Exempt staff and faculty may elect to join either MSPS or the Optional Retirement Program. The Optional Retirement Program (ORP) is a defined contribution plan.
There are two participating providers in the ORP. They are Teacher’s Insurance Annuity Association/College Retirement Equity Fund (TIAA-CREF), and Fidelity. Free one-on-one retirement investing guidance is available through both TIAA-CREF and Fidelity. See ‘ORP Vendor Contact Information’ Information below for details.
The ORP plans are defined 403(b) contribution plans. They differ from a defined benefit plan in that the amount of benefits paid at retirement depends upon the amount of accumulated contributions, plus earnings and dividends, in the member’s account at the time the claim is made.
The University contributes 7.25% of the member’s annual salary over a 20 pay cycle. The member may not contribute any additional money.
Contributions to the plans are immediately vested and are transferable among over 4,200 private and public institutions participating across the country.
Premiums to the ORP are invested primarily in mutual funds and employees designate where contributions are made. Percentage allocation changes can be made as many times as desired. Employees also have the option to switch to another participating ORP carrier one time per calendar year.
There is no defined death benefit in the ORP plans. Upon a member’s death, the member’s designated beneficiary inherits the fund amounts. There are also no allowances for COLA or disability with the ORP plans. Accumulated Sick Leave is not factored into retirement benefit amounts.
For employees enrolled in an ORP prior to 7/1/2011, after 16 years of employment Health Benefits can be continued with full state subsidy for employee ONLY, and after 25 years for a spouse. Employees hired on or after 7/1/2011 must review Pension Plan/Optional Retirement Program Comparison Chart for health subsidy eligibility and can contact human resources with questions.
ORP Vendor Contact Information
To schedule an appointment, call 800-732-8353 or online.
For more information visit the TIAA-CREF USM website
TIAA-CREF Campus Representative: Jahleel Gordon
To schedule an appointment, call 800.642.7131 or online at getguidance.fidelity.com.
For more information visit the Fidelity USM website.
Fidelity Representative: Chris Barnes firstname.lastname@example.org