Human Resources

Administration Division

NEARING RETIREMENT

Learn all about your retirement benefits and use the checklists on each page to help you prepare for retirement.

CURRENT EMPLOYEE CHECKLIST

As a current employee, you have already elected to participate in either ORP or TRS. Here are some steps to help ensure that you meet your financial goals in retirement:

TRS PARTICIPANTS

If you are a partipant in TRS, contact TRS for a retirement benefit estimate and schedule a one-on-one counseling session

SOCIAL SECURITY

Learn more about Social Security to understand your benefits and determine the age you wish to start your benefits by the Social Security Administration Website

GET INFORMATION

Get information about retiree health care by reading the University System of Georgia (USG) Retiree Checklist. If you are age 65 or older, make sure to apply for Medicare Part B coverage. Visit the Retiree Benefits page for more information and attend a periodic retiree healthcare meeting at your university.

PERSONAL SAVING

Review personal savings outside of TRS or ORP, factor in your spouse’s potential retirement income and consider if you need to be saving more in an IRA or other personal savings and investments.

RETIREE BENEFITS

You are employed in a permanent status position for not less than half time

SOCIAL SECURITY

MEDICARE

  • If you are 65 or older you must enroll in Medicare Part B. Make sure to apply for Medicare coverage at www.medicare.gov.

RETIREE HEALTH CARE

  • Get information about retiree health care by reading the USG retirement healthcare transition guide. Visit www.usg.edu/hr/benefits/retiree_benefits for more information and attend a periodic retiree healthcare meeting at your university.

SAVE MORE

  • To learn how to grow your retirement savings, visit the Save More page on the Retirement Website.

SUMMARY OF YOUR OPTIONS

ORP DETAILS

Through the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP), you choose how you want both your contributions and USG’s contributions allocated among a range of investment options. ORP offers investment through three retirement plan providers — Fidelity Investments, TIAA-CREF and Valic. Each offers a three-tiered investment menu to meet a range of participant needs and goals. You can divide your investments between the retirement plan vendors. If you elect to spilt up your contributions between retirement plan vendors, you must allocate at least 10% to each vendor. You are allowed to change vendors once per quarter.

Vesting Schedule

Immediately 100% Vested ( you retain immediate ownership interest in both the employee and employer contributions)

Contributions

Employee: 6.00% ( generally range between 5-6% and are subject to change based upon State Law)

USG: 9.24%

Loans

Loans are not permitted

Hardship or Unforeseen Emergency Withdrawals

Hardship or unforeseen emergency withdrawals are not permitted

Rollovers/Transfers into the Plan

Rollovers or Transfers into the plan are not permitted

Rollovers/Transfers out of the Plan

Rollovers or Transfers out of the plan are permitted upon serevance of employment

In-service distributions

In-service distributions are not allowed

Disability Benefits

Upon separation of service

Distributions

Once you have reached the age of 55 and are no longer employed with USG, you may elect to have your account balances paid as an annuity, lump sum or in installments with out penalty. In the event of becoming disabled and separated from service, you have the option of receiving your account value as a lump sum or monthly annuity. Your funds are transferable to your designated beneficiary in the event of your death.

Plan Summaries
Fidelity
TIAA-CREF
VALIC
Fund lineup

Tier 1: Lifecycle Funds:
Best for investors who want a professionally managed, simple yet diversified approach to investing. Lifecycle funds have asset allocations that generally become more conservative as they approach their target retirement date and beyond. The investment risks of each fund changes over time as the fund’s asset allocation changes. Funds are subject to the volatility of the financial markets, including equity and fixed-income investments in the U.S. and abroad and may be subject to risks associated with investing in high-yield, small-cap and commodity-related foreign securities. The fund manager periodically rebalances the fund’s assets to keep the fund in line with the target asset allocation. Principal invested is not guaranteed at any time, including at or after their target dates.

Tier 2: Core Investment Options:
Best for investors who are comfortable diversifying investments on their own or with the assistance of an investment advisor and/or asset allocation tools. This tier includes a limited menu of mutual funds that invest primarily in the three major asset classes (stocks, bonds, and short-term investments).

Tier 3: Brokerage:
Best for investors who are willing to take on the potential for more risk and are prepared to assume the responsibility of more closely monitoring this portion of their portfolio. If you do not feel comfortable actively managing the mutual funds beyond those offered through your plan’s Core Fund investment options, a self-directed brokerage account may not be right for you. Brokerage combines the convenience of your workplace retirement plan with the additional flexibility of a brokerage account. Additional fees apply to a brokerage account; please refer to the fact sheet and commission schedule for a complete listing of brokerage fees. Remember, it is always your responsibility to ensure that the options you select are consistent with your particular situation including your goals, time horizon, and risk tolerance.

Fidelity Contact Information
For more information about the complete menu of investments in your plan or to speak with an financial advisor or make an appointment, please visit www.fidelity.com/atwork or call 1-800-343-0860, Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET.

TIAA-CREF Contact Information
For more information about the complete menu of TIAA-CREF investment options or to speak with an financial advisor or make an appointment, please visit www.tiaa-cref.org/usg or call 1-800-842-2252, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.

VALIC Contact Information
For more information about the broad, diversified menu of VALIC investment options or to speak with an financial advisor or make an appointment, please visit www.valic.com/usg or call 1-800-448-2542, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET.

TRS DETAILS

The Teachers Retirement System of Georgia (TRS) is a defined benefit plan. Both participants and USG contribute to TRS. However, regardless of their contributions, participants in TRS receive a benefit based on a formula that takes into account years of service and the highest 24 consecutive months salary to calculate a guaranteed monthly benefit upon retirement.

The Teachers Retirement System administers the pension fund that serves Georgia Public School Teachers, University System of Georgia employees, and other education industry employees.

Vesting Schedule

10 years ( you retain ownership interest in both the employee and employer contributions after 10 years of service)

Contributions

Employee: 6.00% ( generally range between 5-6% and are subject to change based upon State Law)

USG: 16.81%

Loans

Loans are not permitted

Hardship or Unforeseen Emergency Withdrawals

Hardship or unforeseen emergency withdrawals are not permitted

Disability Benefits

Account balance at the time of disability

Retirement Eligibility

You are eligible to retire if you complete either of the following:

  • 30 years of credible service regardless of age
  • 10 years of credible service and are 60 years or older

If you retire early, you will be subject to a penalty determined by the lesser of:

  • 25 years of service (penalty may apply)

You are permanently disabled and meet the following

  • Active member with at least 10 years of credible service regardless of age

You can also purchase a maximum of three years of service, or “Air Time”, at full actuarial cost, to be counted against the early retirement penalty.

Distributions

TRS offers two distribution plans.

Plan A
Plan A provides the largest possible monthly benefit, and deducts from your contributions and interest until they are depleted. Afterward, you will continue to receive monthly benefits for the remainder of your life. However, at your death, your beneficiaries will not receive benefits, but will be paid any remaining contributions and interest.

Plan B
Under Plan B, your beneficiary(ies) will receive benefits at your death. Depending on what options you elect, your beneficiary may either receive a lump-sum payment or a monthly benefit determined by your beneficiary’s age and what proportion of your benefit you want them to receive.

You may also choose to receive a Partial Lump-Sum option, in which you exchange a reduction in future monthly benefits for a one time lump-sum payment.

Contact Information

For additional information or if you have questions call the TRS call center 1-800-352-0650 from 8 a.m to 5 p.m Monday through Friday ET or visit www.trsga.com.