Retirement Program VRS

The Commonwealth of Virginia requires all full-time and part-time(benefit eligible, greater than 20 hours) State employees to participate in VRS, unless they are eligible and participate in the 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). Once a retirement program is elected, the decision is irreversible. VRS is a “defined benefit” plan that provides retirement benefits based on years of service, age, and your average final compensation at retirement using a formula.

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.

NOTE - VRS Hybrid members - Auto-escalation starts January 1, 2017 - Please read for more information

If you were previously a VRS Plan 1 or VRS Plan 2 member and did not take a refund, then you will remain a VRS Plan 1 or Plan 2 member if you enroll in the Virginia Retirement System. If you were in VaLORS, then you will remain in VaLORS as long as you remain in a VaLORS covered position. Most employees hired on or after January 1, 2014 with no previous VRS service credit and elect to participate in VRS will be covered automatically under the VRS Hybrid Plan.

Virginia Retirement System (VRS) Plan Summary
Effective
January 1, 2014
VRS Plan 1 (Members Hired Before July 1, 2010, and you were vested as of January 1, 2013)VRS Plan 2 (Members Hired After July 1, 2010 and Before January 1, 2014)Hybrid Retirement Plan (Members Hired On or After January 1, 2014)
Average final compensationAverage of the employee’s 36 highest consecutive months of creditable compensationAverage of the employee’s 60 highest consecutive months of creditable compensationDefined Benefit is Same as VRS Plan 2
5 percent
member contribution
Employees contribute the 5% member contribution.Employees contribute the 5% member contribution.Employees contribute 4% in defined benefit and 1% in defined contribution.

Optional Voluntary contribution of 4 percent with employer cash match in .5 increments
Normal retirement ageVRS: Age 65


VaLORS (Law Enforcement) Hazardous Duty Members: Age 60
VRS: Normal Social Security retirement age

Same
Defined benefit is Same as VRS Plan 2
Defined Contribution when you leave employment, subject to restrictions

Same
Earliest unreduced retirement eligibilityVRS: Age 65 with at least five years of service credit or age 50 with at least 30 years of service credit



VaLORS (Law Enforcement) Hazardous Duty Members: Age 60 with at least five years of service credit or age 50 with at least 25 years of service credit
VRS: Normal Social Security retirement age with at least five years of service credit or age 60 with age and service equaling 90 (e.g., age 60 with at least 30 years of service credit)


Same
Defined Benefit is Same as VRS Plan 2
Defined Contribution when you leave employment, subject to restrictions


Same
Earliest reduced retirement eligibilityVRS: Age 55 with at least five years of service credit or age 50 with at least 10 years of service credit

VaLORS (Law Enforcement) Hazardous Duty Members: Age 50 with at least five years of service credit
VRS: Age 60 with at least five years of service credit



Same
Defined Benefit is Same as VRS Plan 2
Defined Contribution when you leave employment, subject to restrictions


Same
Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) (effective July 1 following the first full calendar year after retirement)Matches first 3 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index-Urban and one-half of the remaining increase up to a maximum of 5 percent, when providedMatches first 2 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index-Urban and one-half of the remaining increase up to a maximum of 6 percent, when providedCOLA is not applicable to Defined Contribution

Employees participating in the VRS Hybrid plan and a TDSP are only eligible to receive the TDSP Cash Match if they contribute the full 4% Optional Voluntary Contribution in their defined contribution.

Log in or create a myVRS account to check your member account balance or create a benefit estimate. Subscribe to Member News to receive the latest information about your VRS benefits. In order for VRS members to remain up to date on changes affecting them, we recommend participating employees read Member News quarterly updates. To contact VRS call toll free (888) 827.3847 or visit their website.

Important: 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.


VRS Retirement Program Resources

VRS Website

VRS Customer Service - 1.888.827.3847

Links and Forms