To be eligible for the Optional Retirement Plan for Political Appointees (ORPPA), you must be an officer or employee appointed by the Governor, Lieutenant Governor or Attorney General to a position of deputy, counsel or director. Or, you must be serving in an eligible position as described in Section 2.2-2905, Subdivision 3, 4 or 20 of the Code of Virginia.
You are eligible for ORPPA Plan 1 or VRS Plan 1 if you meet one of the following criteria:
- Began work in a VRS-covered position before July 1, 2010.
- Are returning to employment with VRS service credit in your record.
- Have an ORP account balance from a pre-July 1, 2010 period of employment.
You are eligible for ORPPA Plan 2 or VRS Plan 2 if you were:
- Hired or rehired between July 1, 2010, and December 31, 2013.
- Have no VRS service credit and no ORP account balance.
You are eligible for ORPPA Plan 2 or the VRS Hybrid Retirement Plan if you were:
- Hired on or after January 1, 2014.
Once notified of your eligibility for the ORPPA plan by your employer, VRS will send you an eligibility letter with directions on using your myVRS account to select a plan.
Compare Plans and Select in myVRS
Register for or log into your myVRS account to compare your retirement plan options and select your plan. Using myVRS, you may evaluate features of VRS and ORPPA plans based on your answers to key questions, including:
- What are your options if you leave employment but do not retire?
- How much control will you have over your plan?
- What’s your comfort level with investment risk?
Use the plan comparison calculator in myVRS to view your projected retirement income under VRS and ORPPA plans. View the projection in today’s dollars or future dollars, monthly or annually. See how your projected income changes after adjusting certain assumptions, such as your salary or rate of return.
After evaluating your options, select your retirement plan from within myVRS.
An annual record-keeping 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 online within the Investment Option Performance report and included with your quarterly statement. Refer to the online factsheet for more information about fees associated with the Self-Directed Brokerage Account .
You will receive a quarterly account statement showing your account balance and activity for your plan. Check your account balance online or by calling toll-free 1-877-327-5261. You may elect to receive an electronic statement.
You may withdraw funds from your account only when you meet one of these conditions:
- Terminate employment from the employer that offers the plan.
- Use your plan account to purchase VRS service credit, if approved.
- Experience an unforeseeable emergency that is approved by the Plan Administrator.
- Have a low balance and an inactive account (subject to IRS de minimis withdrawal guidelines and plan requirements).
- Reach age 70½, even if still employed.
- Have rolled funds from another retirement plan into your ORPPA account, and wish to access the rollover funds.
For more information about account withdrawals, review the Plan Features and Highlights .
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. Certain after-tax rollovers are permitted into ORPPA. However, balances from Roth IRAs cannot be rolled into the plan. Note that the rollovers from these plan types will be separately accounted for to ensure the distribution from these plan types will still be subject to the 10 percent penalty tax under IRS Section 72(t).
You may take a distribution from your rollover account while you are employed by the Commonwealth of Virginia or a VRS-participating employer. For additional information on consolidation, contact your VRS Defined Contribution Plans Retirement Specialist.
Purchase Service Credit
If you continue employment with the Commonwealth of Virginia 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.