Teachers Retirement System of Georgia (TRS)
The basic retirement program is offered through the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia (TRS). It is a “defined benefit” plan (a pension-type program). Normal retirement age for TRS benefits is 60 with at least 10 years of service. If you have at least 30 years of service, you can retire regardless of age. Reduced benefits are available if you have at least 25 years of service and opt to take “early retirement.”
The actual benefit amount you will receive when you retire depends on a formula that takes into account your total years of service and two highest consecutive years of average salary.
To help administer the TRS program and to fund its benefits, the University also contributes on your behalf. As you are aware, the Teachers Retirement System (TRS) determines employee and employer contribution rates one year prior to their effective date. The TRS, a defined benefit plan, operates on a fiscal year cycle (July 1 – June 30). Please note there is a change in the employer contribution rate for Fiscal Year 2016. The TRS employer contribution rate will increase from 13.15% to 14.27%, while the employee contribution rate will remain at 6.00%. This new rate will become effective July 1, 2015.
Fiscal Year 2016 – TRS Contribution Rates
Employer Contribution Rate 14.27%
Employee Contribution Rate 6.00%
There is currently a 10-year vesting schedule, meaning that once you have 10 years of creditable services in the TRS system, you are eligible for a retirement benefit once you reach age 60.
To view complete TRS information and for access to your personal TRS account, go to www.trsga.com. Here you can find your current contribution summary, review your beneficiaries and if you are within 5 years of retirement, run the benefit estimator to calculate your monthly retirement income.
For your consideration:
- State law does not allow the employee contribution to go above the current 6.00%.
- If you remained employed and have at least 10 years of credible service (vested) when you retire, you are guaranteed a monthly income for life based upon your highest consecutive 24 months of salary.
- If you leave employment prior to 10 years of service, there are 3 options available for your employee contribution account.
- You may withdraw funds subject to taxes and penalties before age 59 ½
- You may leave funds in TRS for up to 4 years and earn 4.5% interest
- You may roll funds over at any time into a comparable retirement plan without any taxes or penalties.
Optional Retirement Plan (ORP)
Instead of participating in the TRS defined benefit plan, faculty and certain administrators may elect to participate in an optional retirement plan (ORP). Exempted employees hired after June 30, 2008 will have the opportunity to elect to participate in the optional retirement plan. The ORP is a “defined contribution” plan. For the remainder of the 2015 fiscal year, the current contribution rates will remain the same. The ORP employer contribution rate will remain at 9.24% and the employee contribution rate will remain at 6%. Any change to contribution rates for Fiscal Year 2017 will be communicated prior to July 1, 2016.
FISCAL YEAR 2016 – ORP Contribution Rates
Employer Contribution Rate 9.24%
Employee Contribution Rate 6.00%
The ORP There is full and immediate vesting of all contributions to an individual’s ORP account.
The resources contributed to your ORP can be invested through your choice of four investment companies: Each company offers several investment options. You may change your ORP vendor quarterly. Click any of the links below to:
enroll, get guidance, choose investments, and view products and services.
- Invest in your retirement-and yourself-with the help of the Board of Regents Retirement Plan of the University System of Georgia and Fidelity
- VALIC Retirement
- Fidelity Investments
IMPORTANT NOTE: Exempt employees have 60 days to make an election. Otherwise, your retirement election will default to TRS. Your election is irrevocable for the duration of your comtinuous employment.
- Optional Retirement Plan Enrollment Guide
- Fidelity Investment Menu
- TIAA-CREF Investment Menu
- Valic Investment Menu
- Optional Retirement Plan Enrollment Form
- Regent Optional Retirement Plan Election Form
- TRS/ORP Retirement Election Form