept. 30, 2019, your group date would be April 1, 2019. Your COLA would begin the first full pay period in April 2024.

If you retired Oct. 1, 2019, your group date would be April 1, 2020. Your COLA would begin the first full pay period in April 2025.

In this example, by retiring one day sooner, your COLA will commence a full year earlier.


What is the monthly supplement?

The supplement is paid in addition to your retirement benefit. It is based on $5 per year for every year of service with the city. The minimum supplement is $25 per month and the maximum amount is $150 per month. This amount helps to offset the premium for retiree medical coverage.

Currently, the FULL monthly supplement is paid in the first two pay periods in the month.  If there is a third pay-period in a month it will not include the supplement since it was paid in full for the month already.

What does vesting mean?
An employee is vested once they have participated in either of the Plans for 5 years. Vesting means that they have earned the right to the retirement benefits. If you leave city employment after 5 years of service, you can leave your contributions in the plan and collect a monthly pension at age 65. Alternatively, you can request a refund of your contributions and not be entitled to any additional benefits under the Plan.


If I leave the city, how do I get my refund check and how long will it take?
The Pension Office will produce a package for you to sign once we receive verification of your termination and last paycheck received from your department. You will receive a package to sign and return. It is usually within 4-6 weeks after your final paycheck is issued. You will be given the choice of rolling your money over to another qualified plan without any tax implications, or cashing out and paying 20% in federal taxes.  There is a form available on the website for you to use if sufficient time has passed and you have not received the form to complete.


Can I borrow against my pension?
No, there are no loan provisions in either Plan.


Can I buy back military time?
Yes, you may purchase up to two years of active duty military service. Time purchased may be a combination of active duty wartime and active duty non-wartime service. Non-wartime service purchased shall not exceed one year. In order to purchase military time you must be vested in the Plan. The cost to purchase this time is calculated at 20% of your current monthly earnable compensation times the amount of months you would like to purchase.


Can I buy back time when I was on an approved leave of absence without pay?
Yes, you may purchase up to 6 months of an approved leave of absence without pay (FMLA). The rate is 10% of your current salary and service raise, if applicable.


How do I obtain income verification and how long does it take?
Please contact the Pension Office at 904-255-7280.  Income Verification/Award Letters are normally created within two business days.


How much have I paid in to the Pension Plan?
This information should be availble to you via your payroll information.  If you need to verify you can contact the Pension Office.


If I die after retirement and have no spouse, what happens to my benefit?

If an unmarried retiree dies, any remaining funds would then be forwarded to the retirees' estate.  In most cases, the funds a retiree had contributed to a pension plan while are usually exhausted within the first three years of retirement.

If there are any minor, unmarried children or handicapped children, they may be entitled to a benefit.


How will my Social Security be affected by my pension?
Social Security benefits may be offset by governmental pensions such as the General Employees’ Pension Plan or Corrections Officers Pension Plan. Please go to 'Useful Links' to view information about Social Security. If you have additional questions, please contact your local Social Security Office.


How is the pension administered?
The Plans are governed by a Board of Trustees who have a responsibility under Florida law for stewardship of the Plans' assets. The trustees operate as a public body subject to the Sunshine Law and Florida statutes governing operation of public pension plans.

As specified by the pension ordinance, the Trustees include:
 
 (1) The Mayor's Chief Administrative Officer or designee.
(2) The City's Chief Financial Officer or designee.
(3) The City's Chief Human Resources Officer, by whatever title known.
(4) Chairperson of the General Employees' Pension Advisory Committee.
(5) A General Employees' Pension Plan retiree elected by the General Employees' Retired Employees' Association.
(6) Chairperson of the Corrections Officers' Advisory Committee.
(7) a retired Corrections Officer elected by the Corrections Officers' Retired Employees' Association.
(8) Two citizens shall be appointed by the City Council. Each citizen shall have professional experience in at least one of the following disciplines: finance, investments, economics, pension management, pension administration and/or accounting.
 
The Board of Pension Trustees meets the 4th Thursday of each month at 2 PM and is charged with responsibility for making policy disclosure regarding the plan. In addition to monthly Board meetings, the Board of Pension Trustees also meets quarterly with the Investment Managers of the Plan to review the current status of assets, and to review and monitor the investments of the Plans' assets.
 
Investments are administered in accordance with applicable state statues and local ordinances and resolutions, which are included in the Plans' Statement of Investment Policy.


What is the Pension Advisory Committee?
The Pension Advisory Committee (PAC) is an elected body representing GEPP members. Employees covered by the GEPP elect members to the committee every two years.  Meetings take place at the City Hall – St. James, 117 West Duval Street, Conference Room 3C, and 3rd Floor on the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 2 PM.


What is the Corrections Officers Pension Advisory Committee?
The Corrections Officers Pension Advisory Committee (COPAC) is an elected committee consisting of five active contributing members who serve a two-year term. The committee was created as a separate advisory committee for certified corrections officers enrolled in the Corrections Officers Pension Plan. Meetings take place at City Hall – St. James, 117 West Duval Street, Conference Room 3C, and 3rd Floor on the first Tuesday of each month at 2 PM.


