Optional Retirement Plan (ORP)
Please note: Effective July 1, 2011, the ORP administrative fee retained by TRSL will be 0.05%. Therefore, a net employee contribution of 7.95% will be transferred to providers along with the employer contribution.
The ORP is an alternative retirement plan provided by a private carrier for academic and unclassified employees of Louisiana colleges, universities, and community colleges. The ORP is also available to employees of the following boards:
Board of Regents
University of Louisiana System Board of Trustees
Board of Supervisors of Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College
Board of Supervisors of Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College
Louisiana Community and Technical Colleges Board of Supervisors
Any other constitutionally established board that manages institutions of higher education
Available since 1990, the ORP currently offers the following providers: ING Life Insurance and Annuity Company
, Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association-College Retirement Equity Fund (TIAA-CREF)
, and VALIC Retirement Services Company
. Contracts with these providers expire June 30, 2015.
An ORP account is owned by the member, and there is no waiting period to join. The member’s contribution is eight percent of salary, less a 0.05-percent administrative fee to TRSL. The employer’s contribution, which changes annually based upon actuarial normal cost calculations, has historically been between five and seven percent of salary. These contributions – the net employee contribution of 7.95 percent plus the employer contribution – are invested by the designated ORP carrier in the options chosen by the member. The performance of the member’s investments determines the retirement benefit due. Projections of possible benefits are provided, but not guaranteed, by the ORP carriers.
ORP balances may be rolled over to another IRS qualified retirement plan or to an IRA(s) at any time after termination of employment. Also, a one-time, lump-sum payment of up to 36 months of your annuity is available from the ORP account at the time of retirement in addition to a lifetime annuity. If the up-front lump sum is chosen, lifetime benefits would be reduced accordingly.
TRSL or ORP: Which one?
The decision to join the ORP is irrevocable. You cannot change your mind and later join TRSL. If you change to another employer that reports to TRSL, you must stay in the ORP. You should look at your career expectations carefully and realistically before deciding whether to enroll as a member of TRSL or the ORP. If you are reasonably sure you won’t continue in your current position, or don’t plan to remain in Louisiana for at least five years, then the ORP may be a good idea because it would be portable to most other U.S. colleges and universities. However, if you plan to continue teaching or working in Louisiana, TRSL is probably the best choice.
If you decide to enroll in the ORP, you will need to complete TRSL’s Application for Optional Retirement Plan or Change of Carrier
Need more information?
Optional Retirement Plan (ORP)
ORP Comparison Calculator
ORP Contribution Rates