Campus News

Optional Retirement Plan

Gov. Sonny Perdue recently signed into law legislation changing how rates are set and how eligibility is determined for the Optional Retirement Plan.

Effective July 1, all newly hired exempt staff in benefit-eligible positions will be able to choose between TRS and ORP retirement programs.

Currently, only faculty and principal administrators are eligible to select the ORP as a retirement plan. All other classified staff must participate in the Teachers Retirement System. UGA non-faculty employees are classified as either exempt or non-exempt, depending upon duties and responsibilities and eligibility for payment of overtime. (A list of UGA exempt and non-exempt positions is available online at

Only new hires are eligible to make the TRS vs. ORP choice. Current TRS and ORP participants cannot change their plan elections.

In addition, faculty and staff transferring to UGA from other University System institutions with less than a 30-day break in service must keep their current plan participation.

To view the differences in the TRS and ORP programs, visit, which includes a brief comparison at

The new legislation also includes a change in how the ORP employer contributions are established. Effective July 1, the University System of Georgia Board of Regents will establish annually the ORP employer contribution rate (currently established by TRS).

Questions about benefits may be directed to Human Resources at or (706) 542-2222.