Retirement plans

Classified staff participate in the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) as a condition of employment. University and Academic Professionals are also required to participate in VRS as a condition of employment, except those in eligible job titles, who may elect the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) instead of VRS within the first 60 calendar days of ORP-eligible employment. See ORP eligible jobs.

Faculty members and eligible University and Academic Professionals may choose the ORP in lieu of the Virginia Retirement System within their first 60 calendar days of ORP-eligible employment. Eligible employees who do not elect the ORP within this election period become members of the Virginia Retirement System. See also the retirement comparison chart between ORP and VRS Hybrid. For assistance accessing these resources, please contact VCU Human Resources.

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

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.


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).

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 about available planning resources.

Retirement savings options

In addition to the core retirement plans discussed above, employees may participate in voluntary retirement savings through the Tax Deferred Annuity and/or the Deferred Compensation Plan.


Defined Contribution Plan: A qualified retirement plan in which the institution makes a specific pre-determined retirement contribution to the participant's individual retirement account. The participant 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 participant'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.