Starting October 1, 2015, eligible members of the Highway Patrol Officers' Retirement System (HPORS) will have the opportunity to participate in the Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP). DROP allows active HPORS members to begin accumulating their retirement benefit, without terminating employment, for up to 60 months. If you choose to join DROP, your monthly retirement benefit will go into your individual DROP account.
What is DROP?
Active HPORS members who are eligible for retirement can accumulate their retirement benefits, without terminating employment for up to 60 months. Participation in DROP is optional; if you choose to participate, you must file a one time, irrevocable election to participate. When you elect to join DROP, the following is established:
- DROP Period – you choose the start and end date with a duration of 1 – 60 months. Your DROP period must begin on the first day of a month and end on the last day of a month.
- Monthly DROP Accrual – each month during the DROP period, we will deposit the monthly retirement benefit you would have received if you had terminated employment as well as your HPORS member contributions from your continued employment.
- DROP Account – your accumulated monthly DROP accruals, will grow tax-deferred and accrue interest annually at the actuarially assumed rate of return for the trust fund (current rate is 7.75%).
When can I enroll in DROP?
A member may enroll once they have reached 20 years of membership service in HPORS.
How do I apply for DROP?
Send MPERA a Request for Estimate (this must include your name, abbreviated SSN, date of birth, address and anticipated DROP start date). We will send you DROP estimates and an application to return.
Do I receive service credit during the DROP period?
No, while you are working during the DROP period, you will not earn service credit nor membership service.
Do I receive GABA during the DROP period?
No, the Guaranteed Annual Benefit Adjustment (GABA) does not apply to your DROP account. Your GABA will start on January 1 immediately following your retirement from HPORS.
What contributions are required during my DROP period?
You will make HPORS member contributions to your DROP account; the employer contributions will be paid to the HPORS pension trust fund.
What happens if I become disabled during DROP?
You will not be eligible for HPORS disability benefits. If you terminate service, your DROP period will end and your service retirement will be paid directly to you along with your DROP account (unless you elect a rollover).
What happens when I complete my DROP period?
- If you terminate your HPORS positon, you can apply for retirement and begin receiving your monthly service retirement. You will have 60 days after you terminate to designate a distribution method for your DROP benefit; you may elect to (1) do a rollover to an eligible plan or (2) receive a taxable lump sum payment.
- If you continue working in a HPORS position after your DROP period ends, you will continue to participate in HPORS. Member and employer contributions are required and you will not receive the DROP benefit nor a service retirement until you terminate your HPORS position. Upon termination, you will receive: the initial HPORS monthly retirement benefit; an additional monthly benefit based on your post-DROP service; and your DROP account (unless you elect a rollover).
What if I die before the end of my DROP period?
Your surviving spouse or dependent children are entitled to your DROP benefit and a monthly survivorship benefit. If you do not have a surviving spouse or dependent children, your designated beneficiary will receive a lump sum payment of your retirement account balance and your DROP benefit.
What if I terminate employment before the end of the DROP period?
Your DROP benefit will distributed as you direct and your monthly service retirement benefit will begin. The DROP period ends on the last day of last full month of active service.
*Should any information in this publication conflict with statute or rules, the statute or rules apply.
For more information regarding the HPORS DROP, contact MPERA.