Deferred Retirement Option Plans (DROP) – How They Work

Deferred Retirement Option Plans (DROPs) are retirement plans that allow employees to continue working while also accumulating their retirement benefits in a separate account.

The employee continues to receive their salary and benefits as usual, but a portion of their salary is “deferred” into the DROP account instead of being paid out in the form of a salary.

This money is then invested and accrues interest and capital gains until the employee decides to retire and start receiving their retirement benefits.

The Basics of DROPs

Here’s how DROPs work in more detail:

  1. An employee becomes eligible for a DROP by meeting certain requirements, such as working for a certain number of years or reaching a certain age.
  2. The employee chooses to participate in the DROP and continues working as usual.
  3. A portion of the employee’s salary is deferred into the DROP account, while the rest is paid out as usual. This deferred amount is usually a fixed percentage of the employee’s salary.
  4. The money in the DROP account is invested and accrues interest/capital gains. The employee does not have access to this money until they retire.
  5. When the employee decides to retire, they can start receiving their retirement benefits from the DROP account in addition to their regular pension. The employee has the option to receive the DROP benefits in a lump sum or in the form of periodic payments.

DROPs are designed to provide a financial incentive for employees to continue working past their planned retirement date.

By allowing employees to accumulate their retirement benefits while still receiving a salary, DROPs can help bridge the gap between an employee’s retirement and the start of their pension payments.

 

Deferred Retirement Option Plans (DROP) – Pros and Cons

A Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP) is a type of retirement plan offered by some public sector employers, such as state and local governments, school districts, and other public agencies.

It allows employees who are eligible to retire to continue working while also receiving their retirement benefits.

As mentioned, benefits are paid into a separate account (the DROP account) rather than being paid out in a lump sum or as a monthly payment.

The employee can then choose to either receive the benefits at a later date or continue working and defer receipt of the benefits.

There are several pros and cons to participating in a DROP program:

Pros

  • Allows employees to continue working while also receiving their retirement benefits.
  • Allows employees to plan for their retirement and ensure that they have sufficient income in their later years.
  • DROP accounts may earn interest, which can increase the value of the benefits paid out at a later date.

Cons

  • Employees may be required to contribute a portion of their salary to their DROP account.
  • Employees may be required to pay taxes on the benefits paid into their DROP account.
  • The value of the benefits paid out at a later date may be affected by inflation.
  • Employees may be required to forfeit their DROP account if they leave their job before reaching the designated retirement age.

It’s important for employees considering participation in a DROP program to carefully consider the pros and cons and to understand the terms and conditions of the program before enrolling.

 

Deferred Vesting Retirement Plan

A deferred vesting retirement plan is a type of employer-sponsored retirement savings plan that requires employees to work for a certain amount of time before they become fully vested and entitled to receive the full employer contribution.

This means that if an employee leaves the company before they are fully vested, they will only receive a portion of the employer contribution that corresponds to the amount of time they spent working for the company.

There are several types of deferred vesting retirement plans, including defined benefit plans and defined contribution plans.

In a defined benefit plan, the employer promises to pay the employee a certain amount of money upon retirement, and the employee’s vesting schedule determines how much of the employer’s contribution they are entitled to receive.

In a defined contribution plan, the employer contributes a certain amount of money to the employee’s retirement account, and the employee’s vesting schedule determines how much of the employer’s contribution they are entitled to receive.

Deferred vesting retirement plans are often used by employers as a way to encourage employees to stay with the company for a longer period of time.

By requiring employees to work for a certain amount of time before they are fully vested, employers can help ensure that they are retaining their most valuable employees and are not losing them to other companies.

It’s important for employees to understand their vesting schedule and the terms of their deferred vesting retirement plan so that they know how much of the employer’s contribution they will be entitled to receive if they leave the company before they are fully vested.

 

Deferred Pension Benefit

A deferred pension benefit is a type of retirement plan in which an individual’s pension payments are postponed until a later date, typically until the individual reaches a certain age or meets certain eligibility requirements.

This type of benefit is often offered to employees as a way to incentivize them to continue working for an organization, or to reward them for their long-term service to the company.

In a deferred pension plan, the employee typically contributes a portion of their salary to the plan while they are still working, and the employer may also make contributions.

