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SUS Optional Retirement Plan

Plan details

The State of Florida Optional Retirement Program (ORP) is an alternative to the Florida Retirement System Investment Plan (FRS Plan), and provides you with greater control over your retirement plan assets. As a participant in the ORP, you may voluntarily contribute a percentage of your income to your retirement account. Your contributions, combined with the employer contribution, give you a unique advantage in preparing for a secure retirement. Enrollment must occur within 90 days from the date of hire or you will automatically be enrolled in the FRS Investment Plan. 

Click below to view the features and highlights of your employer’s retirement plan. 

The plan highlights are only a brief overview of the plan's features and are not a legally binding document. The information in this section does not modify the terms of the plan and in the event of a conflict, the terms of the plan control.

Take advantage today

The State of Florida Optional Retirement Program (ORP) is available to all State University System Faculty and Administrative and Professional (A&P) employees.  

Enrollment must occur within 90 days from the date of hire or you will automatically be enrolled in the FRS Investment Plan. All employees who fill an ORP eligible position are eligible to participate.

Starting early has its advantages

State contributions

When you participate in the ORP, the state automatically makes a contribution for you.  Effective, July 1, 2012, your employer contribution was reduced to 5.14% of compensation.  That percentage is in accordance with Section 121.35(4), Florida Statutes.


Employee mandatory contributions

ORP participants must continue to contribute 3% of compensation as retirement contributions, on a pre-tax basis.  Your employer will automatically deduct the employee contributions.  

Voluntary contributions

You may supplement your employer contributions by making pretax contributions to your voluntary ORP account. Employees may contribute by salary reduction an amount not to exceed the percentage contributed by the university (currently 5.14%). Additionally, the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) limits your employee contribution (see IRS contribution limit below). 

Contribution limit

Voluntary catch-up contributions

You may also be eligible to contribute additional catch-up contributions if you meet the following conditions. Please consult with your financial professional to discuss your personal voluntary contribution limit.

Catch-up contributions


Vesting is a participant’s right of ownership to the money in his or her plan account. You are always 100% vested in contributions made to the plan, plus any earnings they generate.

Accessing your money before retirement


Your plan was established to encourage long-term savings, so withdrawals prior to age 59½ might be subject to federal restrictions and a 10% federal tax penalty. 


Generally, depending on your employer’s plan provisions, you may withdraw your vested account balance after you have been separated from service for 3 calendar months if you meet one of the following requirements: 

  • Early retirement (after age 55) or separation from service 
  • Your death or total disability

In addition, you must begin taking distributions once you reach age 72 (age 70½ if born before July 1, 1949) or you retire, whichever is later. 

Please be sure to check with the State’s ORP office to understand potential restrictions before withdrawing money from your ORP account.



An array of investment choices

The following funds are available in your retirement plan. They provide you with the flexibility you need to create a suitably diversified portfolio that matches your personal retirement time horizon, investment risk tolerance and investment preferences.

To view or print a prospectus, access “Prospectuses and Other Important Materials”. The prospectus contains the investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses and other information about the respective investment companies that you should consider carefully before investing. Please read the prospectus carefully before investing or sending money. You can also request a copy by calling 1-800-428-2542.