If You are Retired under the ORPHE

If you are retired under the Optional Retirement Plan for Higher Education (ORPHE) Plan 1 or Plan 2 and return to a faculty position at another Virginia public institution of higher education without a bona fide break in service .

, you will remain covered under the ORPHE or the optional retirement plan offered by the institution. If you have a bona fide break in service, you may continue in the ORPHE or elect the VRS defined benefit plan . Periods of leave with or without pay, including educational leave and sabbaticals, as well as summer breaks and intersession periods do not count toward satisfying the break in service.

Your ORPHE distributions will stop if you return to VRS- or ORP-covered employment , unless you elected to purchase an annuity with your ORPHE account balance. In this case, your annuity payments will continue even if you return to covered employment.

If You are Retired under the VRS Defined Benefit Plan

If you are retired under the VRS defined benefit and return to a permanent, salaried full-time or part-time faculty position, you may continue in the defined benefit under Plan 1 or Plan 2, according to the plan under which you retired, or you may elect the ORPHE. You are not required to have a break in service to be eligible for this election.

If You Return to a Non-Faculty Position

If you return to a non-faculty position covered under VRS or to the State Police Officers' Retirement System (SPORS), the Virginia Law Officers' Retirement System (VaLORS) or the Judicial Retirement System (JRS), you will come under the provisions of the defined benefit plan for retirement and other benefits. If you are retired under the ORPHE and return to a non-faculty covered position, you will not be eligible to take a distribution from your ORPHE account while you are employed. However, you can continue to manage your investments.

For more information about the VRS defined benefit plans, see Member Handbooks and Guides.

 Alert: In-person counseling appointments are temporarily suspended. Please call 888-827-3847 for a phone or virtual counseling appointment.

One-on-One
Member Counseling

Meet with a counselor about:
Retirement options
Applying for retirement
Retiree benefits

Call VRS toll-free at 1-888-827-3847 for information.