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Policies and Procedures

Finance & Administration

4-OP-C-7-C Benefits

Responsible Executive:   Vice President for Finance and Administration
Approving Official:           Vice President for Finance & Administration
Effective Date:                  January 1, 2014
Last Revision Date:          Unrevised at this time.


It is the policy of Florida State University to advise eligible employees of the insurance plans and programs authorized by the State of Florida and the University. These include state-sponsored health, life, supplemental insurance plans, retirement plans, supplemental savings plans and other benefit programs.

Plans and programs are available to all salaried Executive Service (AEX), Administrative & Professional (A&P), Faculty and University Support Personnel System (USPS) and certain OPS employees. Some programs have enrollment time frame limitations or contract requirements that must be satisfied. Payment of premiums is facilitated through the convenience of payroll deduction in keeping with the biweekly payroll deduction schedule.




Health, life and supplemental insurance plans for salaried employees are administered by People First through the Division of State Group Insurance (DSGI). Premiums are a combination of pretax employee deductions (unless an official exception is requested) and employer contributions. Premiums for health and life insurance for part-time employees are prorated based on the employee’s FTE.

State sponsored health, life and supplemental insurance plans may be added at the time of new hire, annual open enrollment or when a qualifying status change (QSC) event occurs. Changes in plan coverage may only be made during open enrollment or when a QSC occurs.


Section 110.123, Florida Statutes
State Group Insurance Chapter 60P, F.A.C.


To identify the procedures required in the enrollment process for state-sponsored health, life and supplemental insurance plans.


  1. Complete online new employee orientation prior to sixty (60) day insurance enrollment deadline and enroll in benefits plans. Supporting documentation (birth certificates, marriage certificate, etc.) may be required after enrollment. 
  2. Monitor insurance deductions to ensure accuracy.
  3. Notify People First immediately when a qualifying QSC occurs. All QSC events must be processed within sixty (60) days from the date of occurrence.




The State University System currently provides three (3) active retirement plans for employees: the Florida Retirement System Pension Plan, Florida Retirement System Investment Plan and the Optional Retirement Program. A benefit is paid to employees upon their retirement. Retirement contributions are legislatively mandated to be paid by the employer and employee.


Chapter 60S, F.A.C.
Chapter 60U, F.A.C. (ORP Rules)
Chapters 121 and 122, Florida Statutes


These procedures provide a cursory retirement guide for University employees. For additional information, the Division of Retirement website and guidelines should be consulted.


  1. Florida Retirement System (FRS) Pension Plan is a defined benefit plan sponsored by the State of Florida.
  2. Florida Retirement System (FRS) Investment Plan is a defined contribution plan sponsored by the State of Florida.
  3. Optional Retirement Program (ORP) is a defined contribution plan sponsored by the State of Florida.

FRS offers the Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP), an additional retirement option for eligible employees enrolled in the FRS Pension Plan.

B. FRS & ORP Enrollment Procedures

  1. Employees should complete the online new employee orientation which explains all retirement options.
  2. Complete required enrollment forms in the specified timeframe and submit to the Human Resources Benefits office.
  3. If participating in the ORP, contact an approved ORP provider company representative and complete an investment contract within the first ninety (90) days of employment. Employees should monitor their deductions for accuracy and notify their ORP provider company and Human Resources Benefits office if changes or corrections are needed.


  1. Contact the Human Resources Benefits office and notify them of the intent to retire. This should be done 3 to 6 months prior to separation from the University.
  2. Notify supervisor of retirement plans and request termination checklist.
  3. Meet with Human Resources Benefits office representatives and complete necessary forms to continue or cancel insurance and other benefits.
  4. Coordinate the tax sheltering of annual and/or sick leave payouts with the Human Resources Benefits office, if applicable.




In conjunction with one of the three mandatory retirement programs, Florida State University employees are encouraged to participate in voluntary supplemental retirement savings programs. Enrollment may occur at any time. Participation in these plans is open to all FSU employees, including OPS employees.

Included in the University's tax deferred programs are several 403(b) tax sheltered annuities and 457 deferred compensation plans. The vehicles include money markets, stocks and bonds, fixed and variable annuities. Supplemental retirement plans include 403(b) tax sheltered annuities, 457 deferred compensation and Roth 403(b).


Chapters 403(b) and 457 of the Internal Revenue Code
Florida Administrative Code Section 4C-6


To offer employees a method of saving income and sheltering salary from federal withholding tax through payroll deduction.

