Frequently asked questions about Deferred Retirement Option Plan
Click on the questions below to see the answers.
Click here for a PDF brochure of these questions and answers.
If you have at least 28 years of actual service, you can participate in the DROP. (Service in a reciprocal system can be counted toward the 28 actual years of service.)
Your retirement benefit is computed as if you retired on the date of DROP participation and you may continue to work for a maximum of 7 years while a percentage of your chosen benefit is deposited into an account that accrues interest. Every July 1st, once you have been enrolled at least 12 months, you will receive a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) on your DROP and retirement benefit.
Your DROP benefit will be computed based on the number of years of service you have accrued prior to enrolling in the DROP.
If you have 28 years of service, the DROP benefit amount is 63% of your elected benefit.
The contribution rate is 63% plus ½ of 1% for each month of service over 28 years of service, up to the maximum of 75% for 30 or more years of service.
You must work 80 hours or more each month to stay in the DROP. Public school DROP participants are the exception – they must work at least ½ of the hours required for their position.
You may change jobs and remain in the DROP, if there is no break in service. You must notify APERS in advance of any changes in employment.
You must terminate covered employment within 7 years of the effective date of DROP or you will forfeit the balance in your DROP account. There is no minimum participation period.
When you exit the DROP, you must file your retirement application and DROP distribution forms (remember you must meet filing deadlines). The retirement option you chose when you entered the DROP is the same one you elect when you retire unless there has been a change in marital status. If you die while in the DROP, your DROP balance is paid to your beneficiary.
If you are called to active duty while participating in the DROP, you should contact APERS in writing to explain your specific circumstances and provide APERS a copy of your orders at the onset of active duty, as well as at the end of the tour of duty.
For more information about DROP, you can contact Member Services by phone or in writing.
Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System
124 W. Capitol Ave., Suite 400
Little Rock, AR 72201
501-682-7800 Local Phone
1-800-682-7377 Toll Free