If you are called to activate military service while you are an active participant in the ORP, your retirement benefits under the plan may be protected if you return to work after your tour of duty.
USERRA: Under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), you may be entitled to the contributions that would have been made under the program if you had not been away on qualified military duty. Additionally, these contributions represent months of participation in the program which count towards the service requirement for retiree insurances such as retiree health care.
Basic USERRA requirements: You must meet USERRA’s requirements to be eligible for payment of plan contributions missed while you were away on active duty:
Employer Plan Contributions: The Commonwealth will make-up the employer plan contributions that you missed while you were on active duty. You are not required to make-up your own contributions in order to receive these employer plan contributions. Remittance of the employer plan contributions establishes the crediting of months of participation in the ORP which are used towards your eligibility for post-employment benefits.
Employee Plan Contributions: You may make up the contributions that you missed while you were away on active duty. You are not required to make up these amounts. If you choose to make-up your missed contributions, you may spread the make-up amounts over the maximum period allowed: up to three times the number of years you were away, but not longer than five years.
Election Form: The benefits administrator on your campus will provide a notice of your rights under USERRA and a form for you to indicate your choice about making-up your own missed contributions.
Stop and Start: You may stop and re-start your make-up of employee plan contributions anytime during the allowable make-up period, without restrictions imposed by the Commonwealth. However, the total period during which you make-up your contributions must be within the allowable time set under USERRA. Contact your campus’ benefits administrator to either stop or re-commence making up your employee plan contributions.