Planning for Retirement


UVA's retirement plans help ensure you have enough income to live comfortably after you retire. Depending on your employment status, you have the option to enroll in the Virginia Retirement System (VRS), Optional Retirement Plan (ORP), or Medical Center Retirement Program (MCRP). Through these programs, you also get benefits like life insurance, disability coverage, long-term care benefits, and survivor benefits.

Action Items

Just like getting an annual physical, it is a good idea to also check your benefits annually. You can do this by navigating to Workday and checking to make sure the benefits you previously selected continue to meet the needs of you and/or your family.

While your initial retirement plan is established when you first begin your career at UVA, additional investment and retirement benefit options can be modified throughout the year, not just during Open Enrollment.

The pages listed below for VRS, ORP, MCRP, and 403(b)/457 plans will take you outside of the Open Enrollment suite of webpages. To navigate back to the Open Enrollment site, use your back arrow, or enter in your browser.

Saving for Retirement

Supplemental savings plans 403(b) and 457 allow you to invest additional money pre-tax or after-tax. They are also available to some employees who may not have a retirement plan through VRS, ORP, or MCRP.

This video explains VRS, ORP, and supplemental savings plans.

Saving for Retirement Video

Choosing a Plan

There are two main factors that determine which retirement plans you are eligible for: your employment type (stated in your offer letter), and your hire date. Your choice is important, as it is permanent and affects coverage for disability, accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D), and life insurance. You have 60 days from your date of hire to select a retirement plan, otherwise you will be enrolled in VRS. View the ORP and VRS Side-by-Side Comparison under "Resources" on the right-hand column of this page.

  • Virginia Retirement System (VRS)

    You are eligible to enroll in VRS if you are: - University Staff - Faculty - Classified Staff - Research Associates - Research Scientists Medical Center Team members who previously participated in the VRS Plan 1 or Plan 2 may choose VRS over MCRP by filling out a VRS-65 form.

    Learn More
  • Optional Retirement Plan (ORP)

    You have the option to enroll in either VRS or ORP if you are: - University Staff Managerial & Professional - University Staff Executive - Faculty - Research Associates - Research Scientists Your choice between VRS and ORP is permanent, affecting coverage for disability, accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D), and life insurance. You have 60 days from your date of hire to select a retirement plan - otherwise you will be enrolled automatically in VRS.

    Learn More
  • Medical Center Retirement Program (MCRP)

    This program is available to Medical Center employees only.

    Learn More
  • 403(b) and 457 Supplemental Savings Plans

    If you are eligible for one of the retirement plans above, you may also have a supplemental savings plan. Housestaff, temps, and wage employees may also enroll in a supplemental savings plan.

    Learn More
  • Retiree Health Benefits

    Retirees have the option to enroll in the Retiree Health Benefits Program. This program allows you to enroll in a UVA Health Plan until you become eligible for Medicare, or to supplement your Medicare with a secondary insurance plan, either Advantage 65 or Advantage 65 – Medical Only.

    Learn More

Please contact the HR Solution Center at 434.243.3344 for additional information.


I felt that this year I was more prepared for Open Enrollment than I have been in my 11 years of working at UVA Wise. I appreciated the information that was sent out early, prior to the benefits fair, and also appreciated that our benefits fair was not at the end of the open enrollment period. I also felt particularly better about the retirement benefits and found the Fidelity session to be extremely useful! Josh Justice, Dean of Students and Chief Housing Officer, UVA Wise

Enroll in Workday

  • To review and elect your benefits in Workday

    • Navigate to Workday
    • In your Workday Inbox, click on the message titled "Open Enrollment Change: [Your Name] on 01/01/2021"
    • Follow the instructions to navigate through each part of the Workday Open Enrollment screens:
      1. Modify medical, dental, vision benefits, if desired
      2. Add or drop dependents, if applicable (adding a spouse requires spousal affidavit to be completed before finalizing your benefits elections). Confirm social security numbers for dependents.
      3. Elect/waive Health Savings Account and Flexible Spending Account
      4. View insurances and long-term disability
      5. Confirm or change beneficiaries for life insurance
      6. If you are not ready to submit, back up one page using your "back" arrow in your browser, and select "Save for Later"
      7. When you are ready to submit, electronically sign at the bottom of the last page and press the SUBMIT button
      8. Workday does not currently offer the option to confirm your elections in writing, so after you submit your elections, it is a good idea to print a copy of your elections confirmation for your records. This will save a PDF of the document, which you can print or save.
      9. Watch for additional emails in your Workday Inbox related to post-Open Enrollment action items you made need to take
    • The following Workday Job Aids and training video offer additional detailed instructions:


  • If you Change Your Mind on an Open Enrollment Choice You Made and Open Enrollment Has Not Closed

    You can make changes to your elections as long as the Open Enrollment period is open, even after you have submitted your elections.

    1. From the Benefits app in Workday, click on "Change Open Enrollment"
    2. You will be making changes to what has been previously submitted. Any changes made will need to be resubmitted. If you do not resubmit, the changes will be deleted and the previous submission will remain in effect.
    3. Move through the same screens to elect or waive coverage
    4. Once changes are complete, electronically sign at the bottom of the last page and press the SUBMIT button
    5. Print the new confirmation of benefits elections
  • Open Enrollment Workday System Walk-Through

    Watch this short video that gives step-by-step instructions for navigating the Open Enrollment screens in Workday.

Having trouble finding what you’re looking for?

We strive to make the information on every webpage clear and easy to find. Please let the HR Communications team know if you're having trouble finding what you're looking for, so we can improve your experience on this page in the future. 

For non-website questions or concerns about benefits and Open Enrollment, please contact the HR Solution Center by phone at 434.243.3344, or by email at

For previous Open Enrollment email communications, visit the Open Enrollment Communications Archive webpage.