Questioning the DROP of Rusty Wells

This email has been sent to the Pensacola City Council. DROP stands for Deferred Retirement Option Program. City employees are allowed to announce their retirement date and begin collected retirement checks (in an escrow account) while they work for the next five years.

—– Original Message —–
From: Richard Grover
To: Sam Hall ; Ronald Townsend ; P C Wu ; Mike Wiggins ; Megan Pratt ; Marwen DeWeese ; Larry Johnson ; John Jerralds ; Jewel Cannada-Wynn ; Diane Mack
Cc: pnj R Dogan ; pnj C wernicke ; pnj K doyle ; pnj schneider ; ;
Sent: Monday, August 03, 2009 6:23 PM
Subject: Rusty Wells DROP ending???

If council is not aware, Rusty Wells 5yr DROP ends in the next few days. As with AL Coby (Jan 09), it appears that Rusty will be extended past his DROP just like Al. This section below of the General Pension Law states that the City Manager can extend certain employees past their DROP. I do not see anywhere in this law that allows Council to extend an employee past their DROP. Can anyone explain how the City Manager and City Attorney fall under this section of the General Pension Law.
The DROP ordinance below states how long an employee can be in the DROP and then leave employment with the City.

From City general pension law

Sec. 9-5-138. Continued service upon conclusion of DROP.
Notwithstanding any other provision in the Code of the City of Pensacola, Florida, to the contrary, employees holding unclassified positions pursuant to authorized employment contracts with the city manager may continue to render such service to the city upon the conclusion of their participation in the deferred retirement option plan (DROP) of the General Pension and Retirement Fund, subject to the approval of the city manager as reflected in a written contract providing for same. Such contracts may be amended, modified or terminated from time to time at the discretion of the city manager.
(Ord. No. 30-07, § 4, 6-28-07)

Sec. 9-9-1. Establishment of a Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP).

Sec. 9-9-2. Definitions.
(c) DROP participation. DROP participation results when an employee has completed and submitted a DROP election form, selecting a DROP period, and continues to work for the city for a period not to exceed sixty (60) months. During this period, the employee’s retirement benefits will be credited to his/her DROP account.
(d) DROP election. DROP election means the establishment of a date upon which the employee intends to terminate his/her employment with the City of Pensacola. The date is established through the irrevocable completion of a DROP election form to be submitted to the DROP administrator. Following the submission of a DROP election, the employee’s employment with the city cannot exceed sixty (60) months in duration, although employees may terminate employment with the city at any time prior to the termination date indicated on the DROP election form.
(Ord. No. 46-99, § 2, 11-18-99)

Sec. 9-9-3. Participation.
(a) Eligibility. Any employee entitled to receive normal, nondisability pension benefits but not already receiving a pension benefit described in article VII, of the General Pension and Retirement Fund, article II of the Police Officers’ Retirement Fund, or article VI of the Firemen’s Relief and Pension Fund of the Code of the City of Pensacola, Florida, is eligible to participate in the DROP when such employee also satisfies the criteria set forth in subsection 9-9-3(b).
(b) Criteria. An employee may participate in the DROP if the employee is eligible for retirement under the appropriate plan.
(c) Length of participation. An employee shall be entitled to only one (1) DROP election for each applicable defined benefit pension plan in which the employee is a participant and for which the employee satisfies the criteria of subsection 9-9-3(b). Once made, a DROP election is irrevocable. An eligible employee may elect to participate in the DROP for a period not to exceed sixty (60) months commencing upon the date on which the employee enters the DROP.

Thank You,
Richard Grover