How much is the City of Jacksonville Retirement System worth at this time?

Please see the Investment Performance information and Plan Valuation Statements available on this website.


What makes up the City's Portfolio of Pension Investments?
Please see the Investment Performance information available on this website.


What does the city's Retirement System Pension Office do?
The Retirement System Pension Office administers the day-to-day operations of the plans (GEPP and COPP). They currently provide services to about 6,000 pensioners and survivors and about 4,000 active contributing members. The staff is available to assist employees with any pension related matter 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM Monday-Friday, excluding City holidays.  The office reports to the City Treasurer within the Finance Department.


Can a current employee purchase previous service and apply that toward retirement?

Eligible participants can purchase credit for previous full-time service with the city, old county government or other covered employer. The cost of purchasing prior service is 10 percent of the employee's current regular salary plus service raises at the time of purchase, multiplied by the months and days of service purchased. Purchases can be made by either lump sum or through payroll deduction. Purchases of less than one year of time through payroll deduction must be bought in its entirety. Eligible service MAY INCLUDE full-time permanent, provisional, temporary, contract and grant employment.

New provisions allow for the purchase of certain outside agency time at 10 percent, for up to five years, if you were employed by the City at any time between Oct. 21, 1987, and Feb. 18, 1992, and the time you would like to purchase occurred prior to Feb. 19, 1992. All other outside agency time may be purchased at the full actuarial equivalent cost. Outside agencies include: Duval County prior to consolidation; any agency of the judicial branch of government in Duval County under the Florida Retirement System; the State Attorney in Duval County; the Public Defender in Duval County; the Jacksonville Transportation Authority; the Duval County School Board; the former Duval County Hospital Authority (prior to 1/1/1982); the employees or officers of any Duval County constitutional officer who participated in the Florida Retirement System; the Jacksonville Port Authority; the Jacksonville Aviation Authority; and the Medical Examiner’s Office.


Can an employee continue city insurance coverage as a retiree?

Retirees may be eligible to continue coverage of themselves and eligible dependents in the city's health insurance programs.  Premium rates for retirees are different than premium rates for current employees. Contact the City Employee Benefits Office at 630-1314 or JEA Benefits Office at 665-5300 for more information.


Is there a death benefit for retirees?
On the death of a married retiree, a benefit of 75 percent is paid to the retiree's spouse, provided that they have been married for at least 365 consecutive days. The spouse also receives an additional 10 percent for unmarried children under the age of 18, not to exceed 100 percent of the retiree's benefit. If the retiree is single, their beneficiary or estate will receive a refund of any remaining employee contributions. If the retiree was single and had minor children, those children could be eligible for a benefit of $300 per month until they turn 18 years old or marry.  Any child or children, who are orphaned by the death of a member, may be eligible for the same benefit as a surviving spouse.


Will my pension be affected if I take a job after retiring?

A retiree may work for any outside employer after retirement without losing pension benefits. However, if the retiree becomes employed full-time by any government agency that participates in the General Employees’ Pension Plan or the Corrections Officers Pension Plan, the pension benefit will be discontinued and pension contributions will be resumed. This includes the general government, JEA or other local government agency, but this does not apply to elected positions. The only exception is employment as bailiffs and poll workers.

Retirees, who return to employment in the service of the City in a part-time capacity, working no more than 50 hours bi-weekly, will be allowed to continuing drawing their pension during such part-time employment.


What types of Disability Benefits are offered in the Pension Plan?

A disability provision is offered to the members.  The disability provision requires permanent and total incapacitation.  Application must be made while actively employed.  Applications are reviewed by the City's Medical Review Officer and must be approved by the PAC and BOT.


What would happen if a Pension Plan member became disabled?
The employee would be able to file for a Disability Retirement Benefit. The Plan requires that the applicant be totally and permanently disabled from gainful occupation (not just current duties) in accordance with Social Security guidelines. The employee would then have to apply for a Disability Retirement, which includes completing an Employee Application, Employer Application (supervisor/department completes), and two Physician Disability Statements (completed by a doctor(s)). Next, a medical consultant for the City of Jacksonville reviews and makes a recommendation for approval or disapproval. The recommendation is then submitted to the Pension Advisory Committee and to the Board of Pension Trustees, respectively, for their approval or disapproval. The entire process from date of application may take up to six months. The benefit amount is determined by a calculated formula, which takes into consideration the employee's length of service and salary. The maximum amount an employee can receive for Disability Retirement is 50 percent.


What happens when an Active Employee dies?

If an active employee dies the employee would be entitled to a death benefit. If the employee were married, his surviving spouse and/or minor children would be entitled to a benefit. If a married, active employee dies and was not eligible for retirement due to age or length of service, then a benefit would be calculated to the nearest retirement age had that employee retired. The surviving spouse would then receive 75 percent of that benefit for the duration of their life. Surviving, unmarried, minor children would receive a percentage (10 percent for each child, not to exceed 100 percent of benefit). If an unmarried employee dies, the estate would receive the employee contributions to date.



For more information, contact the city's Retirement System Administrative Office at 255-7280. The office is located in City Hall – St. James, 117 West Duval Street, Suite 330, Jacksonville, FL 32202.