Specifics on each of the available plans may be obtained from the Human Resources website under Voluntary Retirement Plans.


  1. Employees interested in participating in supplemental retirement plans should initiate contact with the appropriate investment company.
  2. Employees should monitor all personal contributions to ensure compliance with IRS guidelines.
  3. Employees should notify the Human Resources Benefits office when making changes to the amount contributed.




The standards for companies conducting business transactions with employees of the University are set forth in the Florida Statutes, Florida Administrative Code and this Human Resources Policy and Procedure on Solicitation. All product offerings and marketing materials must be approved by the appropriate authorities (Division of Retirement, Division of State Group Insurance or University Insurance and Benefits Committee).

Business transactions should be conducted in a professional and equitable manner. The Benefits Office and/or the Insurance and Benefits Committee will review complaints regarding this policy.

Unprofessional vendor behavior is defined as:

  • Pressuring an employee to select one company over another
  • Criticizing and making negative comments about another company
  • Conducting unauthorized on-site visits with employees
  • Continual harassment by phone, e-mail or work visits

Noncompliance with this policy may result in marketing privileges being revoked or suspended.


Florida State University Human Resources Solicitation Policy
Insurance and Benefits Committee
Florida Statutes Chapter 121.35
Florida Administrative Code Chapter 60U


Human Resources Responsibility:

  1. Provide authorized vendor with all applicable solicitation policies.
  2. If applicable and requested, provide vendors with list of benefit eligible employees.
  3. Respond to employee complaints regarding the Solicitation Policy, review and resolve complaints, and if necessary report unresolved issues or violations to the appropriate authority.
  4. Coordinate the distribution of approved marketing materials.
  5. Coordinate employee informational meetings.

Vendor Responsibility

  1. Adhere to Division of Retirement applicable solicitation policies and maintain a signed Benefits Solicitation Agreement on file with the Human Resources Benefits Office.
  2. Provide the Human Resources Benefits Office with a list of authorized agents every January 1st.
  3. When authorizing a new agent, provide Human Resources Benefits Office with a signed Benefits Solicitation Agreement.
  4. Obtain appropriate approval of all marketing materials prior to distribution to employees and assume responsibility for the accountability and accuracy of all information provided by the company to employees.
  5. If applicable, conduct regular reviews of annuity accounts to ensure compliance with IRS regulations (e.g. contribution limits) and counsel participants as needed.
  6. Process applications, enrollment forms, contracts, and claims in a timely manner.




This procedure is a guide for departmental representatives to utilize when providing assistance to the surviving spouse and/or other beneficiaries of deceased employees. Information is provided to assist them in obtaining benefits that are due beneficiaries.


Florida Statutes Chapter 121.021(28)
Division of State Group Insurance, Section 60P - 2.015
Division of Retirement FRS Rule, Section 60S-4.011


To assist in the processing of benefits for the beneficiaries of a deceased employee.


Department's Responsibility:

  1. Notify Human Resources Benefits office of employee's death. Provide date of death and contact information of surviving beneficiary.
  2. Initiate appropriate personnel action.

Human Resources Responsibility:

  1. Prepare letter(s) to appropriate beneficiaries advising them of all benefits due and the steps necessary for receiving any benefits.
  2. Notify appropriate agencies of the employee death.
  3. Process all required forms for payment or continuation of benefits.
  4. Provide assistance to surviving spouse and/or other beneficiaries.




The Employee Tuition Scholarship Program is available to all full-time employees, (including those on sabbatical, professional development, Grant-in-Aid, and educational leave), who are employed in a salaried position. This program permits employees who meet academic requirements to enroll for a maximum of two classes, up to six  credit hours, of tuition-free classes per academic term. This program is administered by the Office of the University Registrar.




There are several programs offered to employees for the convenience of payroll deduction, including Florida Prepaid, State Childcare Centers and Leach Recreational Center.


The University sponsors social clubs, public lectures, art exhibits, motion pictures, plays, concerts, dances, and sports events that are available to its employees. The facilities of the University are also available to employees; these include the library, student union, bookstore, food service facilities, golf course, tennis courts, swimming pool, the Seminole Reservation, and facilities in the Recreation Center.




The retirement plans of Florida State University are administered by the State of Florida Division of Retirement. The administration of retirement is based upon guidelines set in state legislation. As an employer, the University is prohibited from rehiring any retiree of the Florida Retirement System (FRS) until six full calendar months following retirement have elapsed. There are other guidelines outlined in this policy which govern the reemployment of retirees.


