Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP)


The ARP is intended to give employees more portability and control of retirement investments. However, all retirement benefits will be dependent on the available account balance that has accumulated from investments within the individual ARP account.

Full-time classified employees, unclassified employees and full-time faculty members are eligible to enroll in an Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP) instead of the state retirement system that applies to their employment. This election must be made within the first 120 days of employment in a full-time position and the election is irrevocable. There is no ARP option available for part-time employees.

The Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP), a 401(a) account, is a defined contribution plan in which the employee and employer contribute a defined pre-tax percentage of pay. The employee makes the investment decisions, and those choices determine the amount of investment risk that the employee bears.  The account balance consists of contributions made by the employee and the employer, along with the account’s investment gains or losses.  This provides flexibility to the employee to make choices that are right for you.

Ohio Law requires a portion of the employer contribution for an ARP member go to the state retirement system to mitigate any negative financial impact of the ARP on the state retirement system.  This is known as the mitigating rate.  The mitigating rate is subject to fluctuation and may increase or decrease at any time based on current law.

  • The current mitigating rate for staff who selected the ARP in place of OPERS is 2.24%. 
  • The current mitigating rate for faculty who selected the ARP in place of STRS is 4.47%. 

To elect an Alternative Retirement Plan as a newly eligible employee, you must:

  • Complete the Retirement Plan Election Form (PDF) and submit it to Human Resources Employee Benefits Office within your 120 calendar-day deadline.  Once you have newly elected the ARP, Human Resources will notify you when you can then access Retirement@Work to select your investment options.
  • Establish an account with one of the approved vendors (PDF). Contributions that would normally be made to the state retirement system are deposited into the employee's ARP account instead (less any allocation for unfunded liabilities in the state system, if applicable).
  • Use Retirement@Work to elect and manage your investment options for the Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP), or to enroll, update your 403(b) or 457(b) plan deductions, manage investment options, or end your 403(b)or 457(b).  When making your vendor selection for any plan, fee structure (PDF) is an important consideration.

Remember, after you elect an ARP, the KSU Employee Benefits will notify you when you can access Retirement@Work to select your investment options.

For assistance with Retirement@Work, please review the Quick Start Guide or contact TIAA Customer Service at 1-844-567-9090 on weekdays 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (ET).

Retirement eligibility under an ARP: Individuals participating in the ARP will be treated similarly to those retiring under OPERS or STRS. Sick leave payout eligibility will depend on your combination of age and service years worked. Regardless of age, you will need to make arrangements with your ARP provider to start withdrawing your funds. You are responsible for purchasing your own medical plan and contacting Social Security regarding applying for Medicare.

Retirement eligibility service years/age requirements for ARPs
Service Years Age
30 years Any
25 years Age 55
5 years Age 60