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Teachers Retirement System (TRS) Plan

Building Your Retirement Future

You and USG both contribute to the TRS, which provides a monthly lifetime benefit once you become vested. Before you’re vested, you will only receive your contributions plus interest at the stated rate. 

If you’re a nonexempt or hourly paid employee working 20 or more hours per week, you’ll automatically be enrolled in the TRS Plan as of your date of hire or eligibility. 

If you’re an exempt or salaried employee working 20 or more hours per week, you can choose either the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) or the TRS. Your retirement selection must be made within 60 days of eligibility or you will default into the TRS plan retroactively to your date of hire or eligibility. Retirement elections are irrevocable.

Once you’re enrolled, you’ll receive a welcome letter from TRS with instructions to visit their website to open a TRS online account and assign your beneficiary(ies).

How the TRS Plan Works

The TRS Plan is a defined benefit pension plan. Your retirement benefit is based upon on a predetermined formula, using your length of service and average monthly salary based on your highest 24 months of earnings. To learn more, review the following Plan at a Glance information.

  • Plan at a Glance
    Contributions

    You and USG contribute to your TRS account. 

    • You: 6% of your pre-tax compensation (mandatory)
    • USG: 19.81% of your pre-tax compensation (fiscal year 2022); effective July 1, 2022, 19.98% (fiscal year 2023)

    Note: Changes in USG’s contributions do not impact your benefit at retirement because it’s determined by a fixed formula.

    Vesting
    • You become vested (retain ownership of every dollar contributed to your TRS account, even if you leave USG) after 10 years of service.
    • Vesting is calculated using your length of service and average monthly salary (based on the highest 24 months).
    • Sick leave credit can be added to your years of service upon retirement. Certain restrictions apply.
    • If you leave USG before you’re vested, you will only receive your contributions plus interest at the stated rate. Learn more.
    LoansNot permitted
    Hardship or emergency withdrawalsNot permitted
    InvestmentsTRS administers the funds and investments.
    Disability benefitsAvailable at any age if you become permanently disabled and have completed at least 10 years of creditable service.
    DistributionsAvailable. Learn more.
    Rollovers/transfers

    If you leave USG before you are vested in your TRS benefit, you have these options:

    • Leave your contributions with TRS (accrue interest for four years),
    • Roll over your contributions to another qualified plan or IRA, or
    • Request a lump-sum distribution (tax penalties may apply).
    Qualifying for USG Retiree Healthcare BenefitsTo be eligible for USG Retiree Healthcare benefits you must meet the definition of a retiree under the Board of Regents’ policy 8.2.8. Learn more.

See how the TRS Plan compares to the ORP

  • When You Can Retire

    You are eligible to retire with a full retirement benefit once you complete:

    • 30 years of creditable service, regardless of your age; or
    • 10 years of creditable service and you’re aged 60 or older.
  • Early retirement

    You may retire with a reduced retirement benefit once you complete at least 25 years of service, even if you’re not yet 60 years old. However, your retirement benefit will be subject to an early retirement penalty. The penalty is determined by whichever is less:

    • How close you are to age 60; or
    • How close you are to having 30 years of service.

    You can also purchase a maximum of three years of service, or “Air Time,” which can be applied against the early retirement penalty.

How to Enroll

Enroll at OneUSGConnect.usg.edu, click the Retirement@Work link in the Manage My Benefits section, and follow the prompts to complete your enrollment.

You can find detailed enrollment instructions in this Retirement Plan Election Guide

Once you enroll, you’ll receive a welcome letter from TRS with instructions to visit the TRS website