Retirement Plan Options for Amarillo College Employees

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Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS)

Employees in benefits-eligible classified and professional staff positions are required to participate in the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS). TRS manages pension funds for Amarillo College higher education employees. The Teacher Retirement System is a defined benefit retirement plan that provides eligible participants with a lifetime monthly pension income. In the 2023-2024 academic year, employee and state contribution rates are 8.25%. Employees are vested after 5 years. TRS retirement plan provides service and disability retirement benefits and death benefits.

Amarillo College campus

Optional Retirement Program (ORP)

Employees in full-time Faculty and Administrator positions are eligible to participate in ORP in lieu of TRS. The Optional Retirement Plan is a defined contribution plan that is similar to a 401(k) plan with employer “matching” contributions. Contributions are invested in a 403(b) account with an authorized ORP company. The employee contribution rate is 6.65% and the Employer “matching” contribution rate is 6.60%. The vesting period is one year and one day. The list of authorized ORP companies can be found below.

ORP and TSA Carriers


Compare TRS and ORP

This is one of the most important decisions that you will make regarding your retirement. It is a very personal decision and can only be made once. You need to study the material provided very carefully and you may even want to review it with your financial advisor.

Overview of TRS and ORP Comparison of TRS and ORP
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Pexels lukas 590022Amarillo College Retirement Plan (ACRP)
(Full-Time Employees)

Full-time employees will be automatically enrolled in the Amarillo College Retirement Plan at a contribution/deferral rate of 1%. This contribution as well as any additional increase in percentage will be made as a pre-tax contribution to the Amarillo College Retirement Plan (subject to any limitations under the Internal Revenue Code). Employees may elect to change the contribution percentage (increase or decrease) by registering and signing into their account at Empower at any time. Amarillo College will make a 100% matching contribution up to a maximum percentage of 6.65%.

Employees may choose not to participate by logging into their Empower account and declining participation. For those employees who choose to participate, the automatic deferral amount will increase by 1% annually at the start of the calendar year, up to a maximum of 7%.

There is no vesting period; once enrolled, employees have access to 100% of employee and employer contributions upon termination of employment.  If you do not initially opt into the ACBP plan, you can change your decision at any time to Yes.


AnchorRetirement Plan  (Part-Time Employees)

Amarillo College automatically enrolls all part-time employees in a 457(b) retirement plan. Employees contribute 3.75% of their pay and Amarillo College provides a 100% matching contribution (3.75%). 


There is no vesting period; employees have access to 100% of employee and employer contributions upon termination of employment or transition to a full-time role within the College.


Employees may access their account through the Empower Retirement website.

AnchorSocial Security

Amarillo College does not participate in Social Security. AC opted out of Social Security in 1983.  If you would like more information on how this will affect your retirement please visit the social security website.


This website can also assist you with information regarding the following services: Applications for Social Security retirement, spouse's, and disability benefits. Benefits Calculators to estimate future benefits. Frequently asked questions Change of address for your retirees already receiving Social Security Replacement of Medicare Cards Verification of benefits