All employees of the University System of Georgia are required to participate in a retirement plan. Non-exempt employees are required to participate in Teachers Retirement System, which is a state sponsored plan. Exempt employees have the option to participate in either Teachers Retirement System or Optional Retirement Plan. Part-time employees must also participate in a retirement plan called Georgia Defined Contribution Plan. Retirement elections are finalized through a paper process. Employees must submit their retirement election to Human Resources by filling out the Retirement Election Form (below).

Teachers Retirement System (TRS)

The required contribution rate is 6.0 percent of base salary for the employee contribution. The employer contributes 13.15 percent to support the retirement plan. Ten years of creditable service are required in order to be vested. More information about TRS can be found on their website at

Optional Retirement Plan (ORP)

Effective January 1, 2013, this plan requires a 6 percent base salary employee contribution. The employer contributes 9.24 percent to the (ORP) vendor who then invests these funds on behalf of the employee. This plan has no vesting requirements, and the employee is vested immediately in the ORP plan. The ORP vendors are:

To enroll in this option, please download and complete both forms  Optional Retirement Enrollment Form and Regents Optional Retirement Plan Election and submit to Human Resources and Employee Development for processing.
Optional Retirement Enrollment Form
Regents Optional Retirement Plan Election

Other Retirement Options

In addition to TRS or ORP, employees may contribute to deferred compensation plans (403b and 457b).  An eligible employee can elect either a flat amount or percentage of gross earnings to be contributed to the plan, which would then lower the taxable income. Employees may contribute the maximum amount to both 403b and 457b plans as long as that amount does not exceed plan limits. Electing the plan must be done through the Human Resources office in order to be processed through payroll.

Approved deferred compensation plan vendors are:

Additional Information

Social Security

Social Security has a new online retirement application.  It’s so easy! 

You can apply for retirement benefits from the comfort of your home or office at There’s no need to drive to your local Social Security office or wait for an appointment with a Social Security representative. You can complete the new online retirement application in as little as 15 minutes.