The employee’s contributions and any investment earnings accrue over time and are used to fund the employee’s pension payments when they become eligible to receive them.

The employee is usually able to choose when they want to start receiving their pension payments, within certain limits set by the plan.

Deferred pension benefits can be an attractive option for employees who want to continue working for as long as possible, as it allows them to postpone their retirement and continue earning a salary while also building up their pension benefits.

 

Defined Benefit Plans vs. Deferred Retirement Option Plans

A defined benefit plan is a type of pension plan in which an employer agrees to pay a certain amount of money to an employee upon their retirement.

The amount of the benefit is typically based on factors such as the employee’s salary, length of service, and age. Defined benefit plans are funded by the employer, and the benefits are paid out of the assets of the plan.

A Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP) is a type of retirement plan that allows an employee to continue working past their normal retirement age, while also receiving their pension benefits.

With a DROP, an employee’s pension benefits are set aside in a separate account, and the employee continues to work and receive a salary.

At a later date, the employee can either retire and receive their pension benefits, or continue working and defer their benefits for a longer period of time.

Both defined benefit plans and DROPs offer a guaranteed stream of income to employees upon their retirement.

However, there are some key differences between the two types of plans.

Defined benefit plans are typically funded by the employer and offer a fixed benefit amount, while DROPs are funded by the employee and offer more flexibility in terms of when benefits can be received.

In addition, defined benefit plans are subject to certain regulations and funding requirements, while DROPs may have more flexibility in terms of their design and operation.

 

DROP Advantages for Employees vs. DROP Advantages for Employers

Advantages For Employees

Defined benefit retirement plans, such as pension plans, provide a guaranteed monthly benefit to employees during retirement.

Defined benefit plans are generally funded by the employer and may have contribution limits.

DROP (Deferred Retirement Option Program) plans are a type of defined benefit plan that allows employees to continue working while simultaneously receiving their accumulated pension benefits as a lump sum or a stream of payments.

This can be advantageous for employees because it allows them to continue earning a salary while also receiving their pension benefits.

One advantage of DROP plans for employees is that they allow employees to continue contributing to their retirement funds even after their defined benefit plans have reached their contribution limits.

This can be particularly beneficial for employees who want to maximize their retirement savings and have the ability to continue working.

Moreover, DROP plans may also allow employees to postpone the payment of taxes on their pension benefits until they begin receiving them.

This can provide a potential tax advantage for employees, as it allows them to potentially defer paying taxes on their pension benefits until they are in a lower tax bracket.

Overall, DROP plans can be a valuable tool for employees who want to continue working and adding to their retirement savings after their defined benefit plans have been maxed out.

Advantages for Employers

DROP plans can be advantageous for employers for a number of reasons.

One reason is that they allow valued employees to keep working for the company for longer periods of time.

This can be particularly beneficial for employers who rely on the skills and experience of certain employees and may not have a ready pool of candidates to replace them.

Another advantage of DROP plans for employers is that they may help to retain valuable employees who might otherwise retire. This can be beneficial for employers because it can help to reduce the cost and disruption associated with employee turnover.

Also, DROP plans can also be used as a retention tool to encourage employees to stay with the company for longer periods of time. This can be particularly beneficial for employers who want to retain their most experienced and skilled employees.

In general, DROP plans can be a valuable tool for employers who want to retain valued employees and reduce the cost and disruption associated with employee turnover.

 

What is DROP Pension or Deferred Retirement Option Program?

 

FAQs – Deferred Retirement Option Plans (DROP)

Should I take a deferred pension?

It’s difficult to give any individual a definitive answer on whether they should take a deferred pension or not, as it will depend on individual circumstances and financial goals.

Here are a few things to consider when deciding whether to take a deferred pension:

  1. Your age: If you are older, you may want to start receiving your pension as soon as possible to benefit fully from the payments. On the other hand, if you are younger, you may want to defer your pension in order to receive larger payments later on.
  2. Your financial situation: If you have other sources of income or substantial savings, you may be able to afford to defer your pension. On the other hand, if you are in need of steady income now, you may want to start receiving your pension as soon as possible.
  3. Your life expectancy: If you have a family history of longevity or are in good health, you may want to defer your pension in order to receive payments for a longer period of time.

