Optional Retirement Program

Optional retirement plans are available to full-time (100 percent FTE) benefits-eligible faculty members and certain professionalistrative staff under the provisions of State law. Approved providers and their representatives are listed here and in the sidebar link. It is the employee's responsibility to select a company in which to invest their retirement contributions.

The employee contributes 6.65% of their gross salary monthly and the state contributes 6.6% of the employee's gross salary to the ORP account. Employees who were employed by the State of Texas prior to September 1, 1995 should contact the Benefits Office for information on the amount of state contribution made to their account. Contributions made by the university to the optional retirement program are vested for employees after one year and one day of participation in the program. Should the employee terminate their employment in an ORP eligible position after vesting occurs, he/she may receive a refund of their contribution as well as the state matching contribution.

Participation in ORP is a one time election and must be made in writing within 90 days of the date an employee becomes eligible. Eligible employees will be enrolled in the TRS program until an election for ORP participation is made in writing. If an employee does not submit an application for ORP participation before the expiration of the 90 day election period, ORP eligibility is forfeited and the employee must remain in the Teacher Retirement System of Texas for the remainder of their employment in higher education in Texas.

Retirement benefits under the ORP is based on the account value and the age of the participant at the time of retirement. Several distribution options are available to the employee at the time of retirement.

For more information, call 713-743-3988 to schedule an appointment with a Benefits representative.