Optional Retirement Program (ORP)

The Optional Retirement Program (ORP) is a 403(b) defined contribution retirement program available to ACC employees in certain jobs. Eligible employees may participate in ORP in lieu of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) as described in Texas Administrative Code, Title 19, Part 1, Chapter 25

Employees participating in ORP contribute 6.65% of eligible earnings on a pre-tax basis each pay period, and ACC contributes an additional 6.6%. If an employee elected to participate in ORP prior to 09/01/96, they are eligible for an additional “grandfathered” 1.9% employer match. The total employer match for employees receiving the “grandfathered” employer match is 8.5%. Vesting in the program is one year and one day. 

ORP retirement benefits are based on account contributions made during employment and any returns on investment at the time of retirement. Potential retirement benefits under ORP are subject to individual investment performance, fees and expenses, contract provisions, and federal tax law. 

The Rules and Regulations of the Administrative Council of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Chapter 25 provide information about eligible positions, vesting, enrollment requirements, contributions, and termination of participation. No loans, withdrawals, or rollovers (except to other ORP vendors) are permitted while employed by ACC. However, withdrawals are permitted after age 70 ½.  

Employees eligible to elect ORP in lieu of TRS will receive notice via email on their first day of employment or initial eligibility date. These employees have 90 days from their hire date or eligibility date to complete the enrollment process outlined in their notification. Employees who fail to complete enrollment before their 90-day deadline will remain in TRS for their career in Texas public higher education. 

For more information on ORP, please review:

An Overview of TRS and ORP

Outlining the Differences Between the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) and the Optional Retirement Program (ORP)Rules and Regulations of the Administrative Council of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Chapter 25.

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