The Virginia Retirement System (VRS) administers a defined benefit plan and defined contribution plan.


Full-Time Classified Employees

Classified employees are automatically enrolled in the Virginia Retirement System (VRS).

You are covered under the provisions of the VRS Plan 1, if your membership date is before July 1, 2010. You may be either an active or deferred member. You are an active member if you are currently working in a covered position. You are a deferred member if you are not currently working in a covered position but have not withdrawn your funds and have service credit in VRS, or an account balance as of June 30, 2010. If you are a deferred member and return to covered employment, you will be rehired under VRS Plan 1.

You are covered under the provisions of the VRS Plan 2, if your membership date is July 1, 2010, or later. If you were previously employed in a covered position and withdrew your funds, you will be rehired under VRS Plan 2.

You are covered under the provisions of the VRS Hybrid plan, if your membership date is January 1, 2014 or later.  If you were previously employed in a covered position and withdrew your funds, you will be rehired under the VRS Hybrid plan.  

Full-Time Faculty and Administrative Professional Faculty Employees

Faculty and Administrative Professional Employees may choose between the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) Plan and the Optional Retirement Plan for Higher Education (ORPHE).

You are covered under the provisions of the VRS Plan 1, if your membership date is before July 1, 2010. You may be either an active or deferred member. You are an active member if you are currently working in a covered position. You are a deferred member if you are not currently working in a covered position but have not withdrawn your funds and have service credit in VRS, or an account balance as of June 30, 2010. If you are a deferred member and return to covered employment, you will be rehired under VRS Plan 1.

You are covered under the provisions of the VRS Plan 2, if your membership date is July 1, 2010, or later. If you were previously employed in a covered position and withdrew your funds, you will be rehired under VRS Plan 2.

You are covered under the provisions of the VRS Hybrid plan, if your membership date is January 1, 2014 or later.  If you were previously employed in a covered position and withdrew your funds, you will be rehired under the VRS Hybrid plan.  


VRS Hybrid Plan Handbook  

VRS Plan 1 Handbook

VRS Plan 2 Handbook

VRS Plan Comparison Guide   

The Optional Retirement Plan for Higher Education (ORPHE)  refers to a defined contribution plan that Instructional Faculty and Administrative Professional Faculty employees may select for their retirement choice in lieu of the VRS.  Instructional Faculty and Administrative Professional Instructional Faculty employees may choose one of two ORPHE plan providers. The current providers for the ORPHE plan are Tiaa Cref and Fidelity.  

Instructional Faculty and Administrative Professional Faculty employees who elect the Optional Retirement Plan for Higher Education and whose membership date is before July 1, 2010, will be covered under the provisions of ORPHE Plan 1.  Instructional Faculty and Administrative Professional Faculty employees may be active or deferred.  An active member is one who is currently working in a covered position. Deferred members are Instructional Faculty or Administrative Professional Instructional Faculty employees who are not currently working in a covered position but have not withdrawn their funds and have an account balance in a Virginia Optional Retirement Plan for Higher Education (ORPHE) or the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) as of June 30, 2010. Deferred members who return to covered employment will be rehired under ORPHE Plan 1.

Instructional Faculty and Administrative Professional Faculty employees whose membership date is July 1, 2010 or later are covered under the provisions of the ORPHE Plan 2. Instructional Faculty who were previously employed in a covered position and withdrew their funds will be rehired under ORPHE Plan 2.

New Instructional Faculty and Administrative Professional Faculty employees have 60 days from the date of hire to enroll in their chosen plan.

ORPHE Handbook

Tax Sheltered Annuity Program 403(b)

The Tax Sheltered Annuity Program is a supplemental retirement plan.  The University is associated with several 403(b) providers.  If you choose to enroll in a plan, you may contribute a total of $17,500 of your annual salary (if you are less than 50 years old), or $23,000 (if you are 50 years older or older) to one or more of these 403(b) plans.  Your contribution is not federal or state taxed until withdrawals are made.  You may enroll at any time and once enrolled, may change your deferral election at any time.

Approved Providers:

  • TIAA-CREF -  Maria Kersey -  202-637-6834   or   1-800-842-2008
  • Lincoln Financial Group  - George Richards and Sharon Ryan - 757-873-3331
  • Metlife - Brooke Larson - 757-312-0620
  • Valic - Cheri Coleman - 757-646-2314

 403b Forms

Salary Reduction Agreement for Tax Sheltered Annuity Form

 State Deferred Compensation Program (457)

The Commonwealth of Virginia offers an additional opportunity for you to contribute to a supplemental retirement plan.  This Deferred Compensation Plan allows you the opportunity to contribute a total of $17,5000 of your annual salary (if you are less than 50 years old), or $23,000 (if you are 50 years older or older) to the Deferred Compensation Plan.  Your contribution is not federal or state taxed until withdrawals are made.  For further information regarding the 457 Plan contact Mackenzie Moss at  1-855-253-1201 or 202-430-2839.  

457 Forms

State Cash Match Program (401a)

If you contribute to either a tax-sheltered annuity or the deferred compensation plan, the Commonwealth of Virginia, as part of the State Cash Match Program 401(a) will match 50% of your contribution up to a maximum of $20 per pay period. The match will apply to either the provider you have chosen from the 403b approved Providers, or the State Deferred Compensation Program.  NoteYou must max out your defined contribution amounts in the VRS Hybrid plan in order to be elgible for the State Cash Match. 

Cash Match Form