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Optional Retirement Plan

For Professionals, Professional Faculty, and Instructional Faculty

In addition to Social Security, contributions will be made for you to either this Optional Retirement Plan (ORP), or a VA Retirement System plan (VRS).  You may choose either plan, but an application must be submitted within 60 days of hire date.

To further understand the differences between the VRS and ORP plans, please read Choosing Your Retirement Plan found on the Optional Retirement Plan for Higher Education website and William & Mary's ORP Summary Plan Description.

Optional Retirement Plan (ORP)

This plan is a defined contribution plan. Starting January 1, 2018, TIAA-CREF is our Plan Administrator and investment provider for our ORP plan. Employees hired prior to January 1, 2018 have the option to choose either TIAA-CREF or Fidelity Investments as their Investment provider. As a member, you determine the allocation of contributions to the investment funds available within your chosen company.

Vesting is immediate with the ORP. The benefits received at retirement will depend on the level of contributions, the duration of participation, investment gains and losses, the actual age at retirement, and the retirement income option selected.

Plan Design Change

Employees hired prior to July 1, 2010 will be enrolled into the ORP Plan 1 as long as they did not have a break in service with a withdrawal taken from their account.

Employees hired or rehired on or after July 1, 2010 will be enrolled into the ORP Plan 2. Employees under this plan will have to make a 5% contribution to their retirement account unless they are former members who did not rollover or request a refund from their ORP account.

Please visit our Retirement@Work platform to set up your account access.

ORP Plan 1 and 2 Comparison
Effective July 1, 2010
ORP Plan 1
(Employees Hired Before July 1, 2010)
ORP Plan 2
(Employees Hired or Rehired on or after July 1, 2010)
Member and Employer Contributions
10.4 percent employer contribution Employer contribution is 8.5 percent of compensation; employee pays an additional 5 percent of compensation.  (Employee contribution is pre-taxed)
ORP Vesting
Immediate Immediate for both employee and employer contributions
Normal Retirement Age
Age 65 Normal Social Security Retirement Age
Earliest Retirement Age

Age 55 at least five years of service credit or age 50 with at least 20 years of service credit
Age 60 with at least five years of service credit
Eligibility for Group Life Insurance in Retirement
Age 55 with at least five years of service in VRS and/or ORP or age 50 with at least 10 years of service Age 60 with at least five years of service in VRS, ORP or a combination or when age plus service equals 90
Eligibility for Health Insurance Credit in Retirement
15 years of VRS or ORP service or a combination.  Incur expense for health insurance.  Start immediate periodic payout or annuity from the plan. 15 years of VRS or ORP service or a combination.  Incur expense for health insurance.  Start immediate periodic payout or annuity from the plan.

Retirement@Work

Retirement@Work is available to active employees who participate in the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP),  or who are eligible to participate in the any of the 403(b) Savings Plans or associated Cash Match Plan.