You should consider all aspects of DROP before choosing this
retirement option, because you may find there are both advantages and
DROP is an optional method of retiring from LASERS. DROP is not an
additional retirement benefit. When you enter DROP, your status in
LASERS changes from active member to retiree, even though you continue
working at your regular job. When you participate in DROP, you give up
rights to survivor benefits provided for active members (except
You can participate in DROP for up to thirty-six (36) months. During
your DROP participation, you accumulate money in an individual account
based on the amount you would have received as a monthly retirement
benefit. You also continue to earn your regular salary. You can
withdraw the money from your DROP account after you terminate state
employment-either as a lump sum or a series of payments spread over
time. Eligibility for DROP participation and other provisions were
changed in the 1995 state legislative session. The new law applies to
all members who are first eligible for regular retirement on or after
January 1, 1996.
DROP application forms are available at your agency's human
resources office. To ensure timely processing, you should apply in
writing for DROP at least 30 days before the effective date of your
participation. Your application is officially filed with LASERS when it
is received at LASERS.
You may cancel your DROP application at any time before the
effective date occurs. You cannot change your decision to participate
in DROP after the effective date.
Most state employees must be eligible for regular retirement under
R.S. 11:441 before participating in DROP. Regular members must meet one
of the following three requirements:
- 30 years service at any age,
- 25 years service at age 55, or
- 10 years service at age 60.
DROP participation was changed effective January 1, 1996. Changes
will be noted in each section, as appropriate, with the plan in effect
on December 31, 1995, designated as "OLD-DROP" and the plan in effect
on January 1, 1996, as "New-DROP."
Members who were eligible to retire on or before December 31, 1995,
may join DROP under the provisions in effect on December 31, 1995. They
may enter DROP at any time prior to retirement. These members may also
elect to join New-DROP that became effective January 1, 1996.
Members who first become eligible to retire after December 31, 1995,
will be eligible for New-DROP under provisions effective beginning
January 1, 1996. Members should contact LASERS at least 3 months prior
to retirement eligibility if you are interested in participating in
New-DROP. This will allow sufficient time to determine the exact date
your window of eligibility begins.
Election to participate
- Time Period : You may participate in DROP only one and for no more
than thirty-six (36) months. You must specify the exact length of
participation on your application. Once effective, your decision to
enter the programs is final.
- Old-DROP : You may participate in Old-DROP at any time after
becoming eligible for regular retirement. You must designate your
period of participation, not to exceed thirty-six (36) months.
Participants may elect to end Old-DROP prior to the specified ending
date without terminating employment.
- New-DROP : Members must enter or participate within a "window" of
time. If you do not enter New-DROP within the Window, you lose your
rights to participate in New-DROP. The "window" begins on your earliest
eligibility date for regular retirement and continues for three years
and sixty days from that date.
A member may enter New-DROP on the date you are first eligible for
retirement. You do not have to wait 60 days to start. However, you can
only participate in New-DROP for a maximum of three years and sixty
If a member waits to enter New-DROP on the date you are first
eligibility begins, the length of time you can participate in New-DROP
is reduced. For example, if you enter New-DROP one year after first
becoming eligible, you can stay in New-DROP for 2 years and 60 days.
Participants cannot end New-DROP prior to the stated ending date
unless terminating employment. The stated participation period cannot
Participants may elect to continue working after New-DROP
participation. Calculation of the retirement benefit will be the same
as in Old-DROP. DROP participation ends if you leave state employment before the end of the DROP period.