Retirement Plan Overview

Hybrid Pension Plan for New Employees Coming in July

Legislation has been enacted to create a new Hybrid pension plan for state employees, Higher Education and K-12 teachers hired on or after July 1, 2014.

Current employees or retirees are not affected by the changes!

The state of Tennessee Retirement System offers two non-contributory 401(a) retirement plans. As a condition of employment all full time employees must participate in one of these plans; in addition certain part time employees may be eligible to participate.

Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS) Plan

Employees classified as non-exempt or biweekly may only enroll in the TCRS plan. Employees classified as exempt or monthly may enroll in either the TCRS or ORP plan. Exempt employees should make an election of one of the two plans within 60 days of their hire date or they will be enrolled in the default plan, TCRS.

The Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS) is a defined benefit pension plan that provides a monthly retirement income upon retirement. The amount of future retirement benefits is determined by a benefit formula. This formula is derived from the employee’s high five-year average salary and their years of creditable service. The plan also offers an option for death and disability benefits to plan members and their beneficiaries. For vesting, benefits, and plan specific information please click on the following link: TCRS OverviewMicrosoft Word.

Optional Retirement Plan (ORP)

The Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) is a defined contribution plan where contributions are directed to an investment program with one of three specific vendors. The amount of future retirement benefits will be determined by your account balance resulting from how your investment options have performed in the market. For vesting, benefits, and plan specific information please click on the following link: ORP Plan OverviewMicrosoft Word.

TCRS/ORP Comparison

For a side by side comparison of the two plans please click on the following link: TCRS/ORP ComparisonMicrosoft Word.

Employees may not make any type of contributions to the TCRS or ORP plans. Employees interested in reducing their earnings to save for retirement may consider participating in one of the universities contributory plans such as the 401k, 457, or 403(b). To learn more about these plans please click on the following link and you will be redirected to the payroll website as this office has oversight of contributory plans.