All regular, full-time employees must participate in one of the state of Tennessee’s retirement plans.

Regular, part-time employees may join a retirement plan. Those who elect to participate are subject to the same terms and conditions as members with mandatory participation.

Please contact us with questions at or 865-974-5251.



Exempt Faculty and Staff

Regular faculty and exempt staff (those not eligible for overtime) can choose between membership in the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS) or the Optional Retirement Program (ORP).

Non-Exempt Staff

Regular non-exempt staff (those eligible for overtime) are covered in the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS).

Employees Not Eligible to Participate in a Retirement Plan

Those not eligible to participate in retirement plans are:

  • Student workers
  • Temporary employees
  • Medical residents
  • Interns and externs
  • Non-U.S. citizens who do not pay Social Security or Medicare taxes
  • State retirees eligible to participate in the Tennessee Retiree Group Insurance Program