General Employee's Pension Plan Committee Summary

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Each full time permanent and probationary general employee employed by the City of Sarasota is a Pension Plan member. Members are required to contribute 6% of earnings. Contributions are deducted from each paycheck and credited to the members' account. All employee contributions are pre-tax and deducted from the employee's gross pay. The City of Sarasota contributes an amount determined by the actuary, but not less than 8% of payroll.

As of September 30, 2016, the investment portfolio totaled $138,466,178. The funds are managed by:

  • Renaissance Investment Management
  • HGK Asset Management
  • NFJ Investment Group
  • Allianz (Nicholas-Applegate) Capital Management
  • Franklin-Templeton Portfolio Advisors
  • Invesco
  • Polen Capital

The Fund's investment monitor is Graystone Consulting – Morgan Stanley and actuarial services are provided by Gabriel, Roeder, Smith and Company.

Eligibility for Retirement

A general employee is eligible for normal retirement after 30 years of credited service, regardless of age. A general employee who has reached the age of 65 and has 10 years of credited service is also eligible for normal retirement benefits.

The amount of normal retirement pension is based on a general employee's credited service and average compensation. It is calculated as average compensation multiplied by 2.5%, multiplied by the employee's years of credited service prior to December 28, 2011 and 2.0% on services earned after December 28, 2011.

Average compensation is the highest 3 or 4 years of the last 10 years of service before retirement. A year is defined as 12 consecutive months. Earnings are the total compensation paid to a general employee, excluding clothing, car and other allowances. Any lump sum payments paid at the time of retirement are also excluded.

A general employee is eligible for early retirement after attaining age 55 with 10 years of credited service. Early Retirees will receive a monthly pension equal to their average compensation, multiplied by their years of credited service, multiplied by a percentage based on their age.

Disability Retirement

General Employees are considered disabled when they become totally and permanently disabled to perform useful and efficient service in their current position or a position provided by the City.

Members with less than 10 years of service are not entitled to disability benefits. They are entitled to a lump sum equal to their employee contribution plus interest.

Members having 10 or more years of credited service at date of disability are entitled to a monthly disability pension equal to the average compensation multiplied by 2.5%, multiplied by their years of credited service. The disability payment is payable as of the date the Board of Trustees determines disability.

Survivor Benefits

Death Before Retirement
Beneficiaries of members who die before retirement with less than 10 years of service are entitled to a lump sum equal to the deceased participant's employee contributions plus interest.
Beneficiaries of members who die before retirement with 10 or more years of credited service are entitled to a monthly pension actuarially determined for the life of the beneficiary. The pension is based on an amount equal to 100% of the present value of the member's accrued benefit .

Death After Retirement
If any member dies after retirement benefits have commenced, the beneficiary's or joint annuitant's benefit is the amount due under the optional form selected by the member at retirement or an amount equal to the member's accumulated contribution minus any benefits received up to the date of death.

Termination Benefits

For termination under any condition, participants have the option to withdraw their accumulated employee contributions with interest. In doing so, they forfeit any further benefits from the Fund.

If participants have 10 or more years of service at termination, a deferred benefit is available, and possible lump sum benefits equal to accumulated employee contributions with interest. Other options available are dependent on the type of termination.

Cost of Living Benefits

Pension benefits are adjusted annually each February. The increase is based on the Consumer Price Index but is capped at 4%, for employees that retired prior to 1-1-2000. Employees that retire after 1-1-2000, receive a cost of living adjustment of 3%. Employees who retire after 12-28-2011 receive 3% on years of service prior to 12-28-11 and a COLA on years of service after 12-28-11 which begins either five years after retirement or when the retiree reaches age 65, whichever comes first.

Administration of the Fund

The Pension Fund is administered by a Board of Trustees that acts as the named fiduciary and administrator of the Fund as defined by Florida law. The exclusive administration of and responsibility for the proper operation of the retirement system are vested in the Board of Trustees.

The Board consists of 7 Trustees, 1 who is appointed by the City Commission, 4 of whom are members of the plan who are elected, and 2 of whom are members by virtue of their position with the City.

The address of the Board of Trustees/ Plan Administrator is:

City of Sarasota General Employees' Pension Plan
1565 First Street, Room 110
Sarasota, Florida 34236

The Chairman of the Board of Trustees is designated for the service of legal process and can be served at the address listed above.

Board of Trustees

The member Trustees are elected by a majority of the Members of the Plan who vote in an election. The 4 designated seats are: Seat 1 - member/retiree seat who is a member or retiree who has been or was a member of the plan, Seat 2 thru 4 - member only seats each of whom is a member of the plan.  All elected Trustees must have 5 years of credited service time to be eligible and will serve for a period of 3 years.

The Trustees of the Board are listed below with their type of position on the Board:

Members Elected:

  • Susan Blake
  • Ryan Chapdelain, Chair
  • Kari McVaugh
  • Mark Nicholas

Commission Appointed:

  • Bonita Wagner, Vice Chair

Designated by Ordinance:

  • Kelly Strickland, Treasurer
  • Shayla Griggs, Secretary