Tennessee ORP Plan Overview

Below are the important features about your plan. This website is intended to be a summary of the plan provisions.  In the event that a conflict exists between the information contained within this website and the plan document, the plan document provisions prevail. For more information, please contact your local representative.

The Tennessee Optional Retirement Program (ORP) is a defined contribution retirement plan offered to faculty and exempt employees of Tennessee's public colleges and universities as an alternative to the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS) defined benefit pension plan. Once an eligible employee elects to participate in ORP, that decision is irrevocable with one exception. On a participant’s 5th anniversary, he or she will receive a letter from the State asking if they wish to leave the ORP and buy into TCRS. After this period, the decision is irrevocable.

ORP contribution rates for new employees who begin employment on or after July 1, 2014:

  • Employer contribution will be 9% of compensation
  • Mandatory employee contribution will be 5% of compensation.

A 2% Employee auto-enroll contribution will also be made on behalf of all participants to the 401(k) plan for which a participant may change their contribution amount at any time.

Under the Plan, the maximum annual contribution amount is set by Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidelines on a yearly basis. You may view the current limits here.

You should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of the investment options offered through a retirement plan carefully before investing. Fund prospectuses and an information booklet containing this and other information can be obtained by contacting your local representative. Please read all information carefully before investing.

Mutual funds under a trust or custodial account agreement are intended to be long-term investments designed for retirement purposes. If withdrawals are taken prior to age 59½,an IRC 10% premature distribution penalty tax will apply, unless an IRS exception applies. Account values fluctuate with market conditions, and when surrendered, the principal may be worth more or less than the original amount invested. A group fixed annuity is an insurance contract designed for investing for retirement purposes. The guarantee of the fixed account is based on the claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company. Although it is possible to have guaranteed income for life with a fixed annuity, there is no assurance that this income will keep up with inflation. Money taken from the plan will be taxed as ordinary income in the year the money is distributed. An annuity does notprovide any additional tax benefit, as tax deferral is provided by the Plan. Annuities may be subject to additional fees and expenses, to which other tax-deferred funding vehicles may not be subject. However, an annuity does offer other features and benefits, such as lifetime income payments and death benefits, which may be valuable to you. 

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