Optional Retirement Plan

The Optional Retirement Plan was created to provide University faculty and unclassified staff with a portable retirement plan.

ORP is a defined contribution plan authorized under section 401a of the Internal Revenue Code.  Retirement benefits are determined by employee and employer contributions and investment return on funds.  Performance of the investments determines the retirement benefits due.  Projections of possible benefits are provided by the ORP carriers, but not guaranteed.  ORP does not provide any disability benefits.  Survivor benefits are limited to a lump-sum distribution of the value of the account.

Members of ORP may NEVER become members of the Teachers' Retirement System, so consider your choice carefully.

Retirement Eligibility

There is no age requirement to retire under ORP.  To maintain your benefits as a retiree, you must meet the same eligibility rules as retirement under TRSL.


ORP provides immediate vesting for both employee and employer contributions plus any investment earnings.

Retirement Benefit

Lifetime benefit based solely on the balance in the account at the time of retirement.  Benefits are paid in the form of a lifetime benefit in a lump sum payment and then receive a reduced benefit for life.


Employee contribution is 8% of base salary on a pre-tax basis.  The normal employer contribution will be forwarded to the selected carrier on behalf of the participant.  Please note that the employer contribution is subject to change each fiscal year.  For a complete list of rates by year, please visit  TRSL's Optional Retirement Contribution Rates table.

Monthly Fee:

Employee pays 0.05% to Teacher's Retirement System as an administrative fee.

After Termination of Service

It is not required that funds be withdrawn after employment; the member can elect to leave funds invested with carrier.  Member will continue to earn interest and can make changes to investment options within the plan.

  • Account balance may be rolled over to another IRS qualified plan or an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) at any time after termination of employment.
  • Upon retirement, benefits are paid in the form of a lifetime income with the option to receive up to 36 months worth of the maximum lifetime benefit in a lump sum payment and then receive a reduced benefit for life.

Year-round change of carrier option:

ORP participants can now change carriers throughout the year instead of the annual November/December window previously used. TRSL has revised its Application for Optional Retirement Plan or Change of Carrier (Form 16) to reflect this new option.



TIAA - Teachers’ Insurance and Annuity Association – College Retirement Equity Fund

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