Human Resources - Benefits

Optional Retirement Program Eligibility Standards

The full-time positions defined below meet eligibility standards for participation in the ORP program as set forth in ORP Standards outlined in the Rules and Regulations of the Administrative Council of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

Positions below level 13 (as outlined in Austin Community College's Employment Procedures and Salary Schedule) do NOT meet ORP eligibility standards as set forth in the Rules and Regulations. Advertising in The Chronicle of Higher Education or conducting a national search does NOT, in and of itself, confer eligibility pursuant to legislative intent.

Definition of ORP Eligibility Standards


A member of the faculty whose duties include teaching and whose specific assignments are made for the purpose of conducting instruction as a principal activity. Titles held include professor, associate professor, assistant professor, instructor, or librarian with a degree in library science.


President, Vice President, Associate Vice President or other administrator responsible for teaching faculty if their principal activity is planning, organizing and directing the activities of faculty. Titles held include Executive Vice President, Provosts, Assistant Provosts, Deans, and Associate Deans. Other administrative positions eligible include those that normally report to the president, vice president or provost and serve as director or administrative head of a major department or budget entity. Incumbents in these positions must be appointed by the chief administrative officer of the institution or his/her delegate and must be responsible for the preparation and administration of the budget, policies, and programs of the department or entity. These positions are generally and customarily recruited by national advertising and must be at a salary rate equivalent to the rate for faculty.

Professional Staff

An administrative or professional position that is generally and customarily recruited by national advertising. Professional position eligible for ORP shall be in nationally recognized fields which require advanced degrees and/or specialized advanced professional training. Titles held include physicians, athletic coaches, engineers, and lawyers.

Important Factors to Consider When Selecting Your ORP/TSA

Flexibility in Investments...
Having a variety of types of investments (fixed, variable, mutual funds, etc.) available and the opportunity to move between them can improve your performance significantly over the years.

So long as you participate in ORP payments, you cannot surrender your ORP annuity nor borrow on it. In TSA and after retirement in ORP, however, the privilege of surrendering (cashing in) in whole or in part becomes a potentially valuable feature.

Ability to shift your program to another qualified employer or to another company is another feature of value. Some companies have high surrender charges in the early years to make transferring difficult and expensive.

Loan Privileges...
Most insurance companies provide loans, however, no mutual fund offers a loan!

Guarantees Offered...
Guarantees against changes in the contract, including increases in costs, vary considerably from company to company. Many companies reserve the right to change features of the contract.

Sound Companies...
Texas Insurance Guaranty Association stands behind insurance fixed annuities to a very limited extent, assuming coverage of losses by insolvency of a company up to $100,000.