All non-student employees appointed for 4 1/2 months and working at 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.


You are eligible to retire when you meet the Rule of 80 (age plus years of service) with five years of service. You are also eligible to retire if you are age 65 with five years of service. For TRS, there are different early age retirement eligibility criteria depending on what tier you are in. For TRS, you will receive a monthly annuity upon retirement. For ORP, you can choose how you want to receive your amount.

Information Sessions

We host retirement sessions several times a year to help you be prepared and plan for retirement. You will need to register for the upcoming event in Talent Management. These sessions are for the benefit of the employee, so attendees will not receive professional development training.

Check Schedule


Social Security Program

All employees are required to participate in the Federal Social Security program as a condition of employment. The wage bases are $137,700 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 8.25% and the State contributes 8.25% 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.

Register More Info

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.

An employee that is eligible for the Texas Optional Retirement Program (ORP) for the first time has a one-time period of ninety (90) calendar days from his/her eligibility date to enroll in the ORP (this enrollment deadline also applies to those appointed on a “visiting” status for at least one full semester of more than (4) four months). The 90-day waiting period begins on the first day of eligibility to participate in TRS and continues to run even after separation. An employee can continue to participate in ORP if less than full-time only after completing one long semester at full-time. Retirement contributions will be paid to the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) until an election to participate in the ORP is made. The State matching contributions to the TRS are not refundable, only employee contributions.

Read 90-Day Enrollment Deadline, Rules and Information


TRS & ORP Comparison

Supplemental 403(b) Tax Sheltered Annuity

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 403(b) Vendor Representatives for more details and to sign up.

SRP Plan

Texa$aver 457

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$aver 457 is administered by Empower RetirementTM. Investments are from employee contributions only. Annual contribution limits are defined by IRS code. Employees can enroll in the Texa$aver 457 online or by telephone at any time by following these steps:

  1. View the Overview of the Texa$aver program.
  2. View the Comparison of the Texa$aver 457 Plan and a 403(b) chart to help with your decision.
  3. Decide how much should come out of your paycheck each month, before taxes. This is called your deferral.
  4. Enroll at the Texa$aver website or call (800) 634-5091.

457 Highlights

Which is best for you?

Compare 457 vs 403(b)

ORP/SRP Vendors

Current Vendors

SHSU provides this list for information purposes only and accepts no fiduciary responsibility for the market value or financial stability of the companies. The employee is responsible for selecting and monitoring their company and investments. Investments are not guaranteed by federal or state insurance. Questions about specific companies can be referred to insurance rating companies or the Texas Department of Insurance. ORP contribution rates are not guaranteed and subject to legislative change.

Company Funds Offered Phone Website
Fidelity Mutual 1-800-343-0860 Visit
Voya (formerly ING) Fixed & Variable

Robert Waddell


MetLife Fixed, Variable & Mutual

Pearl Dodd


Pentegra Trust Company Mutual

Monte Byrd


TIAA (formerly TIAA-CREF) Fixed & Variable 1-800-842-2273 Visit
Corebridge (formerly Valic) Fixed & Variable

Marissa Kerns



New Vendors

Each year our department reviews applications sent in by the end of October. Vendors must follow the instructions and regulations below.


ORP Vendor Regulations

TSA Vendor Regulations

Elect & Make Changes

Eligible employees may use the forms below to elect and manage their retirement account(s).

Election Form

Use this form to elect an Optional Retirement Plan.

Enrollment Form

Prior ORP Participation

Complete this form if you've previously been enrolled in Texas ORP with a previous state employer.

Prior Participation Certification

Transfer Money

For ORP or SRP, use this form to transfer money between carriers.

Capital Transfer Form

Salary Reduction Agreement

Use this form to make contribution changes to your ORP or SRP.

Salary Reduction Agreement

Change of Company

Use this form to change ORP companies.

Change of Company

Maximum Exclusion Allowance

Use this worksheet to determine the maximum tax-differed allowance.

Maximum Exclusion Allowance (MEA)


Use to claim ownership of employer contributions when eligible.

Vesting Certification

Information Sharing & Contract Exchange Agreement

Sign to acknowledge information that may be shared.

Sign Agreement

Return to Work Retirees

A return-to-work retiree must have at least one (1) full calendar month break in service before being eligible to return to work in higher education and retain the benefits (access retirement funds, etc.) of a retiree status.

Break in Service Definition -- A period following a participant’s termination of all employment with all Texas public institutions of higher education or the Board that is at least one (1) full calendar month in which no ORP/TRS contribution is made, excluding the three (3) summer months for faculty members who were participating in ORP/TRS at the end of the spring semester immediately preceding the summer and who resume ORP/TRS participation with the same or another Texas public institution of higher education in the fall semester immediately following that summer, and excluding periods of leave-without-pay. A transfer between Texas public institutions of higher education with less than a full calendar month in which no ORP/TRS contribution is made shall not be considered a break in service.

Return to work retirees lose their eligibility for longevity pay, and will accrue vacation, if eligible, based upon state service since their hire date but are not required to re-establish the six-month’s continuous service requirement in order to take vacation with pay.