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Human Resources

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Retirement

At UHV, we adhere to state and federal regulations in the administration of insurance, retirement, leave, and workers' compensation benefits. As a public university in the State of Texas, we are committed to ensuring that all our retirement services comply with these guidelines.

We understand the significance of retirement planning and the importance of providing comprehensive and compliant benefits to our valued employees. Through diligent adherence to state and federal regulations, we strive to create a retirement program that offers financial security and peace of mind as you embark on this new chapter of your life.

Our dedicated team at Human Resources is well-versed in the intricacies of retirement planning and is here to guide you through the process. We are committed to providing accurate information, answering your questions, and assisting you in making informed decisions regarding your retirement benefits.

Additional Resources:

Teacher Retirement System

TRS is a defined-benefits plan, which provides three basic benefits to employees participating in the program: retirement benefits, disability benefits and survivor and death benefits based on length of service and salary level. Detailed descriptions of these benefits, including payment options, are available at www.trs.state.tx.us.

Contributions

The amount a member contributes is established by law; currently, the required member contribution rate is 8.0 percent of creditable compensation.  The state contribution rate is 7.75 percent. Your employer deducts the TRS member contribution from your salary on a pre-tax basis and forwards it directly to TRS. Member contributions are tax-deferred.

An employee who is an active member of TRS at another higher education institution or public school district must contribute to TRS the required percentage of UHS salary regardless of whether or not the UHS position is eligible for TRS membership. 

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Optional Retirement Program

The Optional Retirement Program (ORP) is a defined contribution plan that is available as an alternative to the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) for full-time faculty, librarians, and certain administrators and professionals employed by Texas public institutions of higher education. ORP-eligible employees have 90 days from their first day of employment in an ORP-eligible position to make a one-time irrevocable election of ORP in lieu of TRS.

New UHV benefits-eligible employees who have received the ORP option and elected ORP prior to their employment, will be required to participate in ORP. The overview below contains information you need to know before your 90-day ORP election period expires.

Voluntary Retirement Accounts

Employees have the opportunity to participate in two voluntary plans that adhere to the rules and regulations set by the Internal Revenue Service and the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA). These plans can be chosen independently or simultaneously, providing flexibility to suit individual preferences and financial goals.

It's important to note that these plans do not include any matching contributions from the university. They are designed to empower employees to take control of their financial future by making voluntary contributions according to their own circumstances and aspirations.

Tax Deferred Annuity Program

Employees have the option to allocate a portion of their salary towards tax-deferred plans. These contributions are directed to an approved company of the employee's choice and enjoy tax-sheltered status. A range of investment options is available, including fixed annuities, variable annuities, and mutual funds.

The minimum monthly contribution for these plans is $25.00, while the maximum amount is determined based on EGTRRA regulations and qualifications. Employees have the flexibility to adjust their monthly contribution amount (within the maximum limit), switch companies, or even cancel their participation. This can be done by submitting the required documentation.

It's important to note that Tax-Deferred Annuities (TDA) incur a 10% penalty tax on distributions made before reaching the age of 59 ½ unless an exception applies. For further information, please reach out to your Benefits Coordinator or consult an approved ORP/TDA vendor affiliated with UHS.

To enroll in or make changes to your Tax Deferred Annuity Program, simply login to the Retirement at Work portal. It provides a user-friendly platform to manage your contributions and stay informed about your retirement savings.

457 Deferred Compensation Program

Employees have the opportunity to enroll in the State of Texas 457 deferred compensation program, which is administered by Empower Retirement in accordance with the guidelines established by ERS (Employees Retirement System of Texas). This program offers various investment allocations, including money market funds, bond funds, index funds, value accounts, overseas funds, and growth funds. Employees can choose one or more funds as their investment option. The minimum monthly contribution is $20.00, and the maximum amount is determined based on EGTRRA regulations and qualifications.

Flexibility is provided to employees, as they can adjust their monthly contribution amount (within the maximum limit), change companies, or even cancel their participation at any time by submitting the required documentation. It's important to note that this 457 program does not impose a penalty tax on distributions at any age after the termination of employment.

Eunice Mesa, Manager, Talent Development

Social Security and Medicare

UHV is an active participant in Social Security and Medicare programs. As an employee, your contribution rate for Social Security/FICA is 6.2%, while the employer also contributes 6.2%. Under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA), which is a federal law, two distinct taxes are withheld from your earnings: the Social Security Tax and the Medicare Tax. The Social Security Tax is calculated at a rate of 6.2% of your wages, while the Medicare Tax is 1.45% of your wages. For more details, please visit ssa.gov.

Retirement at Work

The Retirement@Work online portal (R@W) simplifies the management of your retirement savings, excluding the Teachers Retirement System. This convenient platform consolidates information from all your investment providers, offering a comprehensive view of your retirement funds. If you are already participating in ORP or have an additional 403(b), the R@W portal enables you to review and adjust your contribution amount and investment options. It also provides helpful calculators and tools to assist you in planning for the retirement lifestyle you desire. If you're not currently an ORP participant but wish to save more for retirement, you can use the R@W portal to enroll in a 403(b) plan and start securing your future today. Download the Retirement@Work Guide. For issues logging in to R@W, please contact the UHV Help Desk at (361) 570-4399 or R@W Customer Service at (844) 567-9090.