Today retirement can signal the beginning of a new life. But how you spend your retirement years and how well you prepare from them are up to you. According to state and federal laws, employees of the LSU System must participate in a retirement plan. To assist you in reviewing your plan options, below is a list of retirement plans available to the different employee classifications:
If you are a classified, civil service employee with an appointment of greater than 50% of full-time effort (more than 20 hours per week) AND appointed for a duration of greater than two years, your retirement options are:
|• Louisiana State Employees’ Retirement System (LASERS)|
NOTE: Depending upon your age, you may have additional retirement plan options. For more information see the “Eligibility” section under the LASERS information.
If you are a classified, civil service employee with an appointment of 50% of full-time effort or less (20 hours or less per week) OR appointed for a duration of two years or less, your retirement options are:
|• Social Security|
• Louisiana Deferred Compensation Plan (DCCL)
If you are a faculty member* with an appointment of 50% of full-time effort or greater OR an unclassified staff member** with an appointment of 51% of full-time effort or greater (more than 20 hours per week) AND appointed for a duration of greater than two years, your retirement options are:
|• Teacher’s Retirement System of Louisiana (TRSL)|
• Optional Retirement Plan (ORP)
If you are a faculty member* with an appointment of less than 50% of full-time effort OR an unclassified staff member with an appointment of less than 51% of full-time effort (20 hours or less per week) OR appointed for a duration of two years or less, your retirement options are:
|• Optional Retirement Plan (ORP)|
• Social Security
• Louisiana Deferred Compensation Plan (DCCL)
*Faculty Member: instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, professor or librarian
**Staff Member: administrative officer, professional staff, teaching associate, research associate, library associate or coordinator
Participation in Social Security
With few exceptions, the State of Louisiana does not participate in the Social Security program. If you are enrolled in a Louisiana State retirement plan (TRSL, LASERS, ORP, DCCL), you do not pay Social Security tax; however, if you were hired after April 1, 1986, you are required to pay the Medicare portion of the FICA tax (1.45% of your salary).
Employees on Visas
According to state and federal laws, as an employee of the LSU System, you must participate in a retirement plan. However, LSU System employees on a J or F Visa are not eligible to participate in a retirement plan unless “substantial presence” has been met. Under the Internal Revenue Service Code, the Substantial Presence Test (SPT) is used to determine “tax residency” of an international person. The test is a mathematical test based on the individual’s visa status and number of days present in the United States. Once an international person meets the Substantial Presence Test, he/she is subject to the same tax laws as a United States citizen. For more information on the SPT, refer to IRS publication 519 “US Tax Guide for Aliens.”
If substantial presence is met, an employee may choose between Social Security and Louisiana Deferred Compensation Retirement Plan. You will be notified by your Benefits Representative when you have reached substantial presence and when your retirement election is due.
2013-2014 TRSL and ORP Employer Contribution Rates
The Public Retirement Systems’ Actuarial Committee (PRSAC) met March 7 and adopted the Fiscal Year 2011-2012 TRSL actuarial valuation report, which included employer contribution rates for all TRSL sub-plans for Fiscal Year 2013-2014. Act 716 of 2012 established TRSL sub-plans for which employer contribution rates must be individually calculated. FY 2013-2014 employer contributions at the established rates below will begin July 1, 2013. Click here to view the newly established rates and further information regarding this change.
TRSL Online Training Sessions
Learn about your TRSL benefits without having to leave your home or office! TRSL is offering an extensive list of online training sessions on several topics in the upcoming months. You can view the presentation online while listening to it through your computer speakers or over the phone. Sessions begin at 4 p.m. and last about 30 minutes. Please be advised that early registration is suggested since webinar participation space is limited and fills up fast. Below is the information for the upcoming sessions being offered by TRSL:
March 28 I’ve completed DROP. What's Next?
April 18 Return-to-work
May 2 Government Pension Offset and Windfall Elimination Provision (GPO/WEP)
May 9 TRSL vs. ORP
June 20 Legislative Wrap-Up
August 22 Cash Balance Plan
Register today! You can register for these webinars online through the following link TRSL Workshop Registration. Enter the required information and select the appropriate workshop from the drop-down menu. You will receive a confirmation message once you submit your registration. TRSL will send a reminder email the Friday prior to the workshop with instructions on entering the online session.
For additional information, please contact TRSL by email at email@example.com or by phone at 225-925-6446.
Nearing Retirement? Get one-on-one counseling from TRSL
TRSL offers individual retirement counseling sessions to members who are within two years of retirement or entering DROP. Individual counseling is conducted over the phone one Friday each month during the school year. An estimate of benefits will be prepared and mailed to you in advance of the phone counseling. A TRSL retirement education representative will then call you on the appointed date and time to answer your retirement questions for a 30-minute period.
Individual counseling sessions will be held on the following dates:
March 22, April 19 *, May 10
*For members in DROP or working after DROP.
Please call early to reserve an appointment on the date of your choice! Appointments are scheduled by phone on a first-come, first-served basis. Please call 225-925-6446, ext. 2822, in Baton Rouge or toll free outside the Baton Rouge calling area, 1-877-275-8775, ext. 2822, to reserve your spot.