Employees under the age of 60 must participate in a basic retirement plan through the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia. Columbus State University requires all employees to participate in the state-mandated plans. The mandatory contribution is 6% of your pre-tax gross salary. Staff participate in the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia, but faculty and core administrators may choose Teachers Retirement System of Georgia or the Optional Retirement Plan.
Teachers Retirement System of Georgia (TRS)
The basic retirement program is offered through the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia (TRSGA). It is a "defined benefit" plan (a pension-type program). Normal retirement age for the TRSGA benefits is 60 with at least 10 years of service. If you have at least 30 years of service, you can retire regardless of age. Reduced benefits are available if you have at least 25 years of service and opt to take "early retirement."
The actual benefit amount you will receive when you retire depends on a formula that takes into account your total years of service and your years of highest average salary.
To help administer the TRSGA program and to fund its benefits, the university also contributes on your behalf. Effective July 2017, the university's contribution represents 16.81% of each participant's salary. There is currently a 10-year vesting schedule, meaning that once you have 10 years of creditable services in the TRSGA system, you are eligible for a retirement benefit once you reach age 60.
Optional Retirement Plan (ORP)
Faculty and certain administrators may elect to participate in an Optional Retirement Plan (ORP). The ORP is a "defined contribution" plan. Again, the individual makes a 6% mandatory contribution. The university also makes a contribution of 9.24% directly toward the individual's ORP account. There is full and immediate vesting of all contributions to an individual's ORP account.
The resources contributed to your ORP can be invested through your choice of four investment companies:
- AIG VALIC
- Fidelity Investments
- Teacher's Insurance & Annuity Association-College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA_CREF)
Each company offers several investment options. You may change your company allocations once a quarter, at the beginning of each quarter.
CSU Supplemental Retirement Savings Plans 403(b) and 457(b)
Columbus State University provides employees the opportunity to save for your future in a 403(b) and/or a 457(b) tax-sheltered savings program. These retirement plans are available to employees of public educational institutions and certain nonprofit organizations, allowing employees to make pretax contributions through payroll deduction. Both tax sheltered retirement plans are meant to encourage employees to save for their future in a long term retirement savings. The income tax is paid at withdrawal when you may be in a lower tax bracket. However, if withdrawn before age 59½ you might be subject to federal restrictions and a 10% penalty for early withdrawal.
Why participate in a tax sheltered annuity retirement savings plan through CSU?
- One advantage is lower taxes – you contribute before taxes are calculated lowering your taxable income.
- Another advantage is tax-deferred growth and compounding interest – the difference you would have paid in taxes earns interest plus that interest earns interest, compounding even more.
- Saving for retirement is at your control – to contribute to a 403(b) & 457(b) retirement is totally up to your discretion. You start at anytime, increase or decrease your deduction at anytime as your situation permits.
Columbus State University offers personal tax sheltered retirement savings from three different vendors for your convenience:
For more information regarding tax sheltered annuities, please contact your benefits personnel in Human Resources
Georgia Defined Contribution Plan
The Georgia Defined Contribution Plan (GDCP) was created by the 1992 Georgia Legislature, Act 996, effective July 1, 1992. The purpose of the law is to provide a retirement system for temporary, seasonal and part-time (less than 50%) employees of the state of Georgia who are not eligible for membership in the Employees' Retirement System, the Teachers Retirement System or the Optional Retirement Plan at one of the University System of Georgia's colleges or universities.
Temporary and part-time employees contribute 7.5% of their wages to the Georgia Defined Contribution Plan, which is the state equivalent of Social Security.
Retirees' Benefits, Privileges
Welcome to our extended family of CSU retirees! As a retiree, you will be able to stay in touch with CSU and retain certain benefits and privileges, including :
- Health and dental Insurance ( if carried prior to retirement)
- Basic life insurance - $25,000 (or the amount carried prior to retirement)
- Supplemental life - (if carried prior to retirement)
- Dependent life - $5,000 (if carried prior to retirement)
- American Family Life Assurance (Aflac) - Intensive Care, Cancer Care Insurance (if carried prior retirement)
Planning Your Retirement!
For information about the above, call the Human Resources Office at (706) 507-8920.
Other retiree benefits which can be accessed through use of your CSU ID card include:
- Library privileges
- Athletic events
- Campus parking permit
- Fine arts performance discount tickets
- Recreation Center