Save for the future and let your retirement representative assist you! See the dates
below that the retirement vendors will be available for one-on-one counseling. Contact
your vendor representative for an appointment or schedule your appointment online.
If you are not sure which vendor you may have, you can go through GoldLink and verify
by looking at your vendor for “Retirement Plan” under the “My Employee Info” tab.
Empower handles Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS) and you can view your
statement by setting up your account online at https://mytcrs.tn.gov.
All regular, full-time employees participate in one of the state of Tennessee’s retirement
plans. Faculty and administrative employees have two plan options to choose from.
Be sure to review your options carefully so that you are comfortable with your choice.
Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS) Overview
The Hybrid Plan, also know as the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS), is a combination
of a defined benefit plan and a defined contribution plan. The defined benefit plan
is funded by the employer providing a 4% contribution above and beyond salary and
a 5% pre-tax contribution by the employee. This 9% is managed by the Tennessee Consolidated
Retirement System (TCRS). There is a five-year vesting period for the amount contributed
by the employer. The defined contribution plan is funded by the employer providing
a 5% contribution. This 5% is managed by the employee under an agreement with Great
West Retirement Services. Non-exempt employees are required to use this Plan.
Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) Overview
The Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) is a defined contribution plan. The plan is funded by the employer providing
a 9% contribution above and beyond salary and a 5% pre-tax contribution by the employee.
This 14% is managed by the employee under an agreement with TIAA-CREF, VALIC, and/or
VOYA. The employee may participate in one, two, or all three and can transfer between
companies. The vesting period is immediate for all contribution.
Tennessee Optional Retirement Plan website
Both plans have a Defined Contribution component, which is funded by a 2% pre-tax, automatically deferred, contribution
made by the employee. This 2% is managed by the employee under an agreement with
Great West Retirement Services. The employee may elect to contribute more than 2%
up to the maximum IRS limit. If the employee elects not to defer the 2%, Great West
must be notified within 30 calendar days by the prescribed method from the date of
hire. In addition, the employer will match up to $50 per month into the defined contribution
plan on behalf of the employee. The vesting period is immediate for all contributions
into the defined contribution plan.
Deferred Compensation Program website.
In summary, retirement funding is the same for both plans. The employer contributes
9%, above and beyond salary, into the employee’s account and the employee contributes, pre-tax monies, totaling 7%. This is a total of 16% being placed into the employees
retirement account for the future.
Optional Retirement Offering
Under current tax law you are permitted to put aside a portion of your gross income
and defer paying taxes on that income and the interest it earns until such a time
as you actually receive the funds (generally upon retirement). Higher education employees
who wish to set aside supplemental retirement savings may make salary reduction contributions
to a 403(b), 401(k), or 457 plan. Post-tax deductions can be made to the state's Roth
Enrollment in these programs is voluntary and the decision to participate resides
solely with each employee. Vendors for these plans are: TIAA-CREF, Valic and Voya.
ETSU does not endorse any specific plan and serves only as an intermediary to enable
employees to defer a portion of their pre-tax earning through a series of routinely
scheduled salary reductions.
Employees are offered several tax-deferred annuity plans to allow savings for retirement
on a tax-deferred basis. Contributions to these plans are made through regular payroll
deductions. Salary set aside through these plans cannot be withdrawn before the employee
is separated from service except under a few limited circumstances. Participants
in these plans are permitted to direct their contributions among a variety of investment
To participate, contact Jodi Epps at 439-6126 for a packet specific to your chosen
Retiring from ETSU
Retirement can be both a scary and exciting experience. The Office of Human Resources
is here to help you transition into retirement without the worry. After working the
majority of our lives, most people ask, “I’m ready to retire; where do I begin?” The
best place to begin your retirement journey is by contacting our office and scheduling
an appointment to discuss your benefits at least 4 months prior to your potential
last working day. This meeting will be for informational purposes only to assist
you in your decisions. Depending on which retirement plan you participate in and other
factors, we will make your transition into retirement as smooth as possible.
Retirement Planning On-Line Calculators
Retirees from ETSU enjoy many of the same benefits as employees. All covered employees
who meet the qualifications may continue medical insurance at retirement for themselves
and covered eligible dependents. Retirees may retain coverage until they are eligible
for Medicare. Covered eligible dependents under age 65 will be allowed to continue
coverage until age 65 or they become Medicare eligible. Retirees or covered dependents
who are eligible for Medicare will be eligible for a State Medicare Supplemental Plan
(Medigap). To learn more, please contact Human Resources at (423) 439-4457 to schedule
your confidential, informative meeting.
Additionally all retired employees and their spouses and spouses of deceased employees
are eligible for membership in the ETSU Retirees Association. Former employees with
five or more years of service at the university who are retired from other institutions
or businesses are also eligible for membership with their spouses.
ETSU Retirees Association website