The Commonwealth offers two distinct types of retirement plans for certain employees of its institutions of public higher education. You decide which plan best aligns with your needs, expectations and career objectives.
Decisions about your retirement planning today can have far-reaching effects on your life many years from now. Consequently, it is important that you understand the choices available to you, and that you choose well.
The information provided here is intended to help you understand the choice you have in retirement plans. The following pages highlight the two retirement systems and compare their basic features. You must make your choice within 180 days of your initial eligibility for the Optional Retirement Program (ORP), which is generally the first day you are actively at work.
This is an important decision because, once you make your choice, it cannot be changed. If you do not elect to participate in the ORP within the 180-day Election Period, you will be enrolled in the State Employees' Retirement System (SERS).
If you are uncertain about how each of the two plans may meet your personal career, financial and retirement objectives, you should consult with an experienced adviser who is familiar with different types of retirement plans.
While the Benefits Administrator on your campus is knowledgeable about the two plans, you can always contact the Plan Administrators for both programs to learn more: