Upon making the election to participate in VRS’ Optional Retirement Plan for Higher Education (ORPHE), participants must choose one of three providers: DCP, Fidelity Investments and TIAA. Open Enrollment provides participants with an annual opportunity to change providers effective the first payroll in the following calendar year.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the differences between investment providers?

You can use the ORPHE provider options chart to compare each provider’s services and plan features.

How can learn more about investment performance and fees?

For more information, refer to Performance & Fees.

How do I change my provider?

If you want to make a change during Open Enrollment, log into or create your account in myVRS. The change of provider you make will be effective for ORPHE contributions that your employer sends to the provider on your behalf on or after January 1.

What happens to my existing investments?

Selecting a new provider does not impact your account balance with your current provider. If you would like to transfer your balance to your new provider, you may do so at any time. Contact your current provider and ask for a plan-to-plan transfer form. After completing the form, you should fax it to VRS at 804-786-1541. Please email orphe@varetire.org for assistance.

No action is required for participants who do not wish to make any changes to their current provider.

Can I choose to transfer my existing funds from one provider to another?

Yes. This is called a plan-to-plan transfer. Plan-to-plan transfers are permitted, subject to any fund-specific trading restrictions or short-term trading redemption fees. Check with the provider regarding any restrictions or fees.

Is my ORPHE account portable if I move to an employer covered under a different plan?

Yes. As required by Internal Revenue Code regulations, assets are always portable once a participant separates employment and becomes eligible for a distribution.

Assets may be rolled over to a new employer's plan or to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA).

If a new employer offers the same provider, the plan is administered under the new employer's contract with the provider. The same investment options may not be available.

  • 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)

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

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

  • VRS Durable Power of Attorney (VRS-901)