Human ResourcesUniversity of CincinnatiHuman Resources HomeAdmin & Finance

Human Resources

Retirement Plans

The Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) is the retirement plan system available to staff. Eligible staff and librarians will be enrolled in OPERS unless they choose  the ARP.  Staff and librarians who are not eligible to enroll in the ARP will automatically be enrolled in OPERS.

The State Teachers Retirement System (STRS) is the retirement plan system available to faculty members. Eligible faculty will be enrolled in STRS unless they choose the ARP. Faculty who are not eligible to choose the ARP will automatically be enrolled in STRS.

The Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP) is available to any university employee (faculty or staff) whose appointment is 100% FTE.

The university also offers voluntary Supplemental Retirement Accounts (SRA) including a 403(b) tax deferred account and 457 deferred compensation accounts. 

Details about each plan are outlined below.

Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP)

Note: To return to your previous page, click the BACK ARROW on your browser.

The Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP) is an alternative to OPERS/STRS for eligible faculty and staff.  In order to be eligible to participate in the ARP, your appointment must be 100% FTE.  The ARP provides a retirement investment program but does not offer benefits after retirement like OPERS/STRS.

You will not contribute to Social Security while employed by UC.  You may have contributed to Social Security prior to working for UC.  In this case, you should be aware of the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision.  Under the Windfall Elimination Provision, your Social Security retirement or disability benefit is figured using a modified formula when you are also entitled to a pension from a job where you did not pay Social Security tax. As a result, you will receive a lower Social Security benefit than if you were not entitled to a pension from this job. For example, if you are age 62 in 2005, the maximum monthly reduction in your Social Security benefit as a result of this provision is $313.50. This amount is updated annually. This provision reduces, but does not totally eliminate, your Social Security benefit. For additional information, please refer to the Social Security publication, “Windfall Elimination Provision.”  If you elect to contribute to the Alternative Retirement Plan, you will be impacted by the Windfall Elimination Provision as defined at this Social Security website.

Staff and librarians contribute 10% of their salary each pay period to the retirement plan, which is deducted on a pre-tax basis.  The university also contributes to the staff member's retirement plan, contributing 13.23% of his or her salary to the ARP and .77% to OPERS, as required to finance OPERS unfunded liabilities.

For the calendar year 2013, law enforcement employees will contribute 12.60 % of their salary each pay period to the retirement plan, which is deducted on a pre-tax basis.  Law enforcement employee contributions will increase to 13% beginning on January 1, 2014.   The university contributes17.33% to the law enforcement employee's retirement plan and contributes .77% to OPERS, as required to finance OPERS unfunded liabilities.

Beginning July 1, 2013, faculty will contribute 11% of their salary to the retirement plan.  (The employee contribution percentage will increase 1% per year until the amount reaches 14% in 2016.)  The university contributes 9.5% to the employee’s retirement plan, and contributes 4.5% to STRS to finance STRS unfunded liabilities.

Ohio Public Employees Retirement System [OPERS]

Note: To return to your previous page, click the BACK ARROW on your browser.

OPERS is the state retirement program for staff and librarians.

Staff contribute 10% of their salary each pay period to the retirement plan, which is deducted on a pre-tax basis. The university also contributes to the staff member's retirement plan based on 14% of his or her salary. Law enforcement employees contribute 12.60% of their salary each pay period to the retirement plan, which is deducted on a pre-tax basis.  The university contributes 18.10% to the law enforcement employee's retirement plan.

Ohio Revised Code Section 3305.6(d) allows OPERS to withhold a portion of the employer's contribution to offset any negative financial impact the OPERS Traditional Plan may experience by the offering of alternative retirement plan options.  More information is available at the OPERS site. 

If enrolling in OPERS, you have 180 days from your eligible appointment date to elect enrollment in one of the three OPERS plan options:

  • Traditional Pension Plan - Guaranteed pension plan where your retirement income depends on your age, years of service and final average salary.  This is the default plan.
  • Member-Directed Plan - Defined contribution plan that gives the employee the responsibility of making the investment decisions.
  • Combined Plan - This plan combines the Defined Benefit Plan option with the Defined Contribution Plan option.

OPERS Resources

State Teachers Retirement System [STRS]

Note: To return to your previous page, click the BACK ARROW on your browser.

STRS is the state retirement system for faculty.

Faculty contribute 10% of their salary to the retirement plan.  The university contributes 10.5% of the faculty member's salary to his or her retirement plan, and is required to contribute 3.5% of salary to STRS to finance unfunded liabilities.  More information is available at the STRS site.

If enrolling in STRS, you have 180 days from your eligible appointment date to elect enrollment in one of the three STRS plan options:

  • Traditional Pension Plan - Guaranteed pension plan where your retirement income depends on your age, years of service and final average salary.  This is the default plan.
  • Member-Directed Plan - Defined contribution plan that gives the employee the responsibility of making the investment decisions.
  • Combined Plan - This plan combines the Defined Benefit Plan option with the Defined Contribution Plan option.

STRS Resources

Supplemental Retirement Accounts (SRA)

Note: To return to your previous page, click the BACK ARROW on your browser.

You can enhance your retirement plan savings through voluntary contributions to a Supplemental Retirement Account (SRA).  You can voluntarily save additional pre-tax funds toward your retirement through the following programs.  The benefit is determined by your account balance and the payment option(s) you choose when you apply to receive benefits:

  • Deferred Compensation Program (DCP) - as allowed under Section 457 of the Internal Revenue Code
  • Tax-Deferred Accounts (TDA) - as allowed under sections 403(b) 403(b)7 of the Internal Revenue Code
SRA Resources