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.  Please contact the Benefits Department. with any questions or concerns. Counseling is available to assist you in making a plan election.  

Retirement Plans

VRS Hybrid Plan

New members with no previous VRS service credit whose membership is on or after January 1, 2014.  

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. 

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.

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.  Participation in the VRS defined benefit plan or the defined contribution ORP is irrevocable once an election is made.

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.

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.  

Supplemental Retirement Plans

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 Department.

Tax-Deferred Annuities (403b)

  • The University makes payroll deductions for tax-deferred annuities to these approved 403b providers: TIAA, Ameriprise, AIG (formerly VALIC), Equitable (formerly AXA) and ICMA-RC (soon to be MissionSquare).  Our third party administrator, Fringe Benefits Management Company (FBMC), serves as the compliance coordinator and distributes all contributions to your selected provider(s).  

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

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 (1-877-327-5261), 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 1-877-327-5261 in order to opt-out of the plan.

Fringe Benefits Management Company - FBMC

FBMC is a third party administrator of companies that participate in the Commonwealth’s voluntary payroll deduction program. These companies provide life, health, dental, cancer, disability, automobile, and homeowners insurance, financial planning, etc. If you wish to purchase additional life insurance with premiums paid by payroll deduction you may want to consider one of the vendors listed in the provider listing.   Employees should contact the company listed in the Provider Listing directly for information and assistance.  

Retirement Planning Information

The Department of Human Resources Benefits Team offers information sessions dedicated to employees anticipating retiring in the next five years.   These sessions are held on both the Main Campus and RUC Campus several times throughout the year.  The focus of these sessions 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 is sent out to your Radford University email address and is posted on the Department of Human Resources Training Catalog and the Announcements and Events page.   

Planning on Retiring Soon?

Employees anticipating retiring should contact the Benefits Department at or call 540-831-6110 or 540-831-5583. 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 contact the Benefits Department to begin the retirement process.  

Information for Retirees

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.