Changes to the OU Retirement Plan for Benefits-Eligible Employees Hired On or After 1/1/2023

Effective 1/1/2023

The university currently offers two retirement plan options to its benefits-eligible employee population:

  • Option 1: Oklahoma Teachers’ Retirement System (OTRS) with a 401(a) Defined Contribution Plan (DCP) 
    • Employee contributes to OTRS: 7% of the employee’s total compensation (earnings, plus employer paid insurance premiums and DCP contributions), effective the first day of employment o OU contributes to OTRS: 8.55% of the of the employee’s total compensation (earnings, plus employer paid insurance premiums and DCP contributions), effective the first day of employment.
    • OU contributes to a 401(a) DCP: 8% of the employee’s base salary, less the first $9,000, effective after a one-year waiting period.
    • Vesting Period: OTRS portion is seven (7) years and DCP portion is three (3) years. The one-year waiting period is included as one year of participation.
  • Option 2: 401(a) Defined Contribution Plan 
    • OU contributes to 401(a) DCP: 9% of employee’s base salary, effective after a one-year waiting period.
    • Vesting Period: DCP is three (3) years from first day of employment. The one-year waiting period is included as one year of participation.


The university is changing the “Option 1” retirement plan; this includes removing the 401(a) defined contribution of 8% over $9,000 for all new benefits-eligible employees who are hired on or after January 1, 2023, and electing the Option 1 retirement plan. This change will provide recurring cost savings that may help fund regular future merit-based performance increases. Current benefits-eligible employees and those benefits-eligible employees hired prior to January 1, 2023, will not be affected by the retirement plan change. 

Future University Retirement Offerings for benefits-eligible employees: 

  • Option 1: Oklahoma Teachers’ Retirement System (OTRS) with no 401(a) Defined Contribution Plan (DCP) 
    • Employee contributes to OTRS: 7% of the employee’s total compensation (earnings plus employer paid insurance premiums), effective the first day of employment.
    • OU contributes to OTRS: 8.55% of the of the employee’s total compensation (earnings plus employer paid insurance premiums), effective the first day of employment.
    • Vesting Period: OTRS is seven (7) years. 
  • Option 2: 401(a) Defined Contribution Plan 
    • OU contributes to a 401(a) DCP: 9% of employee’s base salary, effective after a one-year waiting period.
    • Vesting Period: DCP is three (3) years. The one-year waiting period is included as one year of participation.