Retirement Program ORP

All full-time and part-time salaried University Staff Managerial & Professional, University Staff Executive, Faculty, Research Associate, and Research Scientist employees must participate in either the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) or the Virginia Retirement System (VRS). All full-time and part-time salaried University Staff Operational & Administrative employees must participate in the Virginia Retirement System (VRS). The retirement program selected affects the AD&D, disability and life insurance benefits, so careful consideration should be given to this decision. Once a retirement program is elected, the decision is irreversible.

Please watch the saving for retirement video for a brief overview of the UVA options.

Hoos Well video

Please see ORP and VRS Hybrid Comparison for a side by side comparison.

The ORP is a “defined contribution” plan in which retirement benefits are based on employer contributions plus earnings of the account balance over the course of the participant’s working years. In a defined contribution plan, the value of the retirement benefits may change, depending on investment gains or losses.

Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) Summary
ORP Plan 1 (Members Hired Before July 1, 2010 who have not taken a refund)ORP Plan 2
(Members Hired After July 1, 2010
and Before July 1, 2014)
ORP Plan 2 (Members Hired or Rehired On or After July 1, 2014)
ORP Contribution Rates10.4 percent employer contributionEstablishes an 8.9 percent employer contribution for ORP members. ORP employees also are required to make a 5 percent member contribution.Establishes an 8.9 percent employer contribution for ORP members. ORP employees also are required to make a 5 percent member contribution.
Vesting100% employee
and employer contribution
from start
100% employee and employer contribution from start100% employee contribution from start and
100% employer after 2 years of continuous employment

If you were in the Virginia State ORP Plan 1 and did not take a refund than you are eligible to remain in the ORP Plan 1 if documentation of the most recent quarter’s statement or a current online statement showing the balance in your account is provided.

ORP Vesting

Newly hired employees and those who become ORP eligible who elect the ORP will be subject to a two year “cliff” vesting schedule with the exception of new hire transfers (no break in service) from another Virginia higher ed institution in the ORP will not be subject to the two year vesting. By definition “vesting” refers to ownership of the employer’s contribution to retirement. By law and by definition, the employee is always 100% vested in any money they contribute directly to their own retirement plan. Cliff vesting transfers ownership in full to the employee after a specific period of service. Employees have no right to any of the employer contributions if they leave before the two year period ends, other than by death or involuntary separation due to causes other than job performance or misconduct, as determined by the University. Two years after their date of hire, they have access to the full fund balance when they separate service. These vesting provisions permitted by law apply only to the University’s ORP and not the VRS hybrid retirement plan, which is subject to its own vesting requirements.

Common Questions About ORP Vesting:

When am I vested?
When you participate in the Optional Retirement Plan, you become vested once you have two years of continuous employment.

What if I leave UVa employment before I am vested Do I get to take any of the accumulated funds with me?
If you leave UVa before you are vested you will not have access to any of the contributions made by Uva. However, the 5% contribution you have made is fully yours when you leave UVa employment.

What if I transfer from Operational & Administrative position to a Managerial & Professional position and are now eligible to elect the ORP? Does my O&A service count towards the vesting requirement if I enroll in the ORP?
The vesting requirement must be fulfilled while the employee is actually in the retirement plan, so the O&A service does not count toward the two year requirement.

What if I transfer from the UVa Medical Center to the Academic Division and have an option of enrolling in the ORP? does my Medical Center service count towards the vesting requirement if I enroll in the ORP?
The vesting requirement must be fulfilled while the employee is actually in the retirement plan, so the Medical Center service does not count toward the two year requirement.

Participants may invest employer contributions in one of the following companies: TIAA-CREF or Fidelity Investments. Employees have 60 days from their date of hire to elect a retirement program. Changes in vendor selection may be made at any time of year, up to three times per year. NOTE: If no program is selected during the 60 days, state policy requires members to be enrolled in VRS.

Important notice if receiving retirement annuity:

An individual may not receive a retirement annuity from the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) or one of the Optional Retirement Plans while the University of Virginia is making contributions to a regular retirement program. An individual who is receiving a retirement annuity from an account to which any Commonwealth of Virginia agency contributed should contact UHR Benefits.



Steps to Enroll in the ORP


Optional Retirement Plan Resources

Vendor
Website
Customer Service Schedule an Appointment Complete Investment Elections &
fund performances
TIAA 1.800.842.2252 Meet a Representative Plans & Investments
Fidelity 1.800.343.0860 Meet a Representative Plans & Investments