Retirement savings options

Full-time and part-time (50 percent or greater) faculty may choose between the VCU Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) or the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) for their retirement plan. This decision must be made within 60 days of employment or participation in a retirement plan will default automatically to the VRS. See also the faculty retirement comparison chart between ORP and VRS Hybrid. 

VCU Optional Retirement Plan (ORP)
The ORP is a defined contribution plan in which eligible VCU faculty may elect to participate in lieu of participating in the VRS. Learn more.

Virginia Retirement System (VRS)
VRS provides a hybrid retirement plan and defined benefit retirement plans. Plan eligibility for each is determined by VRS membership date and employee type. In each plan, VCU makes employer contributions that fund defined retirement benefits and members contribute five percent of their own semi-monthly salaries to their individual member accounts. Member contributions are made on a pre-tax basis. Learn more


Individual retirement counseling sessions
Retirement vendors provide individual retirement counseling sessions for the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP), Tax-Deferred Annuity (TDA) Program and Deferred Compensation Plan (DCP). Learn more.

Pre-retirement planning
When planning for retirement, there are many things to think about. Retirement income, health and life insurance are just some of the subjects to consider. Learn more.


Defined Contribution Plan: A qualified retirement plan in which the institution makes a specific pre-determined retirement contribution to the faculty member’s individual retirement account. The faculty member receives benefits based strictly on the total sum of contributions and investment returns. The ORP is a defined contribution plan.

Defined Benefit Plan: A qualified retirement plan in which the plan assets accrue investment earnings in a centralized plan rather than allocating them to individual member accounts. The actual amount of a faculty member’s retirement benefit is determined by using a specified formula that considers age, length of service and highest salary. VRS Plan 1, VRS Plan 2 and VaLORS are defined benefit plans.

Hybrid Retirement Plan: A qualified retirement plan that combines the features of a defined benefit plan and a defined contribution plan. The VRS Hybrid Retirement Plan is a hybrid retirement plan.