Optional Retirement Program

Under the Optional Retirement Program, full-time faculty and professional employees (and part-time professional employees having a 'term' appointment) electing this option purchase retirement annuity contracts from Teachers Insurance Annuity Association (TIAA). Membership is effective upon entry into state service provided you made your election within the first thirty (30) days. TIAA is a nonprofit, legal reserve life insurance and annuity company that provides retirement annuities based mainly on investments in bonds, mortgages and direct loans.

The services of TIAA are available only to public and private colleges and universities, independent schools and certain other nonprofit and tax exempt educational and scientific institutions, and to their employees.


Employee contribution: 3% of gross calendar year earnings

State contribution: 8% of gross calendar year earnings for the first seven (7) years of employment; 10% of gross calendar year earnings thereafter.

Upon completion of 13 months service, all your and the colleges contributions to date, plus interest, is sent to TIAA and applied to your TIAA contract as indicated in your initial application. Thereafter, regular biweekly contributions will be made directly to TIAA.

You may begin to receive your TIAA annuity income at any age. However, you must begin receiving payments by April 1, following the year in which you reach 70 1/2.

Employees who have vested in their retirement plan and who terminate their employment on or after age 55, have the option of receiving their accumulations in a lump sum cash payment. There are several retirement income options available to you, and just prior to your retirement you will be asked to select the option that is best suited to your circumstances. In general, all the options provide a lifetime of income for you, all but one provides income for your beneficiary in the event of your death.

Representatives of TIAA can be reached by telephone at (800) 842-2733, extension 8106.

Alternate Funding Vehicles

Three additional firms - FidelityVoya, and AIG  - provide alternate funding vehicles into which employees may transfer their accumulations. Employees enrolled in TIAA may continue all investments in TIAA or may chose to transfer all or a portion of their accumulations to one or more of the alternate funding vehicles. Future contributions must be remitted to TIAA and may not be remitted directly to one of the alternate funding vehicles.

Information concerning any of the retirement systems may be obtained from the Human Resources Office or directly from the specific retirement system. Representatives from each of the retirement systems are available periodically to discuss your retirement program and benefits available to you. You may also communicate with retirement system representatives directly by telephone or by letter.