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Enrollment FAQ

How do I respond to an employee's request for advice on choosing between the ORP and the SERS?

Under no circumstances may any administrators provide advice about any aspect of an employee's decision to participate in either the ORP or the SERS. Naturally, employees may ask administrators about these issues; however, administrators should only direct employees to resources to assist in their investigation of each plan's appropriateness for their personal requirements.

Employees will find detailed information about these issues on the Choosing a Retirement Plan page in the Participants' section of the website.

Does it benefit an ORP participant to purchase the supplemental Long-Term Disability insurance from the Group Insurance Commission (Dual Disability Coverage)?

Active ORP participants are automatically covered by a long-term disability insurance policy under the Plan. Dual Disability Coverage exists when an ORP participant purchases supplemental long-term disability insurance from the Group Insurance Commission (GIC); they are then covered by two disability insurance policies.

The effect of this dual coverage is that the employee will likely be underinsured rather than overinsured. Further explanation of Dual Disability Coverage is available in the Participants section of this website.

Exception: In cases where an employee enrolls in the ORP but anticipates participation in the SERS at a later date, they may choose to purchase the GIC disability insurance at the time of ORP enrollment in order to preserve their insurability for the disability coverage later.

How does prior employment by the Commonwealth factor into an employee's ORP vesting and benefits?

As a defined contribution plan with immediate vesting, the ORP does not utilize Years of Creditable Service, as the SERS must. Consequently, many newly eligible employees must understand the importance of this issue when choosing their retirement coverage: ORP or SERS. Employees will find detailed information about these issues on the Choosing a Retirement Plan page in the Participants' section of the website.

Vesting and Benefits

The ORP does not utilize either prior or current "service" for purposes of determining vesting and benefits. However, prior and current "service" are integral to the SERS calculation of vesting and benefits.

Retiree Insurance Benefit Eligibility

The Group Insurance Commisson recognizes the combination of Years of Participation under the ORP and Years of Creditable Service under the SERS for purposes of meeting the eligibility requirements for Retiree Insurance benefits for ORP Retirees.

SERS Asset Transfer

Employees who have contributed to the SERS and then enter the ORP may, voluntarily, transfer their SERS assets to the ORP. If they choose to transfer their SERS assets to the ORP, they forfeit their rights to any benefits that may have accrued under the SERS.

 

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