TRS and ORP Comparison

Learn About USG’s Retirement Plan Options

Take a look at key features of the TRS and ORP Plans

If you’re a nonexempt or hourly paid employee working 20 or more hours per week, you’ll automatically be enrolled in the Teachers Retirement System (TRS) Plan. 

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. If you don’t enroll in the ORP within your first 60 days of employment with USG, you’ll automatically be enrolled in the TRS.

How the Plans Compare

See how the TRS compares to the ORP with this easy-to-use comparison chart. You can also meet with CAPTRUST to help select a retirement plan. Schedule an appointment with CAPTRUST online or call 1-800-967-9948, Monday–Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Eastern time; or Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Take a few minutes to watch this video to learn about the differences between the TRS and ORP plans.


Type of planThe TRS is a defined benefit plan, and your retirement benefit is based upon on a predetermined formula. Your retirement benefit is calculated using your length of service and average monthly salary based on your highest 24 months of earnings.The ORP is a 401(a) defined contribution plan. The employer and employee make contributions to the plan. Your account balance is based upon employee/employer contributions and accumulated earnings. You select your investment elections.
Plan sponsorThe Teachers Retirement System of GeorgiaThe Board of Regents University System of Georgia
ContributionsUSG: 19.98% fiscal year 2024
You: 6.00% (mandatory)
USG: 9.24% calendar year 2024
You: 6.00% (mandatory)
VestingYou become vested after 10 years of service (you retain ownership interest in both your contributions and USG’s contributions after 10 years of service). Sick leave credit can be added to your years of service upon retirement. Certain restrictions apply.

You are immediately 100% vested in both your contributions and USG’s contributions (you retain immediate ownership interest).


LoansNot permittedNot permitted
Hardships or emergency withdrawalsNot permittedNot permitted
InvestmentsTRS administers the funds and investments.

You can select from a menu of investments provided by three separate retirement plan providers: Corebridge Financial (formerly AIG Retirement Services), Fidelity Investments, or TIAA.  Learn more here.

To learn more about your investment options, go to OneUsgConnect.  Click Research Your Investments within Retirement@Work.


Disability benefitsAvailable. Learn more.Upon separation from service
BeneficiariesYou can elect a primary and secondary beneficiaryYou can elect a primary and secondary beneficiary
DistributionsTRS provides a monthly benefit with several beneficiary options. Withdrawals could occur due to termination of employment, death, disability and/or retirement. Partial lump-sum distributions can be taken at retirementYou can elect to receive your benefits in installments, as a lump sum or as a monthly payment. Withdrawals could occur due to termination of employment, death and/or retirement.
Rollovers/transfersIf you leave USG before you are vested in your TRS benefit, you have the option of leaving your contributions with TRS (accrues interest for four years), rolling over your contributions to another qualified plan or IRA, or requesting a lump-sum distribution (tax penalties may apply).

If you leave USG, you can leave your plan balance with your retirement plan provider, roll over your balance to another qualified plan or IRA, or request a lump-sum distribution (tax penalties may apply).

Transfers into the plan are not allowed.