Retirement Planning

 America SAVES Week: Time to Plan Your Future

If, after the holiday spending spree, you’ve decided you need to focus on financial planning and saving for retirement, America SAVES Week (February 26-March 3) provides the perfect opportunity to set a savings goal, make a savings plan and save automatically. Here are some savings ideas that will help you get started.

  • Save automatically through the plans offered through VRS such as the Hybrid 457 Deferred Compensation Plan (for VRS Hybrid employees only), Commonwealth of Virginia 457 Deferred Compensation Plan, a 403(b) plan or other supplemental retirement plans.
  • A rainy day fund is a savings account separate from your checking that you cannot access easily. Financial experts recommend reserving enough money to pay for essentials for anywhere from six months to a year.
  • Plan to save your bonuses, raises, and tax refunds to boost the amount you save consistently over a long period of time.
  • Good savings habits start at home. Whether you’re budgeting, saving, making retirement decisions or assessing workplace benefits, share your decisions with your children, whether they’re just learning about money or heading off on their own.

Take this week to try out these savings ideas and adopt the ones that will help you on your journey to retirement.

Let us show you how to get started by attending one of our America SAVES Week – Let’s Get Saving! sessions scheduled:

  •  Wednesday, February 28 @ 10 am – 11 am in Heth 022
  •  Thursday, March 1 @ 2 pm – 3 pm in Heth 022

If you prefer to schedule a meeting with your Benefits Team to talk about saving options, please call 831-5008 or email us at


Retirement Planning

The VRS retirement plan is a qualified 401(a) defined benefit plan which pays eligible members a lifetime benefit amount based on years of service, age, and compensation.   Membership in the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) is mandatory for full-time classified staff.   A/P and T/R Faculty members may elect to participate in the VRS defined benefit plan or an Optional Retirement Plan and have 60 days from date-of-hire to make an election. The Optional Retirement Plan for Higher Education (ORPHE) is sponsored by the Virginia Retirement System (VRS).

The following provides a brief overview of the plans and links to the respective plan handbooks.

Please review retirement plan details and options at the VRS Members website or contact the Benefits Team at 540-831-5008 or Counseling is available to assist you in making a plan election.  Participation in the VRS defined benefit plan or the defined contribution ORP is irrevocable once election is made.


The University also offers eligible employees access to additional voluntary supplemental retirement plans and deferred compensation plans to enhance their retirement goals and plans.  For additional information, please contact the Benefits Team at 540-831-5583 or

  • Tax Deferred Annuities (403b): The University will make payroll deductions for tax-deferred annuities to participating companies.  Approved 403b providers [PDF] are TIAA-CREF, AXA, Amerprise, and VALIC.  Fringe Benefits Management Company (FBMC), the third-party administrator, serves as compliance coordinator and routes contributions to the selected provider(s).  The employee or the participating company pays an administrative fee.
  • Deferred Compensation Plan (457): Newly hired and re-hired state employees are eligible to enroll in the Commonwealth of Virginia 457 Deferred Compensation Plan with a minimum contribution of $10 per pay period. Employees may enroll online at; select Commonwealth of Virginia 457 Deferred Compensation Plan under the Defined Contribution Plans tab or enroll by calling 1-VRS-DC-PLAN (1-877-327-5621), Option 1.  The employee pays an annual administrative fee.  VRS Plan 1 and Plan 2 members may be auto-enrolled in the 457 with a $20 per pay period employee contribution and receive an employer paid $10 per pay period cash match. Employees auto-enrolled, who do not wish to participate in the 457 plan, must call 1-877-327-5621 in order to opt out of the plan.
  • Cash Match Plan: Eligible employees who make a contribution to a 403b tax deferred annuity or the 457 deferred compensation plan are eligible to participate in the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Cash Match Plan.  Employees must have an account with one of the approved plan providers in order to receive a cash match contribution.  Employees will receive each pay period, the lesser of $20 or 50% of the employee’s contribution amount. Employees may receive a cash match contribution to one plan only.  Employees enrolled in both a 457 and a 403b may elect which plan to receive the cash match contribution. Employees enrolled the VRS Hybrid Retirement Plan must make the maximum 4% voluntary contribution to the defined contribution component of the plan in order to receive a match on contributions to your employer 457 or 403(b) plans.


The Department of Human Resources Benefits Team offers a quarterly information session dedicated to employees anticipating retiring in the next five years.   The focus of the plan is on general retirement planning, annuity options, group life insurance, social security and health care considerations when planning the next phase of your life.  The sessions are open to all employees and last approximately 1 ½ hours.  Information regarding upcoming sessions are posted to the HR website and published in the monthly Human Resources Employee Newsletter.  Please contact the Benefits Team at 540-831-5008 or with any questions or concerns.


Employees anticipating retiring should contact Human Resources at 540-831-5008 to set up an appointment approximately 90 days prior to the anticipated retirement date.  Retirement effective dates are always the first day of the month.  As an example, if you wish to retire on June 1, then it is recommended that you schedule an appointment during the month of March.   Employees are encouraged to advise their supervisor as soon as possible for succession planning and recruitment purposes.  Call 540-831-5008 and speak to the Benefits Team to get the process started.


  • Radford Association of Retired Employees (RARE).  The organization's objectives are to serve Radford University in achieving its mission, to provide social and educational programs to retired faculty and staff, and to promote their continued involvement in the life of the Radford University community. Events and information of interest to RARE members will be posted to this site as updates are provided by the RARE executive board.   This service is provided as a service to RARE and is not endorsed by Radford University. Please contact RARE at for additional information.

VRS Plan 1

You are a state employee, school division employee or a general employee of a participating political subdivision and were hired or rehired before July 1, 2010, and were vested as of January 1, 2013 and have not taken a refund.  Virginia Retirement System Plan 1 Handbook [PDF]

VRS Plan 2

You are a state employee, school division employee or a general employee of a participating political subdivision and were hired or rehired from July 1, 2010 to December 31, 2013 and have not taken a refund before July 1, 2010, and were not vested as of January 1, 2013 and have not taken a refund. Virginia Retirement System Plan 2 Handbook [PDF]

VRS Hybrid Plan

New members with no previous VRS service credit whose membership is on or after January 1, 2014.  See Hybrid Retirement Plan for additional information.   

Optional Retirement Plan (ORP)

You are eligible for the ORPHE Plan 1 if your retirement plan coverage date is before July 1, 2010.  You are in the ORPHE Plan 2 if your retirement plan coverage date is July 1, 2010 or later.   ORPHE Plan 1 & Plan 2 Handbook [PDF]

Virginia Law Officers' Retirement System (VaLORS) Plan 1

A campus policer officer is covered under Plan 1 if your membership date is prior to July 1, 2010, and you were vested before January 1, 2013, and have not taken a refund. VaLORS Plan 1 Handbook [PDF]

Virginia Law Officers' Retirement System (VaLORS) Plan 2

A campus policer officer is covered under Plan 2 if your membership date is on or after July 1, 2010, or before July 1, 2010 and you were not vested (you had less than five years of service credit) as of January 1, 2013.   VaLORS Plan 2 Handbook [PDF]