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Retirement

TRS (Teacher Retirement System)

TRS is a defined benefit plan, which means that your retirement benefit (annuity) is defined by a formula, not by the amount that you contribute to the pension plan.

Formula:

  • Average top five salaries = A
  • Years of service x 2.3 = % = B
  • A x B = annuity

Example: $50,000 (A) x .575 (B) = $28,750 (annuity)

Employees participating in TRS contribute a percentage of income monthly and the employer contributes a percentage as well. These amounts are determined by the State.

Current rates are:

  • Employee contribution: 7.7%
  • Employer contribution: 7.5%
Retiring under TRS:
  • If you are retiring from an UNT System institution as a TRS member, the retirement process should ideally begin about six months prior to your planned departure date. Contact HRBenefits@untsystem.edu to schedule a Retirement Meeting with a benefits coordinator.
  • If retirement is a few years in the future, contact HRBenefits@untsystem.edu to help you determine when you are eligible to retire and how to navigate the retirement process. We’ll be glad to do a planning meeting with you to plan for your future retirement.
  • Retirement eligibility: Meet “Rule of 80” (age plus years of service = 80) OR be 65 with 5 years of service to be eligible to draw an annuity.
  • *Note, Rule of 80 may include an age minimum based on the employee’s “TRS Tier”.  Create a MyTRS account to see which tier you are in:

MyTRS

Employees can access their own retirement account information by creating a MyTRS account. Use MyTRS to help plan for retirement and keep track of your information. MyTRS is available to both active and retired TRS members and includes a retirement calculator tool.

If you have not registered for MyTRS

Go to https://www.trs.texas.gov/Pages/Homepage.aspx

Click on MyTRS on the top right of the page

Under “New to MyTRS?” click Register now to create your login and password.

New employees will need to wait approximately 60 days after their hire date to register.

To be eligible for retiree health insurance, TRS retirees must:

  • Have 10 years of service with a Group Benefit Plan employer and/or a State agency AND
  • Be retirement eligible: 65 years of age with 5 years of service or meet Rule of 80 (age plus years of service = 80) AND
  • Must be drawing a TRS annuity

Helpful resources:

  • Check out the TRS Handbook of Benefits for more in-depth information, including information on tiers.
  • ERS (not TRS) administers our retiree health insurance. Information about retiree health insurance can be found here.  Retirees must have 10 years of service with a Group Benefit Plan employer AND meet retirement eligibility for the retiree health insurance benefit. State agencies listed here are also GBP employers.
  • Contact HRBenefits@untsystem.edu if you have questions. Everyone’s situation is different. We’re here to help.

ORP (Optional Retirement Program)

Employees in certain types of roles are eligible to choose to participate in ORP (Optional Retirement Program) instead of TRS (Teacher Retirement System).  Eligible employees are notified of their eligibility upon being hired (or when they are promoted to an ORP-eligible role) and have 90 days to elect ORP in lieu of TRS.

ORP is not a defined benefit plan.  Retirement income will be based on contributions and investment performance. ORP participants contribute state-mandated amounts monthly to their account and the institution also contributes a set percentage of salary:

Current rates:

Employee: 6.65%               Employer 6.6%

Employees in ORP choose and manage their investment products to invest these contributions towards their retirement plan/income.

Links:

ORP account portal

ORP vendors are:

Fidelity 1-800-343-0860
TIAA 1-800-842-2252
AIG 1-800-448-2542
Voya 1-972-643-6304

 

Information about the four vendors and their investment products are available via the UNT System Netbenefits (ORP) portal, which is managed by Fidelity as the current lead recordkeeper for UNT.

  • Election of ORP is “for life.”  If an employee does not elect ORP when first eligible, they cannot elect it later.
  • Once enrolled in ORP, the employee “vests” after participating one year and one day, at which time they are entitled to both their own contributions and those made by the employer/employing institution, potentially making ORP a more “portable” retirement plan option.

Retiring Under ORP

  • ORP participants should contact their retirement account vendor about 60-90 days prior to the expected departure or retirement date.
  • Contact HRBenefits@untsystem.edu to schedule a Retirement Meeting.  You should meet with a benefits coordinator 60-90 days before retirement to have questions answered, complete exit paperwork, and discuss other benefits – including the retiree health insurance benefit.
  • Retirement eligibility: while there is no age or service minimum for ORP retirees to retire, there are tax penalties for taking distributions from your ORP retirement account prior to age 59.5.  ORP retirees must start taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) at age 72 effective January 1, 2020.

To be eligible for retiree health insurance, ORP retirees must:

  • Have 10 years of service with a Group Benefit Plan employer and/or a State agency and
  • Be 65 years of age or meet “Rule of 80” as if in TRS (age plus years of service = 80) and
  • Maintain an open/active ORP account with some funds once retired

Helpful resources:

  • Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board ORP resources page
  • Retiree information fact sheet (includes information on insurance eligibility)
  • ERS (not TRS) administers our retiree health insurance.  Information about retiree health insurance can be found here. Retirees must have 10 years of service with a Group Benefit Plan employer AND meet retirement eligibility for the retiree health insurance benefit.  State agencies listed here are also GBP employers. 
  • Contact HRBenefits@untsystem.edu if you have questions.  Everyone’s situation is different.  We’re here to help.  While we need to meet with you when you are ready to retire, we are also glad to meet a few years ahead to help you plan for the future.