San Jacinto College has not participated with Social Security since 1975. Full-time employees are enrolled in Texas Teachers Retirement System for retirement purposes. Full-time faculty and other designated employees are eligible to choose between Teacher Retirement System (TRS) and the Optional Retirement Program (ORP) for their retirement plan. Effective September, 2004 a new employee without an active Teacher Retirement System account will have a ninety (90) day waiting period for active participation in the plan. Faculty and other designated employees have one opportunity to select between these two retirement programs after their initial eligibility period and may have another period of ninety (90) days to make their decision. The choice of retirement plan is irrevocable.
TRS is a defined benefit plan in which the monthly retirement annuity is based on years of service, best three years average salary and age. A monthly deduction of 6.4% is made from the employee’s salary, while the state contributes 6%. Members vest for TRS retirement after five years of active membership; however, annuity amounts increase with years of service and salary. TRS offers several monthly payment options upon retirement.
ORP is a defined contribution retirement plan available to faculty, administrators and certain professional non-faculty in lieu of TRS. A carrier is selected from one of the Board authorized companies to receive a set contribution of 6.65% from the employee and a state contribution from the state. Faculty is vested for all money (principle and interest) in their ORP account after working for more than twelve consecutive months, although the account is not accessible until retirement or termination.
For more information on the TRS/ORP program, employees should read An Overview of TRS and ORP for Employees Eligible to Elect ORP, a Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Publication, available through the Human Resources Office.