- Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS)
901.496.2741 or 1.800.262.3862
Representative: Calvin Reid
(For immediate assistance with general inquires contact the TIAA National Contact Center)
(To schedule a meeting with a TIAA Field Support Team member)
Employees who are eligible to participate in the ORP but who elected to participate in TCRS may make a one-time election to transfer membership from TCRS to the ORP. Members are advised to obtain a TCRS benefit estimate before making a decision to transfer.
Employees who participate in the ORP generally may not transfer membership to TCRS, however beginning in 2005, ORP members obtaining 5 years of service will have a one-time transfer option to TCRS.
- All full and part-time employees (faculty and staff)
- Non-US citizens on F-1 or J-1 visas are not eligible for retirement membership
- Exempt employees are eligible for both TCRS and ORP
- Non-exempt paid employees are eligible for TCRS only
For full time employees, participation in a State of TN retirement plan is mandatory. There are two programs offered based on the hire date of the employee.
For employees hired prior to July 1, 2014:
Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS): Employees who are members of the TCRS are eligible to retire at age 60 or upon completion of 30 years of service, regardless of age. A member with 5 years of service may retire at age 55 with reduced benefits. There is also a disability benefit.
Optional Retirement Program (ORP): The ORP is authorized by the State's statutes on retirement. The University contributes an amount equal to up to 10% of the employee's monthly compensation up to the social security wage base and 11% of compensation above the social security wage base. The employee cannot make contributions to the ORP. Employees may choose from two companies, VOYA and TIAA, in which to invest these retirement contributions. Employees who participate in the ORP may direct employer contributions made on their behalf to one or more of the companies designated to provide annuity contracts under the State of Tennessee's ORP. Once funds are on deposit with a designated company, the participant may move those funds among the different investment accounts offered under the company's annuity contract, subject to the restrictions of the contract. The participant may authorize such internal transfers by telephone directly with the company.
For employees hired on or after July 1, 2014:
Hybrid Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS): Hybrid TN Consolidated Retirement System is a combination of a defined benefit plan and a defined contribution plan. The defined benefit portion is managed by TCRS and benefits are defined according to length of service and salary. The defined contribution assets will be deposited into the State's 401(k) plan. Contributions are both employee and employer paid.
- Defined benefit contributions:
- Employee contributes 5% of gross salary
- Employer contributes 3.87% of gross salary
- Defined contribution (the State's 401(k) plan):
- Employee contributes 2% of gross salary (with opt-out feature)
- Employer contributes 5% of gross salary
- 5 year vesting for defined benefit portion
- Defined benefit retirement benefit is based on years of service and average salary
- Disability benefit available if vested
- May apply additional service credit for sick leave accruals and military leave. Employees who are members of the TCRS are eligible to retire at age 60 or upon completion of 30 years of service, regardless of age. A member with 5 years of service may retire at age 55 with reduced benefits. There is also a disability benefit.
Optional Retirement Program (ORP): Optional Retirement Program is a defined contribution plan. Employees who participate in the ORP may direct contributions to one or both of the two vendors designated under the State's ORP. These companies are VOYA and TIAA. Auto-enrollment into the State's 401(k) is included with this plan. Contributions are both employee and employer paid. The employee contributes 5% of gross salary, and the employer contributes 9% of gross salary, with an automatic enrollment into the State's 401(k) with employee contribution at 2% (with an opt-out feature).
There is a maximum salary cap for the percentages of state contributions to TCRS/ORP. As of 2022, this cap is for salaries of $305,000 and above and may change in the future.