Retirement Plans

Faculty Retirement Plans

Virginia Retirement System (VRS)

Membership in the Virginia Retirement System is a condition of employment for eligible employees of participating employers. All full-time, salaried employees of the following entities are eligible for membership in the Virginia Retirement System:

  • Commonwealth of Virginia: (Classified, part-time employees of the
    Commonwealth are also eligible for membership in the Virginia Retirement
  • Any participating Virginia city, county, town or political subdivision; and Instructional, clerical and administrative employees of local Virginia school

Eligible employees become members as soon as they begin work, as a condition of employment. Some employers require a probationary period during which there is no coverage.


VRS members are eligible for full retirement benefits at age 65 with at least five years of service or at age 50 with at least 30 years of service (this applies to state employees, teachers and most political subdivision employees). Some political subdivisions have elected not to provide unreduced retirement benefits to employees who retire at age 50 with 30 years of service. If the political subdivision did not elect to allow their employees to retire at age 50 with at least 30 years of service, the earliest the member may retire with a full unreduced benefit is age 55 with 30 or more years of service or age 60 with at least 30 years of service, or after age 55 when the sum of the member's age and service is 90.

Members may retire as early as age 55 with at least 5 years of creditable service or as early as age 50 with at least 10 Calculation years of service.


The amount of the retirement benefit under VRS is 1.7 percent of average final compensation multiplied by years of service credit, with a reduction factor applied for early retirement.

Optional Retirement Plans (ORP)

As an alternative to the Virginia Retirement System, the Commonwealth of Virginia and Old Dominion University offer full-time faculty members a choice of two optional retirement ORP plans. ORPs are defined contribution plans. Old Dominion University contributes 8.5 percent of the contract salary. Faculty must contribute 5% of their salary for a total amount contribution of 13.5% Faculty determines how the contribution is to be invested. Disability retirement is not provided. Faculty member are vested with the first contribution. Optional retirement plans available are Fidelity Investment and TIAA/CREF (Plans are immediately vested and portable and may be transferred to other colleges and universities outside of Virginia.