Department of Management Services
State University System Optional Retirement Program
The State University System Optional Retirement Program (SUSORP) became effective July 1, 1984, for eligible State University faculty and administrators. The program was expanded in 1988 to include the State University System Executive Service and in 1999 to include administrative and professional staff not covered by Career Service. The program was created to offer more portability to the employees being recruited by the State University System who did not expect to work the ten years required to vest in the Florida Retirement System (FRS) Pension Plan. Retirees of a state-administered retirement system who are initially reemployed on or after July 1, 2010, are not eligible for renewed membership.
The SUSORP is a 403(b), Internal Revenue Code, qualified defined contribution plan that provides full and immediate vesting of all contributions submitted to the participating companies on behalf of the member.
|SUSORP Optional Membership|
Employees who fill SUSORP-eligible positions participate in the Optional Retirement Program during the first 90 days of employment. The employee must execute the enrollment form (ORP-16) choosing SUSORP membership and establish an account with a provider company during that 90-day period. If they do not, the employee will be defaulted to FRS membership unless they fill a mandatory ORP position as explained below.
|SUSORP Mandatory Membership|
Employees filling certain positions are mandatory members of the SUSORP. Section 121.051(1)(a), Florida Statutes, states that any person appointed on or after July 1, 1989, to a faculty position in a college at the J. Hillis Miller Health Center at the University of Florida or the Medical Center at the University of South Florida which has a faculty practice plan adopted by rule by the Board of Regents may not participate in the Florida Retirement System. Effective July 1, 2008, any person appointed to a faculty position, including clinical faculty, in a college at a state university that has a faculty practice plan authorized by the Board of Governors may not participate in the Florida Retirement System. A faculty member so appointed shall participate in the optional retirement program for the State University System notwithstanding section 121.35(2)(a). Section 121.35(4)(a)5., states in part, “The payment of the contributions, including contributions by the employee, shall be made by the employer to the department, which shall forward the contributions to the designated company or companies contracting for payment of benefits for members of the program. However, such contributions paid on behalf of an employee described in paragraph (3)(c) may not be forwarded to a company and do not begin to accrue interest until the employee has executed a contract and notified the department."
It is very important that mandatory SUSORP members complete and submit the enrollment form, ORP-16, and provider contract as soon as possible after they are employed. Without the enrollment form and completed provider contract, contributions paid on the member’s behalf may not be forwarded to a provider company and contributions do not begin to accrue interest. Please see the Frequently Asked Questions below.
The SUSORP provides retirement and death benefits through investment contracts with designated provider companies. The employing university contributes on behalf of the member a percentage of the member's salary as required by law. As of July 1, 2012, this contribution rate is 5.15 percent of the member's salary. A portion remains in the Optional Retirement Program Trust Fund for program administrative costs. The remaining contribution (5.14 percent) is invested with the company or companies selected by the member to create a fund to provide benefits for the employee at retirement. In addition, effective July 1, 2011, each member is required to contribute 3 percent of compensation. The member may also contribute by salary reduction a voluntary amount not to exceed the 5.14 percent contributed by the university to the member's account. As of June 30, 2013, there were 17,780 members in the SUSORP.
The five approved provider companies among which participants must invest their SUSORP funds are:
- VALIC Retirement - VALIC Retirement is the marketing name for the group of companies comprising VALIC Retirement Advisors, Inc.; VALIC Retirement Services Company; and The Variable Annuity Life Insurance Company; each of which is a subsidiary of American International Group, Inc.
- ING - For SUSORP Help, the toll free number is 800-525-4225
- Jefferson National Life Insurance Company
- MetLife Investors USA Insurance Company
- TIAA-CREF - Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association - College Retirement Equities Fund
These companies are required to provide reports to the participants each quarter.
|Frequently Asked Questions|
Why must I complete an enrollment form?
The enrollment form provides the Division of Retirement with guidance regarding the contribution amount and company(ies) to which you want the contributions sent. Without this information, the division cannot forward your contributions.
Why must I also complete a contract with a SUSORP provider company?
Each provider company offers a number of investment products. The provider contract tells the company which product(s) you have chosen for your investments. Without a provider contact, the company must return the funds to the Division of Retirement.
How often do I need to complete an enrollment form and provider company form?
The enrollment form (ORP-16) is completed when you are first employed. An ORP-16A form must be completed when you make any changes to the vendor designation or contribution rate. The provider contract is completed once unless you choose to redirect contributions to other products in the future.
If I have an account from a previous employment, why must I complete a new contract?
Funds under the SUSORP must be maintained and tracked by the provider companies separately from other 403(b) contributions.
What do I do after I complete the form?
You need to submit the enrollment form (ORP-16) to your human resource office. They will complete the employer portion of the form and update your university records with this information. Your human resource office will forward the completed form to the Division of Retirement for processing.
|SUSORP Publications, Forms, and Other Information|
- SUSORP Products, Fees, Returns and Company Information
- State University System SUSORP - Eligible Employees Brochure - Comparison of the three plans available to eligible State University System employees: FRS Pension Plan, FRS Investment Plan, and the SUSORP
- Written plan for the SUSORP (Word ¦ PDF)
- General Provisions of the SUSORP
- SUSORP and FRS Comparison
- Section 121.35, Florida Statutes; Section 121.355, Florida Statutes
- History of SUSORP Contribution Rates
|Form ID||Form Description|
|ORP-2A||Retirement Conversion Form for SUSORP|
|ORP-16||Retirement Plan Choice Form for SUSORP-Eligible Employees|
|ORP-16A||Change Form for Participants of SUSORP|
|ORP-ETF||Supplemental Statement for Distributions for SUSORP (This form must be completed and submitted to the Division of Retirement per section 60U-1.006, Florida Administrative Code)|
SUSORP Enrollment - Determine participant eligibility, enroll participants and establish provider company selections, coordinate positions being included in ORP, serve as a liaison with universities.
Toll Free: 877-377-3675
Stephen Bardin, Benefits Administrator - firstname.lastname@example.org
Company Product Information SUSORP - Accumulate, balance, and transmit contributions for biweekly payroll amounts, adjust contributions, and serve as a liaison with provider companies and the State Board of Administration.
Toll Free: 877-378-7677
Robert Henning, Benefits Administrator - email@example.com
Sally Howard, Benefits Specialist - firstname.lastname@example.org