As a participant in ORPHE, you also are eligible for health, life and long-term care insurance, and educational or military leave. Also, you will be enrolled automatically in the Commonwealth of Virginia 457 Deferred Compensation Plan, which will allow you to further build retirement income.

Some of these benefits will continue into retirement. For more details, consult the Handbook for Participants in ORPHE Plan 1 and ORPHE Plan 2.

Deferred Compensation

As a participant in the ORPHE, you are eligible to supplement your retirement benefits by participating in the Commonwealth of Virginia 457 Deferred Compensation Plan and a 403(b) plan offered by your employer. If you enroll in one or both plans, you will receive one employer cash match per pay period equal to 50 percent of your contributions, not to exceed $20 per pay period. Saving through these tax-deferred plans allows you to maximize your retirement income. The Commonwealth of Virginia 457 Plan also offers after-tax Roth deferrals. Contributions are separate from ORPHE contributions, and you decide how to invest your money from a separate list of investment options.

As a new or rehired ORPHE participant, you will be enrolled automatically in the 457 Plan, unless you actively contribute to your employer's 403(b) plan. A pre-tax salary reduction of $20 per pay period, along with an employer cash match of $10 per pay period, will begin approximately 90 days from your hire date. You can enroll sooner online at www.varetire.org/457, or call 1-877-327-5261. You can also change your contribution amount at any time.

Health Insurance

You are eligible to enroll in the state health insurance program upon employment. The program is administered by the Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM) and offers several plan options for you and select family members.

Basic Group Life Insurance

Generally, you are covered under the Basic Group Life Insurance Program upon employment. Your employer may pay your portion of the premiums.

Optional Group Life Insurance Benefit

You may purchase additional coverage for yourself through the Optional Group Life Insurance Program. You will pay the premiums through payroll deduction. If you elect this coverage, you also may cover a spouse or dependent children. Optional group life insurance provides benefits for natural and accidental death or dismemberment.

Insurance in Retirement

As a retired member of VRS, you may be eligible for the following insurance programs:

  • Basic Group Life Insurance | View Eligibilty
  • Optional Group Life Insurance
  • Health Insurance Credit | View Eligibilty
  • State Retiree Health Benefits Program
  • Commonwealth of Virginia Voluntary Group Long-Term Care Insurance Program
  • Handbook for Participants in ORPHE Plan 1 and ORPHE Plan 2 Learn more about your plan, benefits and investments in the Optional Retirement Plan for Higher Education.

  • Choose the Plan and Provider That’s Right for You As a new college or university president, chancellor or faculty member engaged in teaching, administration or research, you have a choice in retirement planning.

  • State Health Benefits Program Enrollment Form for Retirees, Survivors and LTD Participants (T-20879)

  • Designation of Beneficiary (VRS-2)

  • Designation of Beneficiary - Continuation (VRS-2A)

  • Request for Transfer of Funds to ORP (VRS-3ORP)

  • Conversion of Group Life Insurance Enrollment (VRS-35E)

  • Request for Health Insurance Credit (VRS-45)

  • Notice of Return to Covered Employment Optional Retirement Plan Retiree (VRS-7ORP)

  • Election to Participate – Optional Retirement Plan for Higher Education (VRS-65)

  • Termination Certification Form – Optional Retirement Plan for Higher Education (VRS-65D)

  • Open Enrollment Provider Change (VRS-65P)

  • Optional/Alternative Retirement Plan Health Insurance Credit Employer Certification of Service (VRS-75)

  • VRS Durable Power of Attorney (VRS-901)