Retirement can signal the beginning of a new life. But how you spend your retirement years and how well you prepare from them are up to you. According to state and federal laws, employees of the LSU System must participate in a retirement plan. To assist you in reviewing your plan options, below is a list of retirement plans available to the different employee classifications:
Participation in Social Security
With few exceptions, the State of Louisiana does not participate in the Social Security program. If you are enrolled in a Louisiana State retirement plan (TRSL, LASERS, ORP, Deferred Compensation), you do not pay Social Security tax; however, if you were hired after April 1, 1986, you are required to pay the Medicare portion of the FICA tax (1.45% of your salary).
If you are a faculty member* with an appointment of 50% of full-time effort or greater OR an unclassified staff member** with an appointment of 51% of full-time effort or greater (more than 20 hours per week) AND appointed for a duration of greater than two years, your retirement options are:
If you are appointed for a duration of two years or less OR you are a faculty member* with an appointment of less than 50% of full-time effort OR an unclassified staff member with an appointment of less than 51% of full-time effort (20 hours or less per week), your retirement options are:
Classified Civil Service Employees
If you are a classified, civil service employee with an appointment of greater than 50% of full-time effort (more than 20 hours per week) AND appointed for a duration of greater than two years, your retirement option is:
NOTE: Depending upon your age, you may have additional retirement plan options. For more information see the “Eligibility” section under the LASERS information.
If you are a classified, civil service employee with an appointment of 50% of full-time effort or less (20 hours or less per week) OR appointed for a duration of two years or less, your retirement options are:
*Faculty Member: instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, professor or librarian
**Staff Member: administrative officer, professional staff, teaching associate, research associate, library associate or coordinator
Employees on Visas
According to state and federal laws, as an employee of the LSU System, you must participate in a retirement plan. However, LSU System employees on a J or F Visa are not eligible to participate in a retirement plan unless “substantial presence” has been met. Under the Internal Revenue Service Code, the Substantial Presence Test (SPT) is used to determine “tax residency” of an international person. The test is a mathematical test based on the individual’s visa status and number of days present in the United States. Once an international person meets the Substantial Presence Test, he/she is subject to the same tax laws as a United States citizen. For more information on the SPT, refer to IRS publication 519 “US Tax Guide for Aliens.”
If substantial presence is met, an employee may choose between Social Security and Louisiana Deferred Compensation Retirement Plan. You will be notified by your Benefits Representative when you have reached substantial presence and when your retirement election is due.
Coming back to work after retirement? View the Impact of Retirement Benefits for Rehired Retirees.