Three retirement programs are available to most administrative staff and faculty members:
- New York State Employees’ Retirement System (ERS)
- New York State Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS)
- SUNY Optional Retirement Program (ORP).
All employees are eligible for ERS or the ORP. Employees in the titles of President, Vice President, Dean, Associate Dean, Assistant Dean, and teaching faculty are also eligible for TRS.
Full-time employees must join a retirement program. Election must be made within the first 30 days of employment and, once made, may not be changed. If you do not select a retirement plan within 30 days of employment, you will automatically be placed in the New York State Employees’ Retirement System (ERS).
Part-time employees are not required to join a retirement program, but may do so if they wish. Part-time employees may join a retirement program at any time.
Once an employee elects to join a particular retirement program they may not withdraw their membership as long as they remain employed, and they may not switch from one program to another, unless they move from a position where they were ineligible to join TRS to an eligible position.
Persons joining any retirement program on or after July 27, 1976 are required to contribute 3% of salary. This is deducted prior to the computation of federal taxes. Members or ERS and TRS will only have to contribute for the first 10 years of membership. Under Internal Revenue Service regulations, employer and employee contributions may only be made on the first $205,000 of salary.
ERS and TRS are defined benefit retirement programs. The benefits calculation takes into account your final average salary (the average of your highest three consecutive years), your number of years of service, and your age at retirement. Benefits vary by tier. Your date of membership in ERS or TRS determines your tier level:
- Tier 1 membership prior to July 1, 1973
- Tier 2 July 1, 1973 - July 26, 1976
- Tier 3 July 27, 1976 - August 31, 1983
- Tier 4 September 1, 1983 and after
The ORP is a defined contribution retirement program. Benefits are determined by the amount contributed each year and the success of the investments. The amount of the College’s contribution is determined by your tier, which is based on your date of membership in the ORP:
|Tier 1||membership prior to July 1, 1973||12% of the first $16,500 of salary per calendar year, and 15% of all salary above $16,500|
|Tier 2||July 1, 1973 - July 26, 1976||12% of the first $16,500 of salary per calendar year, and 15% of all salary above $16,500|
|Tier 3||July 27, 1976 - August 31, 1983||9% of the first $16,500 of salary per calendar year and 12% of all salary above $16,500|
|Tier 4||September 1, 1983 - July 16, 1992||9% of the first $16,500 of salary per calendar year and 12% of all salary above $16,500|
|Tier 4a||July 17, 1992 and after||8% of salary for the first seven years of service, and 10% thereafter|
The following is a list of the ORP companies available at Tompkins Cortland Community College: