Teacher’s Retirement System of Louisiana (TRSL)

The Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana (TRSL), offers you a choice of a defined benefit plan or a defined contribution plan.

The defined benefit plan, referred to as “TRSL”, is a plan you, as an employee, and the LSU System make contributions into a pool of funds from which you receive a retirement income based on a benefit formula.  The amount of benefit is determined by the years of service and the average salary for the 36 highest successive months of earnings (see the sample calculation). The compensation amount for employees hired on or after January 1, 2011, is calculated by the years of service and the average salary for the 60 highest successive months of earnings (see the sample calculation).

The defined contribution plan, known as the “Optional Retirement Plan” (ORP), is a retirement annuity contract funded by employee and employer contributions.  Benefits are based on the value of the account when you elect to retire and are paid in the form of a lifetime income.

The Defined Benefit Plan through TRSL:

As a permanent employee, you are automatically enrolled into TRSL at the time of employment with contributions starting with your first paycheck.
If you elect to participate in the ORP as an alternative to TRSL, you may do so within the first 60 days of employment.  If you opt out of TRSL for an Optional Retirement Plan within your first 60 days of employment, both your contributions and the LSU System’s contributions may be rolled into your ORP Account.

If you wait past your first 60 days of employment to enroll in the ORP, your effective date will be delayed to the first of the following month and only your contributions will transfer over to your ORP carrier (not those made by the LSU System).  Once you have contributed to the TRSL defined benefit plan for greater than five years, you are not eligible to enroll into an Optional Retirement Plan.

Contributions:

Employee contributions are 8.0% of allowable earned compensation.  The employer contribution is determined each year based on an actuarial formula determined by the State.

Vesting:

You are vested in TRSL once you have contributed for at least 5 years.  Being vested allows you to collect a retirement benefit from the retirement system upon meeting the eligibility criteria described below.

Retirement Eligibility:

Your eligibility to retire is based on your age and years of service.

If you were hired between January 1, 1999 and December 31, 2010, then one of the requirements below must be met in order to receive a retirement benefit from TRSL:

  • 5 years of service or more at age 60 or later
  • 25 years of service or more at age 55 or later
  • 30 years of service or more regardless of age
  • At 20 years of service you may retire at any age, but your benefit will be reduced on an actuarial basis which is based on your age, length of service and number of years from your regular retirement age.

If you were hired on or after January 1, 2011, then one of the requirements below must be met in order to receive a retirement benefit doe TRSL:

  • 5 years of service or more at age 60 or later

At 20 years of service you may retire at any age, but your benefit will be reduced on an actuarial basis which is based on your age, length of service and number of years from your regular retirement age.

Retirement Benefit Calculation:

The following formula is used to determine your retirement benefit if hired between January 1, 1999 and December 21, 2010:

[Years of Service] x [Formula %] x [3-Year High Average Salary] = Annual Retirement Benefit

The following formula is used to determine your retirement benefit if after December 31, 2010:

[Years of Service] x [Formula %] x [5-Year High Average Salary] = Annual Retirement Benefit

Sample Calculations:
25 Years of Service x 2.5% x $50,000 = $31, 250
30 Years of Service x 2.5% x $50,000 = $37, 500

Disability Benefits:
If you were hired between January 1, 1999 and December 31, 2010 and are an employee with more than five years of service, you are eligible to apply for lifetime disability benefits. If you have less than five years of service, you are not eligible for disability benefits; however, you may receive a refund of your contributions to the plan at the time of termination.

If you were hired on or after January 1, 2011, you are only eligible for retirement after ten years of service.

Survivor Benefits:
If you have at least five, but less than 10 years of service, limited benefits are available to your minor children.  If you have 10 or more years of service, your surviving spouse may receive benefits for life.  If you have less than five years of service, your survivors are not eligible for benefits; however, your beneficiary may receive a refund of your contributions to the plan at the time of your death.

Termination of Employment before Retirement:
If you have less than five years of service credit at the time of termination, you may apply for a refund of your contributions to the system.  Employees with five years or more service credit will be eligible to receive a benefit at age 60 if contributions are left on deposit with TRSL.

You may obtain a refund of your employee contributions, upon request, at termination of employment.  The earliest you may receive your refund is 90 days after your termination date.  You may obtain your refund application from your Human Resource/Benefits Department.

For more information, please visit www.trsl.org/main.