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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 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)

     • 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 (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

     • 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

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

     • 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

     • Comptroller's Office: 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 to conform with the provisions in Section 1 of SB 1954 (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 become effective on September 1, 2017. Because emergency rules are only in effect for a limited period, the emergency rule text has been proposed in accordance with the regular rule-making process. The proposed rules were published in the August 18, 2017, edition of the Texas Register with a 30-day comment period that ends on September 18, 2017. The Board will consider adoption of the proposed rules at the October 2017 meeting.

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 TACCHRP Summer Conference (06/01/2017)


 Annual Report Preparers:

Deadline for FY17 ORP Report:  October 1, 2017

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

Instructions:  Instructions for Preparing ORP Report Data -- NEW (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

updated 10/19/2017
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