How will the DROP program work?

DROP is designed to allow you to accumulate a lump sum cash amount for retirement without affecting your normal monthly retirement benefit as of the date you became a DROP participant. Under DROP, you technically "retire" from the City of Deerfield, yet continue to work as an active employee. For all non-pension benefits, you will continue to be treated as an active firefighters or deputy sheriff. If you become disabled after participating in the DROP, you will not be entitled to receive a disability pension from the Deerfield Beach Municipal Firefighters’ Pension Trust Fund, since you are already retired.
Any active employee who has attained his or her normal retirement date or age 47, ten years of credited service and who becomes eligible to receive a service retirement pension, may elect to participate in the DROP.
When you enroll in DROP, you agree to "lock-in" your service and benefit levels as of the effective date of your participation. From a service and benefit standpoint, it is as if you had retired on this date. You continue to work as an active firefighter, though, and the Deerfield Beach Municipal Firefighters’ Pension Trust Fund credits your normal monthly retirement benefit (based on your service as of the date you entered DROP) into your DROP account. You also continue to earn your normal pay as a firefighter, but since you are no longer an active contributing member of the Deerfield Beach Municipal Firefighters’ Pension Trust Fund, your employee contributions to the Plan will cease.
Upon exercising the right to enter the DROP, your creditable service, compensation, and accrued pension benefit will become "locked-in". The amount of your pension benefit will be determined based on the average of the three best years of the last ten years of service preceding participation in the DROP.
You can participate in DROP for a maximum of five (5) years from your date of eligibility for normal retirement. During your participation in the DROP, your normal retirement benefit payments are added to your account each month, plus your account earns interest based on the investment selections that you have made. Investment returns are not always guaranteed. At the end of your DROP participation, you choose how you want to receive your DROP account balance from available distribution methods.