Optional Retirement Program (ORP)

Financial Counseling Sessions Schedule

ORP Handbook 

Retirement Plan Selection for New Hires

Retirement Plan Selection Memo 2017

Pre-Retirement Planning

To schedule a one-on-one consultation with a member of the HR Benefits team, please email hrbenefits@umbc.edu (typically when you are within 12 months of retirement)

ORP Pre-Retiree Checklist


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.  Enrollment into the ORP upon hire is irrevocable.

There are two participating providers in the ORP.  They are Teacher’s Insurance Annuity Association/College Retirement Equity Fund (TIAA), and Fidelity.  Free one-on-one retirement investing guidance is available through both TIAA 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 ends upon retirement, and does not convert to retirement credit.

For healthcare options in retirement please see the State of Maryland Benefits Guide and the Retirement Plan Comparison Chart.

ORP Vendor Contact Information for TIAA & Fidelity can be found on the following Vendor Contact Information page.

Pension Plan/Optional Retirement Program Comparison Chart