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Optional Retirement Program (ORP) Information


The Optional Retirement Program (ORP) is a defined contribution plan that is available as an alternative to the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) for full-time faculty, librarians, and certain administrators and professionals employed by Texas public institutions of higher education. ORP-eligible employees have 90 days from their first day of employment in an ORP-eligible position to make a one-time irrevocable election of ORP in lieu of TRS.


New ORP-Eligible Employees:

Read the Overview (provided by your institution and also below) as soon as possible. It contains information you need to know before your 90-day ORP election period expires. Your institution will provide you with a list of authorized ORP companies, local policies and procedures for electing ORP, and your employer contribution rate.

This webpage contains general information about ORP. Please contact your institution's Human Resources Office for specific information about the ORP plan at your institution.

Overview of TRS and ORP -- rev. August 2015

Additional formats:
     • PowerPoint Slideshow
     • PDF Version of Slideshow


ORP Resources: 

     • Who to Contact -- May 2016
     • Retirement Information for ORP Participants -- rev. December 2016
     • FAQs -- coming soon

     • ORP Eligibility Chart -- rev. May 2015
     • ORP Election Period Calculator -- November 2015

     • Current ORP Contribution Rates -- rev. February 2016
     • IRS Dollar Limitations on 403(b) Contributions -- rev. November 2016


State Law and Rules: 

     • Chapter 25, Coordinating Board's ORP Rules:
             • Link to Texas Administrative Code
             • View/download "user-friendly" PDF version -- December 2016 

     • Chapter 830, ORP Statute (Texas Government Code)
     • Chapter 804, QDROs (Texas Government Code) 

     • Selected ORP-related State Legislation (historical)
     • ORP-related Attorney General's Opinions (historical)

      • ORP-related Attorney General's Opinions (historical)

     • Texas Legislature Online (TLO)
            (info on State bills from past and current sessions)

     • ORP-related legislation in current session -- NEW -- April 2017


Additional Information:

     • ORP Participation Report Summary (FY16) -- November 2016
     • FY16 ORP Report Data -- breakout by institution -- November 2016

     • ORP/TRS Contribution Rate History Chart -- July 2015
     • ORP Employer Contribution Supplement History -- rev. November 2015

     • Overview of ERS and ORP -- for Coordinating Board employees only


Related Links:

     • Teacher Retirement System (TRS)
     • TRS Benefits Handbook

     • ERS: Group Insurance Information for Higher Education Employees
     • ERS: Retiree Insurance Eligibility
     • ERS: Disability Retirement

     • IRS Publication 571 -- Tax-Sheltered Annuity Plans (403(b) Plans)
     • IRS Publication 575 -- Pension and Annuity Income
     • IRS 403(b) Plan Fix-It Guide
     • IRS Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS) Overview

     • Social Security Administration -- info on WEP and GPO


If you're not able to find an answer to your question on this webpage: Contact us


ORP Administrators:

Amendments to Chapter 25:  The Coordinating Board has adopted amendments to Chapter 25--Optional Retirement Program (ORP). The intent of these amendments is to incorporate changes in state law and IRS-related interpretations, make technical corrections, and add clarifying language. The finalized rules were published in the August 26th edition of the Texas Register beginning on page 41 TexReg 6484 and became effective on August 30, 2016. The official version of Ch. 25 is maintained by the Secretary of State's Office and is available at the "Link to Texas Administrative Code" above in the "State Law and Rules" section. That section also contains a link to view or download a more "user-friendly" PDF version.

ORP Administrators Contact List:  Please help us keep our institutional ORP Administrators Contact List up-to-date. We use this list to keep you aware of significant changes in ORP-related information and contact you individually when necessary. To provide updates to the list, please send an email to texorp@thecb.state.tx.us indicating the following contact information: Name, Position Title, Institution, Email, Phone Number.Code" above in the "State Law and Rules" section. That section also contains a link to view or download a more "user-friendly" PDF version.

ORP-related Bills Legislative Update:  Click here for ORP-related legislative information and updates. 


 Annual Report Preparers:

Deadline for FY17 ORP Report:  October 1, 2017

Data Entry:  The system will be open for reporting your FY17 data (covering the period September 1, 2016 - August 31, 2017) on September 1, 2017.

Instructions:  Instructions for Preparing ORP Report Data

Link to Online Reporting System:

       • ORP Annual Report Online Reporting System

Update Your Contact Information:  To ensure that you receive report-related information, please check/update your contact information in the ORP Annual Report Online Reporting System.

Questions:  If you have questions about accessing or using the online reporting system, please send an email to ORP@thecb.state.tx.us. If you have questions about the content of the report, please send an email to texorp@thecb.state.tx.us

updated 04/28/2017
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