Plan Overview

Below are the important features about the plan. This website is intended to be a summary of the plan provisions.  In the event that a conflict exists between the information contained within this website and the plan document, the plan document provisions prevail.

The Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) is a defined contribution plan, sponsored by the State of Florida, that is offered to eligible employees as an alternative to the Florida Retirement System (FRS) defined benefit pension plan. 

With ORP, your university will contribute a percentage of your earnings each pay period so that you may purchase an annuity when you retire. You also may choose to make voluntary contributions to your ORP account. Regardless of your length of service, you will be eligible to receive a lifetime monthly annuity income at retirement that will be based on the amount contributed, the investment earnings or losses of those contributions, and the type of mutual fund or the Vanguard Federal Money Market Fund that you have selected.


If you are employed in an ORP-approved position expected to last no less than one academic year and are otherwise eligible to participate in the FRS, you automatically will be enrolled in the ORP. You will have 90 days to choose an ORP provider company or to elect membership in FRS in lieu of ORP.

Any employee who is eligible to participate in the ORP who fails to execute an annuity contract with one of the approved companies, and to notify the division in writing within 90 days of the date of eligibility, shall be deemed to have elected membership in FRS.

Note: it is important to know that the retirement plan choice you make may be irrevocable. For example, if you elect to remain in ORP or you elect FRS, you must remain in that plan as long as you remain employed with the same institution and continue to meet the eligibility requirement.

ORP eligible positions include persons who are employed or appointed for no less than one academic year in one of the following positions:

  • General faculty
  • Administrative and Professional
  • Chancellor of State University System
  • President of the University
  • Member of the SUS Executive Service


The SUSORP is a 403(b), Internal Revenue Code, qualified defined contribution plan that provides full and immediate vesting of all contributions submitted to the participating companies on behalf of the participant. Employees in eligible positions are compulsory participants in the Optional Retirement Program during the first 90 days of employment.

The employing university contributes on behalf of the participant a percentage of the participant’s salary as required by law. As of July 1, 2012, this contribution rate is 5.14% of the participant’s salary. A portion remains in the Optional Retirement Program Trust Fund for program administrative costs. The remaining contribution (5.14%) is invested with the company or companies selected by the participant to create a fund to provide benefits for the employee at retirement. In addition, effective July 1, 2011, each participant is required to contribute 3% of compensation. The participant may also contribute by salary reduction a voluntary amount not to exceed the 5.14% contributed by the university to the participant’s account. Under the Plan, the maximum annual contribution amount is set by Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidelines on a yearly basis. You may view the current limits here


Effective 7/1/11, there will be no access to employee voluntary contributions at age 59 ½ (or any other age) unless the employee has met the new definition of termination. The SUSORP does not allow distributions of any kind prior to termination of employment.

Payout Options

If you change employers, your account is portable and can be continued on a tax-deferred basis if your new employer sponsors a retirement plan that will accept a rollover of such funds. Or, the account can remain at Voya and continue to receive tax-deferred investment experience until you elect to receive it.

When you retire, the program provides a wide variety of payout options (subject to your plan provisions) including:

  • A lump-sum distribution to the participant;
  • A lump-sum direct rollover distribution to an eligible retirement plan,
  • Periodic distributions;
  • A partial lump-sum payment and the remaining amount is transferred to an eligible retirement plan
  • Such other distribution options as are provided for in the participant’s optional retirement program contract.
  • Series of partial withdrawals
  • Systematic payout options specifying a percentage, a dollar amount, or a time period.
  • Payments guaranteed for your lifetime or as long as you and your beneficiary are alive.

If you die before you retire, your beneficiary may elect to receive the value of your account or select one of several settlement options.

Please refer to the disclosure materials in your Enrollment Kit (in the "Enrollment" section of this website) and/or the "Performance Report" (in the "Investment Performance" section of this website) for specifics regarding charges, expenses, fees, transfer restrictions, etc.

Variable annuities and mutual funds offered through a retirement plan are intended as long-term investments designed for retirement purposes. Money distributed from a 403(b) plan or 401(a)/(k) plan will be taxed as ordinary income in the year the money is distributed. Early withdrawals from a 403(b) plan and a 401(a)/(k) plan, if taken prior to age 59 1/2, will be subject to the IRS 10% premature distribution penalty tax, unless an exception applies. Account values fluctuate with market conditions, and when surrendered the principal may be worth more or less than the original amount invested.

For 403(b)(1) fixed or variable annuities, employee deferrals (including earnings) may generally be distributed only upon your: attainment of age 59½, severance from employment, death, disability, or hardship. Note: Hardship withdrawals are limited to employee deferrals made after 12/31/88. Exceptions to the distribution rules: No Internal Revenue Code withdrawal restrictions apply to '88 cash value (employee deferrals (including earnings) as of 12/31/88) and employer contributions (including earnings). However, employer contributions made to an annuity contract issued after December 31, 2008 may not be paid or made available before a distributable event occurs. Such amounts may be distributed to a participant or if applicable, the beneficiary: upon the participant's severance from employment or upon the occurrence of an event, such as after a fixed number of years, the attainment of a stated age, or disability.

Not FDIC/NCUA/NCUSIF Insured I Not a Deposit of a Bank/Credit Union I May Lose Value I Not Bank/Credit Union Guaranteed I Not Insured by Any Federal Government Agency

Insurance products, annuities and retirement plan funding issued by (third party administrative services may also be provided by) Voya Retirement Insurance and Annuity Company, One Orange Way, Windsor, CT 06095-4774. Securities are distributed by Voya Financial Partners LLC (member SIPC). Custodial account agreements or trust agreements are provided by Voya Institutional Trust Company. All companies are members of the Voya ® family of companies. Securities may also be distributed through other broker-dealers with which Voya has selling agreements. Insurance obligations are the responsibility of each individual company. Products and services may not be available in all states. CN2055477_0224