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Optional Retirement Program (ORP) Information

What is ORP? 

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.

For 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 -- NEW
     • Retirement Information for ORP Participants -- May 2016 -- NEW
     • 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. October 2015

State Law and Rules 

     • Chapter 25, Coordinating Board's ORP Rules: 
          • Link to Texas Administrative Code 
          • View/download PDF version
     • Chapter 830, ORP Statute (Texas Government Code)
     • Selected ORP-related State Legislation
     • ORP-related Attorney General's Opinions

Additional Information

     • ORP Participation Report Summary -- FY15 data
     • 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
     • IRS Publication 571 -- Tax-Sheltered Annuity Plans (403(b) Plans)
     • IRS Publication 575 -- Pension and Annuity Income


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


For ORP Administrators:

Proposed Amendments to Ch. 25 will be published in the Texas Register on May 20, 2016. The intent of the amendments is to incorporate changes in state law and IRS-related interpretations, make technical corrections, and add clarifying language. The 30-day comment period begins on May 20, 2016, and ends on June 20, 2016.

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.

For Annual Report Preparers:

The FY15 ORP Participation Report Summary is now available. (See link above under Additional Information.)

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

ORP Annual Report Online Reporting System

The system will open for reporting your FY16 data (covering the period September 1, 2015 - August 31, 2016) on September 1, 2016. The deadline for submitting your FY16 report will be October 1, 2016.

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 05/18/2016
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