Stephen F. Austin State University


Retirement options start on your first day of employment with Stephen F. Austin State University!

Eligible SFA employees must contribute to one of the following retirement plans:

Eligible SFA employees who would like to further supplement their retirement may also contribute to the TSA 403B tax-sheltered annuity plan and Texa$aver 457 deferred compensation plan with no offset.

Teacher Retirement System (TRS)

TRS administers a defined benefit retirement plan that is a qualified pension trust under Section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code. The pension trust fund provides service and disability retirement, as well as death and survivor benefits, to eligible Texas public education employees and their beneficiaries. The Teacher Retirement System of Texas is the largest public retirement system in Texas, serving more than 1.4 million people.

Highlights of TRS

TRS Eligibility

To be eligible to participate in TRS, an employee must work at least 20 hours per week for at least 4 1/2 continuous months. Students employed in positions that require student status as a condition of employment are not eligible.

Optional Retirement Program (ORP)

ORP is a defined contribution plan that is similar to a 401(k) plan with employer "matching" contributions. The ORP participant and employing institution make mandatory monthly contributions using percentages of salary that are established by the state legislature and subject to change. Federal contribution limits may apply to certain highly compensated employees. Contributions are invested in a 403(b) account with an ORP vendor that is authorized by the employing institution. ORP participants choose a vendor from the Authorized Vendors for Tax Sheltered Annuities & Optional Retirement Plans, set up an ORP account with the selected vendor, and make decisions on how to manage their funds.

Highlights of ORP

Employee contributes 6.65% for FY2022 and FY2023 and SFA contributes 6.6% for FY2022 and FY2023. Full retirement benefits when you are vested (with one year and one day of retirement service credit) and meet the Rule of 80 or age 65. You will contribute to both ORP and Social Security health insurance during retirement if you are vested with ORP, meet the Rule of 80 or age 65, and have been enrolled in the ERS Group Benefit Program (health insurance) for at least 10 years.

ORP Eligibility

To be eligible to participate in ORP, an employee must: (1) initially be appointed on a full-time, continuous basis for 4 1/2 months or more; and (2) be appointed to a position otherwise eligible to participate in ORP. Examples of ORP eligible positions include faculty members whose duties include teaching and/or research as a principal activity; faculty administrators responsible for teaching and research faculty; professional librarians; chief and senior administrative officials; specialized professional positions (such as physicians and attorneys); and athletic coaches and directors.

Supplemental Retirement Programs

TSA 403B Tax-Sheltered Annuity Plan

Texa$aver 457 Deferred Compensation Plan

Retirement Resources

Overview of TRS and ORP [July 2021]

Teacher Retirement System of Texas TRS Financial Awareness Video Series Supplemental Retirement Annuity Participation Notice [April 11, 2017]

Authorized Vendors for Tax Sheltered Annuities & Optional Retirement Plans [June 2021]

Texa$aver 457 Deferred Compensation Plan 5-4-3 to Retirement [July 2020]