Optional Retirement Plan

Faculty and staff can save more for retirement through the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP), a 403(b) voluntary retirement savings plan. This plan offers pre-tax and Roth contributions to help you save more for retirement in addition to either the Minnesota State Retirement System (MSRS) or the Faculty Retirement Plan that you're already enrolled in at the University.

Access Your Retirement Plan

Sign In to NetBenefits®

On Fidelity’s NetBenefits site, you can:

  • Enroll in the ORP
  • Choose how much you contribute
  • Make investment changes
  • Find fund performance information
  • Request a distribution or withdrawal if eligible

Frequently Asked Questions

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Who can participate?

All faculty and staff members who are paid on a continuous basis are eligible to participate in the ORP. You can begin contributing at any time.

How do I make contributions?

The ORP allows you to make pre-tax and Roth contributions, which are after-tax contributions. The Roth contribution option was added as part of the transition to Fidelity. The University contributes to the Minnesota State Retirement System (MSRS) or the Faculty Retirement Plan and does not contribute to the ORP.

Any contribution changes you make with Fidelity will take one to two payroll periods to affect your paycheck.

Enrollment or contribution rate changes made on the last day by 5:00 p.m. CT will be processed according to the above schedule. Changes made after 5:00 p.m. CT may be included but may be effective on the next pay date.

When will contributions be posted to my Fidelity account?

Contributions will be posted to your Fidelity account on pay dates.

In rare cases, contributions may be posted to Fidelity one to two days after a pay day. This may be due to holidays, system outages, or manual payroll adjustments that need to be made before the University sends the wire to Fidelity.

How much can I contribute?

  • You can contribute up to 100% of your reduced salary or $23,000 for 2024—whichever figure is smaller. (Your "reduced salary" is your salary amount after your required primary retirement plan contribution is made.) 
  • If you are age 50 or older, you can contribute an additional amount to the plan. For 2024, that contribution can be up to $7,500. 

Can I roll over other retirement savings accounts?

You can roll over funds from a previous employer’s qualified retirement plan or funds from previous ORP vendors. When you roll money over to the ORP, you do not pay taxes and your money continues to grow tax-deferred.

The process to roll funds over will depend on your previous retirement vendor. 

You will be able to roll over eligible pretax and after-tax contributions from another workplace savings plan account or eligible pretax contributions from conduit IRAs.

When can I make a withdrawal or distribution?

For the most part, funds may not be withdrawn before your retirement or termination of employment. The Internal Revenue Service restricts when funds may be paid from your account. Please note that IRS rules are subject to change. You may withdraw your money only under these circumstances:

  • Upon termination of employment or retirement from the University
  • Attaining the age of 59½
  • When you encounter a severe financial hardship, such as the foreclosure on your home, purchase of a primary residence, college expenses for a child, significant out-of-pocket medical expenses, damage to your principal residence, or funeral expenses.
  • You are required to make payment to a former spouse, according to the provisions of a Qualified Domestic Relations Order
  • You become totally disabled
  • Death

Hardship withdrawals are subject to a 10% penalty tax unless they are for out-of-pocket medical expenses totaling more than 7.5% of your adjusted gross income.