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All regular, benefits-eligible employees are required by state law to participate in one of two retirement programs offered by the university: Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) or Optional Retirement Program (ORP). In addition to these two programs, all benefits-eligible employees may participate in one or both of our voluntary savings options: Tax Deferred Annuity (TDA) and Deferred Compensation.

Descriptions of the programs and eligibility requirements are noted in the program overviews below:

Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS)

Participation in the Teacher Retirement System is open to all benefits-eligible employees of the university. Rights to benefits are vested upon completion of 5 years of creditable service. Currently employees contribute 7.7% of their gross salary monthly and the state contributes 7.5% of the employee's gross salary to a state account to pay retirement benefits. Employees earn interest at a rate of 2% annually on their account balance. Read more on the TRS Retirement page.

The Optional Retirement Program (ORP)

Optional retirement plans are available to full-time (100 percent FTE) benefits-eligible faculty members and certain professional administrative staff under the provisions of State law. Employees may obtain a list of approved companies and their representatives from the Human Resources Department. It is the employee's responsibility to select a company in which to invest their retirement contributions. Read more on the ORP Retirement Page.

In addition to the mandatory program options above, UH benefits-eligible employees can select a supplemental retirement program that will further their savings goals:

Tax Deferred Annuity (TDA) or Supplemental Retirement Annuity (SRA)

The tax deferred annuity program or supplemental retirement annuity is offered to all benefits eligible employees. Investments are through life insurance companies and mutual fund companies licensed to do business in the State of Texas. All contributions are excluded from taxable income until distributed from the account to the employee. Read more on the Supplemental Retirement page.

State of Texas Deferred Compensation Plan

Employees may enroll in a deferred compensation plan which allows the employee to defer a portion of their income and deposit it with a company until the 31st day after they leave state service. Investment companies include banks, savings associations, credit unions, insurance companies, and mutual fund companies. Benefits paid to the employee or beneficiary are equal to the value of the deferred compensation account. The State's liability will never exceed the value of that account, and the State will not be liable for any losses resulting from depreciation or a loss in the value of the account. The employee must file a written distribution agreement within 50 days of separation of service with the State. In the event of death of the employee, the beneficiary must file a distribution agreement through the Benefits Office.