General Retirement Programs

All non-student employees appointed for 4 1/2 months and working a least half-time are required to participate in the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) as a condition of employment. Full-time faculty members, librarians, coaches, physicians and executive staff are eligible to elect the Optional Retirement Program (ORP) in lieu of TRS.

Social Security Program

All employees are required to participate in the Federal Social Security program as a condition of employment. The wage bases are $117,000 for social security and unlimited for Medicare. The tax rates for social security are 6.2% for employees and 6.2% for employers. The tax rates for Medicare are 1.45% by the employee with an additional 0.9% for employees earning in excess of $200,000 and 1.45% by the employer. A valid social security card must be provided by all employees.

Teacher Retirement System (TRS)

Employees contribute 6.7% and the State contributes 6.8% of the employee's wages. Employee contributions are tax deferred. Interest is credited annually on August 31st to the member's account. Members vest after 5 years of credible service. TRS is a defined program offering death, survivor, disability, and retirement annuity benefits. Contribution rates are not guaranteed and subject to legislative change.

Optional Retirement Program (ORP)

Employee contributes 6.65% and the State contributes 6.6% of the employee's wages. Employee contributions are tax deferred. These contributions are deposited with the employee's selected ORP carrier. Participants vest after one year and one day of ORP participation. ORP is a defined contribution plan with benefits based upon individual investment decisions. The University accepts no fiduciary responsibility for the outcome of one's ORP. Contribution rates are not guaranteed and subject to legislative change.

90-Day Enrollment Deadline, Rules, and Information

403b Vendor Representatives for SHSU

Overview of TRS and ORP

Supplemental Retirement Programs (SRP)

Sam Houston State University offers two pre-tax supplemental retirement plans:

Supplemental 403(b) Tax Sheltered Annuity Plan
All employees can participate in a pre-tax 403(b) plan. Participation is voluntary and enrollment is anytime of the year. Investments are from employee contributions only. Annual contribution limits are defined by IRS code. The Supplemental 403(b) Tax Sheltered Annuity Plan allows employees to accumulate investment funds through salary reductions, thereby deferring the payment of income tax on contributions until a future time. The employees’ 403(b) contributions are subject to all applicable internal revenue codes. Salary reduction amounts are based upon internal revenue annual limits, catch-up, and maximum contribution provisions. To participate in the plan you must complete enrollment paperwork with the 403(b) vendor to establish an account, designate beneficiaries, and select investment options. In addition, to begin or cease participation in the plan or to make a change to the contribution amount, the participant must complete and forward a Salary Reduction Agreement to Human Resources. Contact the SHSU 403b Vendor Representatives for more details and to sign up.

Texa$aver 457 plan through the Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS)
The Texa$aver 457 plan is only available to ERS benefit eligible employees. Eligible employees can enroll in the 457 Plan any time of the year. Higher education employees are not eligible for the 401(k) plan. Texa$aver 457 is administered by Great-West Retirement Services® (Great-West). Investments are from employee contributions only. Annual contribution limits are defined by IRS code. Employees can enroll in the Texa$aver 457 online or by telephone at any time by following these steps:

Retirement Program Forms, Plan Documents, Plan Vendors, Notices, Reference Guides, and Vendor Regulations


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