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Faculty members at VCU and all other Commonwealth of Virginia public institutions of higher education are required to participate in an employer-sponsored retirement program as a condition of employment.  New state faculty members at VCU have 60 days from their hire dates to elect participation in either the Virginia Retirement System (which we will refer to for the rest of this post as “VRS”) or the VCU Optional Retirement Plan (which we will refer to for the rest of this post as the “ORP”).  To help with this decision making process, VCU has published a comprehensive Faculty Retirement Plan Comparison Guide that describes the details of each plan.  This guide is provided at benefits orientation sessions for new faculty members and on the VCU Human Resources web site.

Once a faculty member’s election of VRS or the ORP is made, the election is irrevocable for the duration of faculty employment with the Commonwealth of Virginia. Faculty members who do not elect either VRS or the ORP within 60 days of employment are deemed by law to have elected VRS.

Faculty members in continuous service with the Commonwealth of Virginia but transferring between public institutions of higher education (for example, transferring between VCU and UVA, or transferring to VCU from GMU) must maintain the same election they originally made upon becoming a new faculty member in the Commonwealth.  Successive academic year contracts with different Commonwealth higher education institutions are considered continuous service with the Commonwealth.

To review the Faculty Retirement Plan Comparison Guide, click here.

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