The Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1990 (OBRA 90) introduced into the law IRS Section 3121(b)(7)(f). As a result, temporary employees of a government entity may deposit money into a private retirement plan instead of Social Security.

The USF Temporary Employee Retirement Plan, or TERP, is a defined contribution plan authorized under Section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code. Corebridge Financial (formerly AIG Retirement) is the plan administrator for the University of South Florida's TERP.

For more information about individual investments, participants may contact a Corebridge Financial Client Service Professional at 1-800-426-3753 or visit the Corebridge Financial website

How the plan works

Social Security payroll taxes are collected under authority of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). Social Security is currently withheld at 6.2% of eligible wages and matched by the University. Participants (temporary/OPS) in this plan do not contribute to Social Security, nor is the amount contributed by the employee matched by the University. Instead, employees contribute 7.5% of their wages pre-tax into an investment account in their name. Medicare contributions at 1.45% are still withheld and matched by the University. The plan is mandatory for eligible employees. Employees are automatically enrolled or un-enrolled based on their eligibility status during the affected pay period. There is no minimum age or service requirement.

Once a contribution has been made to the plan, the employee will receive a Temporary Employee Retirement Program (TERP) Notice from Corebridge Financial, the plan Administrator. Employees are automatically placed in the age appropriate Vanguard Target Retirement Fund, but may select other investment options. Participants are encouraged to designate a beneficiary for their account.

Who is eligible?

Employees who are not covered by the State retirement plans are eligible. Adjunct faculty, Postdoctoral Scholars, medical residents and hourly and exempt Temporary employees who are not otherwise exempt from Social Security taxes are eligible to participate in TERP.

Who is not eligible?

Faculty, Staff, Administration and Executive Service employees participating in a State of Florida retirement plans are excluded from TERP. Also excluded are most students, graduate assistants, and international employees whose home country's tax treaty prohibits participation.

Advantages of the plan

  • Participating employees are not subject to Social Security taxes while covered by this plan, and Social Security taxes are never due on these funds.
  • Contributions to this plan are pre-tax. Therefore, the total amount of taxes paid will be reduced.
  • No taxes are paid on the contributions until they are withdrawn.
  • The account balance is portable upon separation from the University.

Withdrawals from the plan

Withdrawals from the plan may be made at the following times:

  • Separation/termination of employment from the TERP-eligible appointment (an IRS early-withdrawal penalty may apply)
  • Retirement
  • Upon reaching the age that the IRS mandates payment of annual Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)
  • Participant's total disability
  • Participant's death

Distributions can be made to the participant 30 days after the date of termination from the TERP-eligible appointment.

Withdrawals from an account may be made in a lump-sum cash payment (the IRS 10% penalty on early withdrawals does not apply to withdrawals upon separation at age 55 or later), or plan balances may be rolled over to an IRA or other eligible retirement plan. No IRS penalty applies to these transfers.

To obtain the necessary form for a Withdrawal/Rollover from the account, log on to the Corebridge Financial website. If you do not have an account, you can register for one on this page.

Additional Information