It’s important to carefully weigh the pros and cons of taking a deferred pension before making a decision.

You may want to consult with a financial advisor or a professional pension specialist to help you make the best decision for your situation.

What is the difference between a 401k and a retirement plan?

A 401(k) is a type of retirement plan offered by many employers in the United States.

It allows employees to save and invest a portion of their pay for retirement on a tax-deferred basis. Employers may also choose to match a portion of their employees’ contributions.

A retirement plan is a broader term that can refer to any plan or arrangement that is designed to provide retirement income or to help individuals save for retirement.

In addition to 401(k) plans, other types of retirement plans include traditional pension plans, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), and government-sponsored retirement plans such as Social Security.

Who uses the DROP program?

The Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP) is a retirement savings program that is offered by some public sector employers, such as government agencies and municipalities.

Is a DROP worth it?

It allows employees who are eligible to retire to continue working while their retirement benefits are “frozen” and placed into a DROP account.

Once the employee leaves the organization, they receive a lump sum payment from their DROP account in addition to their regular retirement benefits.

Whether the DROP program is worth it for a particular individual will depend on their specific circumstances, such as their financial goals, retirement plans, and other factors.

Some potential pros and cons of the DROP program to consider are:

Pros

  • Allows employees to continue working while also receiving retirement benefits
  • Provides an additional source of income in the form of the lump sum payment from the DROP account
  • Can potentially increase overall retirement savings

Cons

  • May result in a lower salary while participating in the program, as the employee’s retirement benefits are frozen
  • May not be available to all employees
  • May have tax implications and other financial considerations to take into account

It is important to carefully consider the potential pros and cons of the DROP program and to discuss it with a financial advisor or other qualified professional before making a decision.

Is a Roth IRA a tax-deferred retirement plan?

No, a Roth IRA is not a tax-deferred retirement plan.

Contributions to a Roth IRA are made with after-tax dollars, which means that you pay taxes on the money you contribute to the account upfront.

However, qualified withdrawals from a Roth IRA are tax-free, which means you don’t have to pay taxes on the money you take out of the account if you meet certain requirements (generally, you need to be over the age of 59-1/2, which is covered more here).

In contrast, traditional IRAs and most other tax-deferred retirement plans, such as 401(k) plans and defined benefit pension plans, allow you to contribute pre-tax dollars and defer paying taxes on the money until you make withdrawals from the account in retirement.

This can provide a tax benefit in the present, but you will have to pay taxes on the money you take out of the account when you retire.

Is a 403(b) a tax-deferred retirement plan?

Yes, a 403(b) is a tax-deferred retirement plan.

It is a type of tax-sheltered defined contribution retirement plan that is similar to a 401(k) plan and is available to certain employees of public schools and tax-exempt organizations.

Contributions to a 403(b) plan are made with pre-tax dollars, which means that you do not pay taxes on the money you contribute to the account until you take money from the account in retirement.

This can provide a tax benefit in the present, but you will have to pay taxes on the money you take out of the account when you retire.

Like 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans allow you to choose how to invest your contributions, and the plan may offer a range of investment options, such as mutual funds and annuities.

Employers may also offer matching contributions to encourage employees to participate in the plan.

 

Conclusion – Deferred Retirement Option Plans (DROP)

A Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP) is a type of retirement plan that allows public sector employees, such as teachers and police officers, to continue working while simultaneously accruing retirement benefits in a separate account.

When an employee enrolls in a DROP, their retirement benefits are “frozen,” and their future contributions are deposited into a DROP account instead of going into the traditional pension plan.

The employee continues to work and receive a salary, but they also receive credits in their DROP account based on their salary and length of service.

When the employee decides to retire, they can begin receiving their pension benefits, and the money in their DROP account is paid out in a lump sum or in monthly installments.

The purpose of a DROP is to allow public sector employees to continue working and earning a salary while also accumulating retirement benefits that they can receive when they decide to retire.

DROPs are controversial because they can be expensive for taxpayers (since they primarily apply to public sectors workers) and may be used to circumvent limits on pension benefits.

Some states have eliminated DROPs due to these concerns, while others have modified them to address these issues.

If you are considering enrolling in a DROP, it is important to understand how the plan works and the potential benefits and drawbacks of participating in one.

 

 

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