Submitted by Matthew Wetmore on
The Louisiana Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) is a 401(a) defined contribution retirement program that is offered to certain employees of Louisiana's colleges, universities, and community colleges, as an alternative to the Teachers' Retirement System of Louisiana (TRSL).
When joining the Louisiana public higher education system, you will need to make an important decision concerning the retirement plan – whether to enroll in the TRSL or the ORP. An ORP account is owned by the member, and there is no waiting period to join. The member’s contribution is 8.0% of salary, less a 0.05% administrative fee to TRSL.
Note: The decision to join the ORP is irrevocable and you will not be eligible for TRSL at any time after that. If you change to another employer that reports to TRSL, you must stay in the ORP. For more information about the differences between ORP and TRSL, please contact your local Voya Financial Professional.
Please note: If you are considering retiring outside of the U.S., it's important to look at the tax implications, as well as the ability to transfer funds internationally. It is also important that you make arrangements before you leave Louisiana the United States. Please contact your local Voya Financial Professional today to discuss your specific plans and circumstances.
TRSL and Voya Financial®
When you choose Voya Retirement Insurance and Annuity Company (“VRIAC” or “Voya”) for your ORP, you and your employer each contribute a certain percentage of your earnable compensation to the Voya Retirement Choice mutual fund program, issued through a group trust agreement Those contributions are invested in the mutual funds or the Voya Stable Value Fund, allocated among investment options chosen by the employee. Voya also offers you a choice when it comes to enrollment service and retirement planning.
Please note: The legacy Voya product was a variable annuity (VA) contract and was available to participants prior to July 1, 2010. The Voya Retirement Choice program offers mutual funds through a group trust agreement and a Stable Value Option. Participants can keep their existing account assets in the VA contract, but all on-gong and new contributions are applied to the product that became effective in July 2010.
- Retirement Readiness Service Center (call center) representatives and an automated voice response line are available at the toll-free telephone number: (800) 584-6001. Representatives are available Monday – Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Central Time.
- Ongoing individual support including financial and investment education from a local Voya Financial Professional.
- Ability to designate beneficiaries online for your new account.
Academic or unclassified employees of Louisiana's public institutions of higher education are eligible to join the ORP. The ORP is also available to employees of:
- The Board of Regents
- University of Louisiana System Board of Trustees
- Board of Supervisors of Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College
- Board of Supervisors of Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, or their successors
- Louisiana Community and Technical Colleges Board of Supervisors
- Any other constitutionally established board that manages institutions of higher education
Active contributing members of TRSL's regular plan who are academic or unclassified employees and who have less than five (5) years of creditable service in TRSL may elect to participate in the ORP and transfer accumulated employee contributions to the ORP.
The member’s contribution is 8.0% of salary, less a 0.05% administrative fee to TRSL. The employer contribution that is transferred to individual ORP participant accounts is determined by the employer type. Read more about contribution rates.
LA ORP participants do not pay in to Social Security.
Under the Plan, the maximum annual contribution amount is set by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidelines on a yearly basis. You may view the current limits here.
TRSL or ORP: Which one?
Read more information on both options.
All contributions made to the ORP on your behalf are 100% vested from the date of contribution.
There are several distribution options to choose from upon separation of service including:
- Rollover to qualified plans
- Variety of fixed and/or variable lifetime-based or period certain payout options
Distributions will be taxed as ordinary income in the year the money is received.
The ORP program does not have loan provisions.
Your LA ORP Account (including earnings) may generally be distributed only upon your:
- Severance from all state employment
Please note: If you are considering retiring outside of the United States, it’s important to look at the tax implications, as well as the ability to transfer funds internationally. It is also important that you make arrangements before you leave the United States. Please contact your local Voya representative today to discuss your specific plans and circumstances.
You should consider the investment objectives, risks, and charges and expenses of the mutual funds offered through a retirement plan, carefully before investing. The fund prospectuses and information booklet containing this and other information can be obtained by contacting your local financial professional. Please read the information carefully before investing.
Louisiana is a "community property" state. Under the Louisiana Civil Code, a spouse is entitled to 50% of any payout from a public or private pension or retirement plan, an annuity policy or plan, an individual retirement account, a Keogh plan, a simplified employee plan, or any other similar retirement plan.
Neither Voya nor its affiliated companies or representatives provide tax or legal advice. Please consult a tax adviser or attorney before making a tax-related investment/insurance decision.
Mutual funds under a custodial or trust account agreement are intended as long-term investments designed for retirement purposes. Account values fluctuate with market conditions, and when surrendered, the principal may be worth more or less than the original amount invested. The Plan's Stable Value Option invests in the Voya Stable Value Fund, which is a collective investment trust maintained by Wilmington Trust Company. The Plan's Stable Value Option is backed by a group annuity contract issued by Voya Retirement Insurance and Annuity Company ("VRIAC"). Guarantees are based on the claims paying ability of Voya Retirement Insurance and Annuity Company. The Plan's Stable Value Option, the Voya Stable Value Fund and the VRIAC group annuity contract are not registered investment companies and are not registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Although it is possible to have guaranteed income for life with a fixed/variable annuity, there is no assurance that this income will keep up with inflation. Early withdrawals taken prior to age 59½ are subject to an IRS 10% premature distribution penalty tax unless an exception applies. Money distributed will be taxed as ordinary income in the year the money is distributed. An annuity does not provide any additional tax benefit, as tax deferral is provided by the Plan. Annuities may be subject to additional fees and expenses, to which other tax-deferred funding vehicles may not be subject. However, an annuity does offer other features and benefits, such as lifetime income payments and death benefits, which may be valuable to you.
Not FDIC/NCUA/NCUSIF Insured | Not a Deposit of a Bank/Credit Union | May Lose Value | Not Bank/Credit Union Guaranteed | Not Insured by Any Federal Government Agency
Insurance products issued by Voya Retirement Insurance and Annuity Company, One Orange Way, Windsor, CT 06095-4774. Securities are distributed by Voya Financial Partners, LLC (member SIPC). Custodial account agreements or trust agreements are provided by Voya Institutional Trust Company. Insurance obligations are the responsibility of each individual company. All companies are members of the Voya® family of companies. Securities may also be through other broker-dealers with which Voya has selling agreements. Product and services may not be available in all states.