Optional Retirement Plan (ORP)
- The ORP is the alternative to the Teachers Retirement System of Louisiana
- A defined contribution plan
- Immediately vested
- Employee contributes 8.0% of salary
- LSU contributes 6.2% of salary
Effective Date of Enrollment
As a permanent employee you are automatically enrolled into the TRSL defined benefit plan. If you wish to enroll in an ORP, you have 60 days from your date of hire to enroll retroactive to your original hire date. Enrollment forms and instructions are located in your New Employee Orientation folders and on the ORP Vendors Page. Original signed Application for Optional Retirement Forms are required to be returned to HRM for enrollment as well as separately enrolling with the ORP vendor of your choice.
If you wait past your first 60 days to enroll, your effective date will be delayed to the first of the following month and only your contributions will transfer over to your ORP carrier (not those made by the LSU System). Once you have contributed to the TRSL defined benefit plan for greater than five years, you are not eligible to enroll into an Optional Retirement Plan.
IMPORTANT! The decision to participate in the ORP is IRREVOCABLE. You may not enroll in the ORP and then later change to the TRSL defined benefit plan. However, you may elect to change ORP carriers at any time throughout the year.
As an ORP participant, you are eligible to annuitize your ORP account at termination of employment. In order to be eligible to continue group insurance policies after retirement, as an ORP retiree, you must meet one of the minimum retirement eligibility requirements listed below:
- 5 years of service or more at age 62 or later
- At 20 years of service you may retire at any age
*5 years of service option for members enrolled prior to 7/1/2015 is at age 60.
Retirement Benefit Calculation
The ORP is a defined contribution retirement plan and the amount of the monthly income payable at retirement is directly related to the balance in your account, your age at retirement, and the income option you select. When you are ready to retire, you will select from several annuity options (the options may differ slightly, depending on the company you have selected as your ORP carrier).
Termination of Employment before Retirement
State law does not permit a lump-sum refund at termination of employment. You retain ownership of your account and you may elect to receive a monthly benefit based on the value of your account. Funds in your ORP account are eligible for a lump-sum IRA rollover, subject to withdrawal provisions of your ORP carrier.
If you become disabled, you must have at least five years of service in an ORP to apply for continued participation in the insurance plans at retirement. The LSU System will require a medical examination by an independent physician.
Your survivor(s) may choose a lump-sum refund or elect to receive a monthly benefit based on the value of your account.
Social Security and the Windfall Elimination Provision
Social Security Administration has an on-line calculator that allows members who are eligible for a retirement benefit from the ORP and the SSA to calculate the windfall elimination provision (WEP), which can reduce Social Security retirement benefits for most retirees who collect pensions from jobs not covered by Social Security. Access the calculator.