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There are two phases to retirement: saving and retiring. If you are ready to retire, click here. If you are in the planning stages, Portland State University employees have several retirement plan options. Two pension plans and two voluntary retirement savings plans offer a broad range of choices to work toward a comfortable retirement. The following is a quick synopsis of the choices available to you.

Voluntary Retirement Savings Plans

Two voluntary retirement savings plans offer a way to increase your retirement income through regular, planned investing. You determine how much to save each month, and your contributions are made to your account through payroll deduction. Using these plans will not reduce your retirement benefits or eligibility for PERS (Public Employees Retirement System), the ORP (Optional Retirement Plan), Social Security, or Medicare. You supplement your retirement benefits through a simple workplace savings plan. 

Who is eligible for the Voluntary Retirement Savings Plans: All Classified and Unclassified Oregon Public University (OPU) employees may set up participation in these plans as early as the first month of work, or at anytime after that.

TDI (Tax-Deferred Investment 403(b) Plan) is exclusively for OPU employees to supplement other retirement pensions and/or savings. TDI savings offer tax advantages, either as pre-tax investments or as post-tax Roth accounts. TDI participants may choose mutual fund and annuity investment programs, and participants manage their accounts with education and retirement planning services provided by TIAA-CREF and Fidelity Investments. For more information on plans, enrollment or advice see our TDI information page or the OPU TDI Guide. Depending on the investment choice you make, contact information is shown here for each of the vendors.

Company Web Contact
Fidelity Investments 800.343.0860
TIAA-CREF 800.842.2888


*The 403(b) salary reduction agreement form can be found here.


OSGP (Oregon Savings Growth Plan) is offered to Oregon public employees by PERS. The Oregon Investment Council manages a selection of investments on behalf of participants in the plan. An OPU employee may select the OSGP, the TDI, or both plans. To enroll and/or learn more about this plan, visit the PERS website regarding OSGP. You may also call 503.378.3730.

Pension Plans


Two pension plans are available to eligible employees after six full months of employment in a qualifying position. Classified employees are automatically enrolled in a defined benefit pension plan plus an individual account through the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System (PERS/OPSRP). Unclassified employees must make a one-time, irrevocable election into the PERS/OPSRP Plan or elect the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) which offers a variety of annuity and mutual fund investment choices. Funded from employee and employer contributions, the University fully pays the employer contribution for all employees who qualify and pays the employee contribution on behalf of most employees. Adjunct employees represented by Portland State University Faculty Association, Local 3571, American Federation of Teachers (AFT) pay the employee contribution of 6% of their gross pay from the time that they qualify. 

Who is eligible for a pension plan: If you work 600 hours or more in a calendar year, you are eligible to participate in a pension plan offered through Portland State University. You are eligible to enroll in one of these plans six full months after you begin working. 

PERS (Public Employees Retirement System) offers Classified and Unclassified employees a defined benefit pension plus an individual account. Pension benefits are based on your date of hire, years of service, and earnings. You also accumulate assets in an individual account (IAP) that is invested for you by PERS. Pension benefits are generally available when you reach normal retirement age. You'll find more information at the PERS website. Additionally, you can access member counseling by calling 503.598.7377 or 888.320.7377 toll free. 

ORP Notice for Out of State Employees

ORP (Optional Retirement Plan) is a defined contribution alternative to PERS offered by Oregon Public Universities for Unclassified employees whose career mobility may take them outside Oregon and to other employers. The choice made between PERS (OPSRP) and the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) is irrevocable. ORP participants select mutual funds and annuities for their investments, and participants manage their accounts with education and retirement planning services provided by Fidelity Investments and TIAA-CREF. A vested participant's account is portable to another employer's plan or may remain invested in the ORP if she/he leaves the Oregon Public Universities system (OPU). For more ORP information, click here.

Enrollment in PERS(OPSRP) or ORP Classified employees will be automatically enrolled in PERS or OPSRP depending on eligibility, based on their original date of hire and any break-in-service.

Unclassified employees will receive enrollment information from their campus benefits office before it is time to make their irrevocable choice between PERS (OPSRP) or ORP. To help an Unclassified employee make the irrevocable choice between the two pension plans, they should review the Oregon Public Universities website for a detailed comparison of plan provisions including investments, loans, vesting, retirement age, distributions and more. For more ORP information, click here.

In addition, PSU’s Benefits department offers a presentation and discussion once a month at noon to help unclassified faculty and staff make their irrevocable choice. Please contact human resources at 503.725.4926 to make a reservation.

PERS Education and Retirement Planning

Retirement Plan Management Newsletters

Revised 8/7/17