Human Resources

Administration Division

NEW EMPLOYEE

Welcome to the University System of Georgia! As a new employee, you have the opportunity to take charge of your retirement from day one.

Georgia Tech - USG Retirement Enrollment information can be found here.

NEW EMPLOYEE

Non-Exempt Employees

Your plan options will be based on your employment status. If you are a non-exempt or hourly paid employee working 20 hours or more, you will automatically be enrolled in TRS. Once you are enrolled you will receive a welcome letter from TRS with instructions to visit the TRS website to open a TRS online account and to register beneficiaries.

Exempt Employees

Your plan options will be based on your employment status. If you are an exempt or salaried employee working 20 hours or more, you have the choice of ORP or TRS.

See the information below to help you choose a retirement plan and learn how to enroll.

SUMMARY OF YOUR OPTIONS

COMPARISON CHART

TRS and ORP are distinguished by their structure, contribution rates, and vesting periods. Vesting means you keep your retirement benefits even if you are no longer employed by USG.

ORP

TRS

PLAN TYPE

Defined Contribution Plan

ORP is a 401(a) Defined Contibution Plan. The employer and employee make contributions to the plan. Your account balance is based upon employee/employer contributions and accumulated earnings. You select your investment elections.

Defined Benefit Plan

TRS is a Defined Benefit Plan. Your retirement benefit is based upon on a predetermined formula. Your benefit is calculated based upon your length of service and average monthly salary derived from your highest 24 months of earnings.

PLAN SPONSOR

The Board of Regents University System of Georgia

The Teachers Retirement System of Georgia

CONTRIBUTIONS

USG: 9.24%
Employee: 6.00% (Mandatory)

USG: 16.81%
Employee: 6.00% (Mandatory)

LOANS

Loans not permitted

Loans not permitted

HARDSHIPS OR EMERGENCY WITHDRAWALS

Hardships or Emergency withdrawals not permitted

Hardships or Emergency withdrawals not permitted

VESTING

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

10 years ( you retain ownership interest in both the employee and employer contributions after 10 years of service). Sick Leave Credit can be added to years of service upon retirement. (certain restrictions apply)

INVESTMENTS

You have the option of selecting from a menu of investments provided by three separate vendors — Fidelity Investments, TIAA-CREF and Valic.

TRS administers the funds and investments.

DISABILITY BENEFITS

Upon separation from service

YES

BENEFICIARIES

You can select a primary and secondary beneficiary

YES

DISTRIBUTIONS

You can elect to receive your benefits in installments, lump sum or as a monthly annuity. Withdrawals could occur due to termination of employment, death, and/or retirement.

TRS offers several monthly benefit options that offer different beneficiary allowances. Withdrawals could occur due to termination of employment, death, disability, and/or retirement.

ROLLOVERS / TRANSFERS

If you leave employment with USG, you have the option of leaving your contibutions with your retirement plan vendor, rollover your contributions to another qualified plan or IRA or request a lump sum distribution (tax penalites may apply).

Transfers into the plan are not allowed.

If you leave employement with USG prior to becoming vested, you have the option of leaving your contributions with TRS(accrues interest for 4 years), rollover your contributions to another qualified plan or IRA or request a lump-sum distribution ( tax penalities may apply).

HOW TO ENROLL

View the TRS vs. ORP comparison guide and select a retirement plan based upon eligibility.

It's easy to enroll in your retirement plan online or by phone

TRS
  • To enroll in TRS, OneUSG Connect – Benefits: Log in through your institution’s HR and payroll system. You can also visit the new USG Faculty & Staff Portal at OneUSGConnect.usg.edu and click the appropriate link in the Manage My Benefits section.
  • Once you enroll you will receive a welcome letter from TRS with instructions to visit the TRS website to open a TRS online account and to register beneficiaries.

ORP
  • To enroll in ORP, OneUSG Connect – Benefits: Log in through your institution’s HR and payroll system. You can also visit the new USG Faculty & Staff Portal at OneUSGConnect.usg.edu and click the appropriate link in the Manage My Benefits section.
  • You will also need to select the vendors that you would like to contribute to and choose your investment allocations with each vendor. Be sure that you select your beneficiaries. Please visit the plan summaries section of the website for contact information to set up your account.
  • If you do not enroll in ORP through the OneUSG Connects Benefits site during your first 60 days, you will be automatically enrolled in TRS.

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.