Policy Number: 32
Retirement Program Eligibility
I. POLICY AND GENERAL STATEMENT
All regular employees of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (“university”) who hold appointments of one-half time or more are required by law to participate in either the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) or the Optional Retirement Program (ORP), based on eligibility requirements of the programs. Additionally, all regular and temporary employees are eligible to participate in the supplemental retirement savings plans. Regular employees are appointed a period of at least four and one-half consecutive months with a definite job assignment that must be 50 percent time or more. Temporary employees are appointed for a period of not more than four and one-half months (136 calendar days) which can be either full-time or part-time. (Refer to HOOP Policy 17 Appointment Status.)
A. Mandatory Retirement Programs
1. Teacher Retirement System
All regular employees who hold appointments of one-half time or more are required to participate in the Teacher Retirement System ("TRS"). All faculty and administrative and professional employees who hold appointments of one-half time or more but less than full time are required to participate in TRS.
Any full-time faculty and administrative and professional employees who are incumbent in positions that do not meet the eligibility requirements of ORP must participate in TRS.
2. Optional Retirement Program
The definitions that must be applied to determine whether or not a full-time faculty or administrative and professional position meets the eligibility requirements for the Optional Retirement Program (ORP) are determined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
To be eligible for participation in ORP, a full-time faculty or administrative and professional position must fall within one of the following three categories and meet all the criteria within that category. When an employee occupies appointments with both administrative and professional and faculty titles, he or she is considered to be a member of the category in which the greatest percent time is held. Such employees automatically meet the ORP-eligible criteria when the sum of their ORP-eligible appointment is equal to 100 percent time. The specific job titles mentioned are actual titles; "working job titles" do not meet the intent or standards of this policy. (Note: Any job title that is not specifically referred to in this policy will be considered on a case-by-case basis.)
Faculty: The incumbent must be a full-time faculty member whose principal employment activities are teaching, research, or patient care. Faculty titles that meet the above criteria include, but may not be limited to, professor, associate professor, assistant professor, instructor, any such title that has "clinical" or "research" appended to it, faculty associate, teaching assistant and lecturer.
Academic Administrative and Professional: The incumbent must be an administrator responsible for the activities of teaching, research, and/or clinical faculty whose principal employment activities are planning, organizing, and directing the activities of faculty. Administrative and professional titles that meet the above criteria include, but may not be limited to, dean, executive director, director, associate dean, assistant dean and chair.
Administrative and Professional: The incumbent must be an administrator who is responsible for an organizational or budget entity and whose principal employment activities are the preparation and administration of the budget, policies and programs of that entity. The individual's authority must include the employment/termination of personnel and the expenditure of departmental or other budgeted funds. Titles whose incumbents function as chief administrator in the absence of the chief administrator will be considered to be eligible when they otherwise meet the criteria. All positions within this category must be generally and customarily recruited on a national scale; must be equivalent in salary rate with faculty salary rates; and must be appointed by the chief administrative officer of the institution or his/her delegate.
B. Supplemental Retirement Savings Plans
The university offers a deferred compensation plan and a tax sheltered annuity program. For more information on these supplemental retirement savings plans, contact Employee Benefits.