Beyond the usual benefits offered by Georgia State, are a variety of options to secure an employee’s income upon retirement. We offer two mandatory retirement plans: A defined benefit plan, the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia for non-exempt and exempt employees; and the optional Retirement Plan for exempt employees only. We also offer two voluntary retirement options that are 100 percent employee-sponsored. For college savings, there is the 529 College Savings Plan available through payroll deduction.
Teachers Retirement System of Georgia (TRS)
The basic retirement program is offered through the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia (TRS). It is a “defined benefit” plan (a pension-type program). Normal retirement age for TRS benefits is 60 with at least 10 years of service. If you have at least 30 years of service, you can retire regardless of age. Reduced benefits are available if you have at least 25 years of service and opt to take “early retirement.”
The actual benefit amount you will receive when you retire depends on a formula that takes into account your total years of service and two highest consecutive years of average salary.
To help administer the TRS program and to fund its benefits, the University also contributes on your behalf. As you are aware, the Teachers Retirement System (TRS) determines employee and employer contribution rates one year prior to their effective date. The TRS, a defined benefit plan, operates on a fiscal year cycle (July 1 – June 30).
FISCAL YEAR 2023 & 2024 – TRS Contribution Rates
There is currently a 10-year vesting schedule, meaning that once you have 10 years of creditable services in the TRS system, you are eligible for a retirement benefit once you reach age 60.
To view complete TRS information and for access to your personal TRS account, go to www.trsga.com. Here you can find your current contribution summary, review your beneficiaries and if you are within 5 years of retirement, run the benefit estimator to calculate your monthly retirement income.
For your consideration:
- State law does not allow the employee contribution to go above the current 6.00%.
- If you remained employed and have at least 10 years of credible service (vested) when you retire, you are guaranteed a monthly income for life based upon your highest consecutive 24 months of salary.
- If you leave employment prior to 10 years of service, there are 3 options available for your employee contribution account.
- You may withdraw funds subject to taxes and penalties before age 59 ½
- You may leave funds in TRS for up to 4 years and earn 4.5% interest
- You may roll funds over at any time into a comparable retirement plan without any taxes or penalties.
Optional Retirement Plan (ORP)
Instead of participating in the TRS defined benefit plan, faculty and certain administrators may elect to participate in an optional retirement plan (ORP). Exempted employees hired after June 30, 2008 will have the opportunity to elect to participate in the optional retirement plan. The ORP is a "defined contribution" plan. The current contribution rates for ORP are as follows:
FISCAL YEAR 2023 & 2024 – ORP Contribution Rates
The ORP There is full and immediate vesting of all contributions to an individual’s ORP account.
The resources contributed to your ORP can be invested through your choice of four investment companies: Each company offers several investment options. You may change your ORP vendor quarterly. Click any of the links below to:
enroll, get guidance, choose investments, and view products and services.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Exempt employees have 60 days to make an election. Otherwise, your retirement election will default to TRS. Your election is irrevocable for the duration of your continuous employment
Click here to see Vendor appointment dates and registration.
For additional retirement savings, you may elect to choose to contribute to the 403(b) or 457(b) plan or both, which provide options for deferring pretax or after-tax income for retirement saving. What chiefly distinguishes the plans are how they consider and penalize withdrawals. Your contribution is allocated equally across the number of paychecks you receive during the calendar year. There are three authorized vendors, offering a variety of investment options: TIAA, Corebridge Financial and Fidelity .
Voluntary Tax-Sheltered Annuity Plan 403(b) Plan
Most employees* are eligible to participate in a voluntary tax-deferred annuity plan offered through Georgia State University under provision 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). This plan allows participants to direct a portion of their income, on a tax-deferred basis, into any of a number of investment vehicles such as annuity contracts and mutual funds. Taxes are deferred until the money is withdrawn, usually upon retirement (withdrawal prior to retirement age carries a penalty). You can make the full contribution(there are no employer contributions). You may enroll or change your elections for the 457(b) plan at any time, including during the annual Benefits Open Enrollment period.
In general terms, you may set-aside up to $22,500 in a 403(b) plan during 2023. Employees age 50 or older may set aside up to an additional $7,500 for plan year 2023.
Voluntary Deferred-Compensation Plan 457(b) Plan
Georgia State offers a voluntary deferred compensation plan under provision 457(b) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). This plan allows you to defer a portion of your income, on a tax-sheltered basis, into any of a number of investment options. Taxes are deferred until the money is withdrawn. Unlike a 403(b) plan, withdrawals at times other than retirement do not carry an additional penalty. You may participate in both the 403(b) and the 457(b) plans. You can make the full contribution (there are no employer contributions.) You may enroll or change your elections for the 457(b) plan at any time.
In general terms, you may set-aside up to $22,500 in a 403(b) in a 457(b) plan during 2023. Employees who are age 50 or older may set aside up to an additional $7,500 for plan year 2023.
Click here to see Vendor appointments dates and registration.
