As an appointee, you may choose between the Optional Retirement Plan for Political Appointees (ORPPA), a defined contribution plan or VRS (defined benefit plans or the Hybrid Retirement Plan, as applicable). Before making your decision, read Choosing Your Retirement Plan to compare the plans. You may also call the Plan Information Line toll-free at 1-VRS-DC-PLAN1 (1-877-327-5261) and select Option 2 to speak with a Defined Contribution Plans Retirement Specialist.
Who is eligible to enroll?
Employees who are employed in an eligible position as described in Subdivision 3, 4 or 20 of Section 2.2-2905 of the Code of Virginia or an officer or employee appointed by the Attorney General or Lieutenant Governor to a position of deputy, counsel or director.
Employees who began employment before July 1, 2010 or are returning to employment with VRS service credit in their record or an ORP account balance from a pre-July 1, 2010 period of employment are eligible to participate in ORP Plan 1. Employees hired or rehired on or after July 1, 2010 with no VRS service credit and no ORP account balance are eligible to participate in ORP Plan 2.
Your employer contributes regardless of whether you are eligible for ORP Plan 1 or Plan 2. Employees eligible for ORP Plan 2 also contribute.
How do I enroll in the plan?
Once notified by your employer that you are eligible for the Optional Retirement Plan (Plan 1 or 2), VRS will send you information about your option to choose between the ORPPA, the VRS defined benefit plans or the Hybrid Retirement Plan. You have 30 days from the date on the correspondence to complete the Election to Participate Optional Retirement Plan for Political Appointees (Form-VRS 65C) and the ORPPA Enrollment and Beneficiary forms and return them to VRS. Otherwise, you will be enrolled in the VRS defined benefit plan.
What is the contribution amount?
ORP Plan 1: Your employer contributes 10.4 percent of your creditable compensation each pay date.
ORP Plan 2: Your employer contributes 8.5 percent of your creditable compensation each pay date; you pay an additional pre-tax contribution of 5 percent of compensation.
You are immediately vested in the plan, which means the full account balance (employer and employee contributions plus any earnings) is available to you when you terminate employment.
What are my investment option choices?
The plan offers a variety of investment options - from pre-mixed target date portfolios to a menu of options across asset classes - to construct your investment portfolio. Additionally, the plan offers a Self-Directed Brokerage Account (SDBA) for an additional fee. Publicly traded mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and individual securities are offered through the SDBA. You must have $2,500 in the core investments before investing in the SDBA.
Find more information about the plan's investment options here or call the Plan Information Line toll-free at 1-VRS-DC-PLAN1 (1-877-327-5261). For information about the SDBA, contact TD Ameritrade at 1-866-766-4015. Please consider the investment objectives, risks, fees and expenses carefully before investing.
ICMA-RC and TD Ameritrade are separate, unaffiliated companies and not responsible for each other's services or policies. Brokerage services are provided by TD Ameritrade, Inc., a registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA/SIPC/NFA. TD Ameritrade is a trademark jointly owned by TD Ameritrade IP Company, Inc. and Toronto-Dominion Bank. Used with permission.
How do I make investment option changes?
You can make changes to your account online or by phone.
- Move all or a portion of your existing balances between investment options (subject to plan rules)
- Change how your future contributions are invested
How do I keep track of my account?
You will receive a quarterly account statement showing your account balance and activity for your plan. You also can check your account balance online. You may elect to receive an electronic statement.
Are there fees to participate in the plan?
Yes. An annual recordkeeping and communication services fee of $30.50 will be deducted from your account on a monthly basis ($2.54 per month). If you participate in more than one Commonwealth of Virginia plan, only one annual fee of $30.50 will be deducted from your account. In addition, each investment option has investment management and other fund costs that vary. Investment option fees and performance are available on the plan website, by calling the Plan Information Line or within the Investment Option Performance report included with your quarterly statement. For more information about fees associated with the Self-Directed Brokerage Account option, refer to the fact sheet online or call the Plan Information Line.
When can I withdraw from my account?
You may begin making withdrawals when you are no longer employed in a position covered for retirement benefits through a plan administered or authorized by VRS. An IRS penalty for withdrawals prior to age 59½ may apply. Withdrawals from all plans are subject to federal income tax and state income tax, depending on your state of residence. You must begin taking required minimum distributions by April 1 of the calendar year following the later of: (1) the calendar year in which you reach 70½ or (2) the calendar year in which you retire from the employer sponsoring your plan. At your death, your beneficiary will receive the money remaining in your account.
What are my distribution options?
Keep your money in the plan until a future date (subject to required minimum distribution rules)
- A total or partial lump sum
- Annuity payments
- Periodic payments
- Partial lump sum with remainder paid as a periodic payment or annuity
Roll over into an eligible retirement plan such as a 401(a), 401(k), 403(b), governmental 457(b), traditional IRA or Federal Employees Thrift Savings Plan that accepts such rollovers.
If you continue employment with the Commonwealth in a position not eligible for the ORPPA with no break in service, you may use your account balance to purchase VRS service credit.
If you are in ORP Plan 1 and take a full distribution from your account, you are only eligible to participate in ORP Plan 2 if you return to work for an employer providing retirement benefits through one of the VRS-administered or authorized plans.
Once I receive payments, can I change my payment amount?
Yes. Except for the purchase of an annuity, you may change your distribution option for the balance remaining in your ORPPA account. You can obtain a Distribution Form here or call toll-free 1-VRS-DC-PLAN1 (1-877-327-5261).
May I transfer or roll over my account from another plan into this plan?
Yes. Balances from an eligible retirement plan such as a 401(a), 401(k), 403(b), 457(b), traditional IRA or Federal Employees Thrift Savings Plan may be rolled over into the ORPPA. Eligible after-tax rollovers will be accepted. You may take a distribution from your rollover account while you are employed by the Commonwealth or a participating employer. For additional information, call the Plan Information Line at 1-VRS-DC-PLAN1 (1-877-327-5261).
May I transfer or roll over my account if I leave my current employer?
If you leave employment with your employer and become eligible for a distribution, you may roll over your account balance into an eligible retirement plan such as a 401(a), 401(k), 403(b), 457(b) or traditional IRA. However, an IRS penalty for withdrawals from these plans prior to age 59½ may apply. Check with the plan that you are rolling into to ensure it accepts such rollovers.
If you change positions within the Commonwealth with no break in service and move to a position not eligible for the ORPPA, you may use your account balance to purchase VRS service credit.