Chapter 60S, F.A.C. (Division of Retirement)
Chapter 60U, F.A.C. (ORP Rules)
Chapters 121 and 122, Florida Statutes


The purpose of these guidelines is to outline reemployment requirements for retirees into faculty and non-faculty positions and/or OPS appointments. These guidelines apply to retirees and departments who wish to employ retirees at Florida State University within the first year of retirement.

“Retiree” for the purpose of this policy means any person who has received a benefit from the FRS Pension Plan, or has received an employer-funded distribution from the FRS Investment Plan or the Optional Retirement Program (ORP).

A. A retiree from the FRS may return to employment with the University with prior approval from the Chief Human Resources Officer or designee. This includes retirees from the FRS Pension Plan, FRS Investment Plan and the ORP.

B. As required by the Division of Retirement, retirees must remain off the payroll for the first six full calendar months after their date of retirement. (Ex: Last day worked: 7/3; Retirement Date: 8/1; Return to work: 2/1)

  1. FRS Pension Plan retirees are restricted from receiving FRS retirement benefits and compensation from an FRS employer concurrently during the 7th through 12th months after retirement.
  2. FRS Investment Plan and ORP employees must remain off the payroll for six full calendar months after the date of their most recent distribution from their Investment Plan or ORP account and are restricted from receiving further distributions and compensation from an FRS employer concurrently during the 7th through 12th months. ORP employees that rollover their ORP money into a tax-qualified retirement account do not have to suspend their benefits, as the money is no longer under the FRS.


Department’s Responsibilities:

  1. The department must receive prior approval from the Chief Human Resources Officer or designee before extending a job offer to the prospective employee.
  2. The department must obtain proper approval for reemployment within the first year through their appropriate Department Heads as follows: Vice Presidents for Finance and Administration, Research, Student Affairs and University Relations; the Provost for Academic Affairs; the President for Athletics; and the Department Heads for the General Counsel’s Office and Audit Services.
  3. The department will process the “Memorandum of Understanding” and the “FRS New Employee Certification Form” and submit the completed forms as part of the New Employee Forms Wizard.
  4. If the department does not properly obtain authorization or submit the completed forms, it may be jointly liable with the returning employee for repaying any invalid retirement distribution or benefit, including DROP payout, received by the employee.

Employee Responsibilities:

  1. The prospective employee must advise his or her department of his or her retirement status and indicate it on the “Memorandum of Understanding” (Employee Forms Wizard).
  2. The employee must complete the FRS New Employee Certification Form (New Employee Forms Wizard).
  3. If the employee is returning to work within the first year of retirement (after month six), he or she must complete the Division of Retirement Form FR-23 and submit it to the Human Resources Benefits office prior to his or her reemployment start date. If the employee does not complete the form properly or return it timely, the employee will be financially responsible for repaying the invalid retirement benefits to the Division of Retirement.

Human Resources Responsibilities:

  1.  The Human Resources Benefits office will complete the employer portion of the FR-23 Form and submit it to the Division of Retirement.

FRS New Employee Certification Form:

  • When a prospective employee signs a Certification Form, he or she is certifying that he or she has not retired from any other State of Florida administered retirement plan or taken any distribution from the Investment Plan or ORP.
  • The hiring department at the Florida State University will be jointly liable with the employee for repayment of funds paid to the employee if reemployment provisions have been violated.
  • Form is available online at




Florida State University (FSU) has implemented a qualified retirement plan for most temporary employees who are not covered by the Florida Retirement System. The FICA Alternative Plan is a defined contribution plan administered by BENCOR, Inc. Established in January 2006, participation is mandatory for all eligible OPS employees.

Under the 401(a) FICA Alternative Plan (Plan), instead of paying social security, participating employees contribute 7.5% of compensation on a pre‐tax basis to an account in the participant’s name. Benefits which have been earned under any other retirement plan at FSU, a previous employer, or any future employer will not be reduced by participating in this plan. Medicare contributions of 1.45% will continue to be withheld and matched by the employer.

Based on the eligibility criteria, it is the responsibility of the Human Resources Benefits office to monitor the enrollment of eligible employees in the Plan. Employees will be automatically enrolled or un-enrolled based on the eligibility criteria during each pay period. If an employee transfers to a position within the university which is not covered under the Plan, the employee will be removed from the Plan and will begin paying social security taxes. It is solely the employee’s responsibility to monitor and manage their account while employed at FSU or after they have separated from FSU employment. More information can be found on the HR website.


Internal Revenue Code, Section 401(a)