*Tax treaties generally disallow non-immigrant foreign nationals who work in the U.S. from excluding such contributions from their taxable income, so there is no advantage to participation.
Path2College 529 Plan
You may participate in the Path2College 529 Plan by payroll deduction. The program, known as a 529 Plan and administered by TIAA-CREF, allows you to set aside money for higher education expenses – for your children, grandchildren, or other beneficiaries of your choice (including yourself). Under current law, any earnings grow tax-free in the account and are tax-free when withdrawn and used for education purposes. You may also be eligible for a State tax deduction for such contributions.
Participation in the Georgia plan does not mean that the beneficiary must attend college in Georgia; the fund may be used for qualified higher Ed expenses at accredited postsecondary institutions across the country. Accounts can be opened with as little as $25 per investment option and have high allowable total limits (more than $200,000). A variety of investment options are available.
To Open an Account: http://www.path2college529.com/
10 Reasons to Save with Path2CollegeSaving for College
Path2College 529 Plan FAQ
What is Path2College 529 Plan?
The Path2College 529 plan created by the State of Georgia is designed to help individuals save for the cost of education after high school.
Why should I participate in Georgia’s 529 Plan?
For Georgia income tax purposes, the plan allows a deduction for part of the contributions and an exclusion for the earnings when they are withdrawn and used for higher education expenses.
How much can I contribute to the 529 Plan?
College savings accounts may be opened with as little as $25 per investment option.
Is the Path2College 529 plan deduction pre-tax?
No, contributions to the GHESP are made on an after tax basis. Contributions to the GHESP grow tax free from federal and state income tax. Withdrawals used for qualified expenses will be free of both federal and Georgia income tax.
What is a “Qualified Higher Education Expense”?
Qualified Higher Education Expenses are tuition, fees and the cost of books, supplies and equipment required for the enrollment or attendance of a beneficiary at an eligible educational institution. Qualified Higher Education Expenses also include (i) tuition in connection with enrollment or attendance at a primary or secondary public, private, or religious school, up to a maximum of $10,000 of distributions for such tuition expenses per taxable year per Beneficiary from all Section 529 Programs.
What is an “Eligible Educational Institution”?
In general, eligible educational institutions are accredited, post secondary educational institutions offering credit toward a bachelor’s degree, an associate’s degree, a graduate level or professional degree or another recognized post secondary credential.
What if my beneficiary decides not to attend school in Georgia?
Assets can be used at almost every institution of higher education, within Georgia or within the rest of the country, including undergraduate, graduate, medical, law and technical and vocational colleges/schools.
Are withdrawals from the plan tax-free?
Contributions to the Georgia Higher Education Savings Plan grow free from federal and state income tax. Through the power of compounding, the money you save in a tax-deferred account can provide greater potential for growth. And withdrawals used for qualified expenses will be free of both federal and Georgia income tax.
Can I transfer this benefit to someone else?
If your child decides not to attend college, you may transfer funds in your account to certain other family members of the original beneficiary, including a sibling, first cousin, spouse – even yourself.
Are rollovers permitted under the 529 Plan?
You can roll over the money from another 529 Plan into your account to take advantage of the benefits of the Georgia Higher Education Savings Plan.
How do I sign up for Payroll Direct Deposit?
If you wish to make contributions to your Path2College 529 account from your paycheck, first ask your employer if direct deposit is available, then log in to your Path2College 529 account and follow the "Payroll Direct Deposit" instructions found by clicking the Profile & Documents link or request and submit the appropriate form by mail.
Social Security & Medicare (FICA)
Mandatory federal FICA contributions of 1.45% are withheld from your total gross wages for Medicare. You also contribute 6.2% of your gross wages for Social Security, up to a maximum salary of $160,000. The maximum Social Security Contribution is $9,932.00.
We’d like to remind you to review your Social Security Statement online. Your Social Security Statement (Statement) is available to view online by opening a my Social Security account. It is useful for people of all ages who want to learn about their future Social Security benefits and current earnings history.The Statement has important Social Security information and, if applicable, estimates of your future benefits.
If you are working, we encourage you to check your Statement yearly to make sure your earnings record is correct. The Statement also will help in planning your financial future.
To enroll or view your most recent Statement, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/signin and sign into your account.
Georgia State University is a covered employer under the provisions for the Unemployment Compensation Law.
All employees of the university are covered by the provisions of the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act. This Act provides payments for medical and hospital expenses, temporary or permanent disability compensation and death benefits in the event an employee is injured or killed in an accident while performing his or her official duties. When an accident occurs on the job, the employee must report the accident as soon as possible to the supervisor and the supervisor makes arrangements to report the accident or injury. The report must be completed even if medical treatment is not required. Failure to report the accident promptly could result in failure to receive benefits.
One Park Place, Suite 330
Atlanta, GA 30303
8:30 a.m.-5:15 p.m.
P.O. Box 3982
Atlanta, GA 30302-3982