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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 -- August 2017

     • Current ORP Contribution Rates -- rev. July 2017
     • IRS Dollar Limitations on 403(b) Contributions -- rev. October 2017


State Law and Rules: 

     • Chapter 25, Coordinating Board's ORP Rules:
             • Link to Texas Administrative Code
             • View/download "user-friendly" PDF version -- December 2017 

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

     • Selected ORP-related State Legislation (historical) -- rev. December 2017
     • ORP-related Attorney General's Opinions (historical)

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

     • ORP-related Bills Legislative Update -- August 2017


Additional Information:

     • ORP Participation Report Summary (FY17) -- December 2017
     • FY17 ORP Report Data -- breakout by institution -- December 2017

     • ORP/TRS Contribution Rate History Chart --  rev. January 2018
     • ORP Employer Contribution Supplement History -- rev. January 2018

     • List of Institutions of Higher Education in Texas -- August 2017
        (Texas ORP is only available at institutions in "Public Institutions" category.)

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


Related Links:

     • Teacher Retirement System (TRS)

             • TRS Benefits Handbook

     • Employees Retirement System (ERS)

             • Group Insurance for Active Employees
             • Retiree Insurance Eligibility for Higher Education Employees
             • Disability Retirement Information (bottom of page for Hi Ed Employees)

     • Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

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

     • Social Security Administration

             • Information on WEP and GPO

     • Comptroller of Public Accounts: Fiscal Management Division

             • Annual Estimate of ORP State Contributions


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, Section 25.4(o)(4), to conform with the provisions in Section 1 of SB 1954, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session (regarding extension of the ORP Election Period when a Failure to Notify Error occurs). The rules were adopted on an emergency basis at the Board's quarterly meeting in July 2017 so the existing rules would not contradict the new statutory provisions that became effective on September 1, 2017. Because emergency rules are only in effect for a limited period, the emergency rule text was also proposed in accordance with the regular rule-making process and adopted at the Board's quarterly meeting in October 2017.

The text of the proposed rules was published in the August 18, 2017, edition of the Texas Register (page 42 TexReg 4084). The amended text has been incorporated into the "user-friendly" version of Ch. 25 that can be viewed/downloaded from the State Law and Rules section above.

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.

Legislative Update:  Click here for ORP-related legislative information and updates.  -- August 2017

"ORP Update" slideshow from THEHRA Winter Conference (January 2018)


 Annual Report Preparers:

The FY17 report has been completed. Please see "ORP Participation Report Summary (FY17)" and "FY17 ORP Report Data -- breakout by institution" above in the Additional Information section.

Deadline for FY17 ORP Report:  October 1, 2017

Data Entry:  The system is closed for reporting your FY17 data (covering the period September 1, 2016 - August 31, 2017). You may still access the system to view/download your current and prior year reports.

Instructions:  Instructions for Preparing ORP Report Data -- for FY17 report

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


Questions about this webpage should be directed to:

Toni Alexander

updated 03/05/2018
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