Staff Retirement Plans
As of July 1, 2006, new staff members have the option of selecting between the University of Alaska's Optional Retirement Program and the State of Alaska's Public Employees' Retirement System. You must choose between ORP and PERS within 30 days of being notified that you are eligible. This is an irrevocable decision. If you do not make a choice, you will automatically be enrolled in PERS.
Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS)
The university and the employee contribute a percentage of the employee's pay to this state-sponsored retirement plan. The percentage depends on date of hire. Modifications to the plan over the years have resulted in four different "tiers, with benefits based on date of hire. The first three tiers are a defined-benefit plan and PERS Tier IV is an account-based or defined-contribution plan.
Tax-Deferred Annuities (TDAs)
Staff may contribute to tax-deferred annuities to supplement retirement income or defer taxable income. Participation is optional and subject to IRS limits on contributions.
UA Optional Retirement Plan (ORP)
The Optional Retirement Plan is a defined-contribution plan created by the university in 1990 as an alternative to the state's plan. The university and the employee contribute a percentage of the employee's pay to this account. Modifications to the plan have resulted in three different "tiers." Only staff hired on or after July 1, 2006 (ORP Tier 3) may choose the Optional Retirement Plan, instead of PERS. Employees select their own investments from one of the following vendors: Fidelity Investments, Lincoln Financial Group, AIG Retirement, or TIAA-CREF. Benefits offered under ORP Tier 3: ORP Tier 3 (employees hired on or after July 1, 2006)
University of Alaska Pension Plan
The University of Alaska contributes an amount equal to 7.65% of your first $42,000 of salary in a calendar year to the UA Pension Plan. The funds can be invested with Fidelity Investments, Lincoln National, TIAA-CREF or VALIC. Employees hired on or after July 1, 2006 must select the Optional Retirement Plan to be eligible for the UA Pension Plan.