Jump to Sign-In Jump to Search Skip Navigation
Sign In

ARP plan

An excellent way to save for retirement

The Ohio Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP) is a 401(a) retirement plan offered to specific groups of employees of Ohio's public universities as an alternative to the Ohio State Teacher Retirement System (STRS), the Ohio Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) and, where applicable, the Ohio School Employees Retirement System (SERS).

The plan highlights are only a brief overview of the plan's features and are not a legally binding document. The information in this section does not modify the terms of the plan and in the event of a conflict, the terms of the plan control.

Take advantage today

Your specific eligibility in the Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP) is determined by your employer at date of your full-time employment.

As an eligible employee, you have 120 days from commencement of full-time employment to enroll in the ARP plan or you will be automatically enrolled in the state defined benefit plans. Your choice between the ARP and the state defined benefit plan is generally irrevocable once elected.

Please note that you should review your University's plan document in order to get the specific details of your plan or you may contact your financial advisor.

Starting early has its advantages


Through payroll deduction, you will be able to contribute a portion of your compensation into the plan. Your contributions will be deducted from your pay, automatically, and on a pretax basis.

Your employer contributes a certain percentage of your total compensation to the plan as well. The actual percentage amounts for the employee and employer contributions are determined based on whichever state system you were eligible to participate under. Please contact a financial advisor for more information about contribution percentages and amounts. 


Vesting is a participant’s right of ownership to the money in his or her plan account. You are always 100% vested in employee contributions, rollover contributions, plus any earnings they generate.

For employer contributions, vesting schedules may apply. See your University's plan document for more details.

Please note that you should review your University's plan document in order to get the specific details of your plan or you may contact your financial advisor.


Accessing your money before retirement


Generally, the money in your account may be distributed under any of the following circumstances per your University's plan provisions: 

  • Separation from service
  • Retirement
  • Disability
  • Death 

Income taxes are payable upon withdrawal. Federal restrictions and a 10% federal early withdrawal penalty may apply to withdrawals prior to age 59½ unless an exception applies. Be sure to talk with your tax advisor before withdrawing any money from your plan account.


Loans may be permitted subject to your Ohio higher-education employer’s ARP plan document allowances. Please contact a financial advisor or your employer for more information regarding loan provisions related to all of your employer's retirement plans. 

Please note that you should review your University's plan document in order to get the specific details of your plan or you may contact your financial advisor.





An array of investment choices

Investment products

Your Ohio Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP) offers two investment choices: Portfolio Director® Fixed and Variable Annuity and Profile® Retirement Program (Profile).

Both products may offer you an excellent way to save for your retirement. You’ll want to allocate your investments among asset categories and classes to create a diversified investment program.

Our financial advisors can help you with that.

Portfolio Director

Through your ARP you can choose from the array of Portfolio Director’s 60 variable and three fixed investment options.

The following Portfolio Director investment options are available in your Ohio ARP retirement plan. They provide you with flexibility to create a suitably diversified portfolio that matches your personal retirement time horizon, investment risk tolerance and investment preferences.

Portfolio Director fees and expenses
You pay no account maintenance fees or initial sales charge, whether you invest in fixed or variable investment options. Also, annuity contracts typically include limitations, exclusions and expense charges, which are described in the current Portfolio Director prospectus. Depending on the variable options chosen, fees include Separate Account fees, which range from 0.55% to 1.05% and Annual Net Fund Expenses, which range from 0.21% to 1.35%. The current Annual Net Fund Expense is the current Annual Total Fund Expense less expense waivers or reimbursements. Fees are subject to change based on expense waivers and reimbursements. Surrender charges may apply, depending on your contract.

Taxes on contributions to your Portfolio Director annuity or Profile fixed option contracts can be deferred, subject to applicable contribution limits and related rules. That tax deferral is a result of issuing the contract, which satisfies specific important tax law requirements, including plan requirements, under your employer’s retirement plan. It does not result from the mere fact that the contract is an annuity. Therefore, you do not receive additional tax-deferred treatment of earnings beyond the treatment provided by the tax-qualified retirement plan itself.


You can also go online or via telephone to enroll in Profile, a choice of no-load mutual funds combined with a fixed annuity*.

Profile fees and expenses details

Mutual funds

  • $40 annual custodial fee ($10 per quarter)
  • Mutual fund annual net fund expenses range is 0.35% - 1.59%. (see prospectus for more information). Does not apply to the fixed option.

Fixed Annuity

  • In-service withdrawals or transfers that exceed 20% of the amount allocated to the fixed option can be subject to fees or restrictions unless certain conditions are met.

* Policy Form IFA-406, a fixed annuity issued by The Variable Annuity Life Insurance Company, Houston, TX.

Death benefits

Some annuity contracts offer an optional death benefit. If you pass away before annuity payouts begin, your designated beneficiary will never receive less than the amount you contributed, provided no withdrawals have been made. A guaranteed death benefit is standard with Portfolio Director.

With Profile, in the event of your death, your named beneficiary would receive an amount equal to the then-current balance of mutual fund and fixed account assets.

All guarantees are backed by the claims-paying ability of The Variable Annuity Life Insurance Company.

To obtain a prospectus, visit www.valic.com. You can also call 1-800-448-2542 and follow the prompts to request all Portfolio Director annuity prospectuses. Underlying fund prospectuses and mutual fund prospectuses can be obtained through the ePrintSM function under Links to Login on www.valic.com. The prospectuses contain the investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses and other information about the respective investment companies that you should consider carefully before investing. Please read the prospectuses carefully before investing or sending money.