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For Your BenefitSome large-scale changes to the retirement plans administered by the State of Tennessee and offered to UT employees will take effect on July 1.

The changes will not impact existing UT employees. But all faculty and staff involved in recruiting and hiring new employees should understand the changes.

For employees hired on and after July 1, 2014, the following changes will apply:

  • Regular, full-time employees (those with a planned working time in IRIS of forty hours per week) will be obligated as a condition of employment to participate in a retirement plan. Participation will be optional for regular, part-time employees (less than forty hours).
  • The state’s current Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System, often referred to as the TCRS pension plan, will convert to a combination pension and 401(k)-style plan. All new regular, full-time non-exempt employees will be enrolled in the new “Hybrid Plan,” requiring a contribution from employees of 5 percent of their annual base pay. UT also will contribute 9 percent of the employee’s base pay.
  • All new faculty and regular exempt employees will choose between the new Hybrid Plan or the updated Optional Retirement Program (ORP). Both plans will require employees to contribute 5 percent of their base pay, and UT will contribute 9 percent. Employees who choose the OPR will select the vendor of their choice—ING, TIAA-CREF, or VALIC.
  • New employees participating in a retirement plan will be auto-enrolled in a 401(k) plan at a 2 percent contribution of their base pay and be eligible for a match from the university of up to $50 per month. The contribution amount can be adjusted, and employees will have the choice to opt out entirely.

If you have questions, please visit HR’s website.

You can also contact the HR Call Center at 888-444-8847.