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Retirement Plans

Please refer to the PEBA Retirement Benefits website for detailed information. 

Membership Overview

Who Participates? •  What are the Plans? • When Does Membership Start? • Are There Any Supplemental Retirement Accounts?

Police Officer Retirement systems (PORS)\

Contributions •  Service Retirement Eligibility • Group Life insurance • Accidental Death Program • Disability Retirement • Returning to Covered Employment

South Carolina Retirement Systems (SCRS)

Overview • Contributions • Service Retirement Eligibility (Full) • Service Retirement (Early) • TERI Program • SCRS Group Life Insurance • Disability Retirement • Returning to Covered Employment

 State Optional Retirement Plan (State ORP)

Overview • Contributions • Service Retirement Eligibility • Changes • ORP Group Life Insurance

Supplemental Retirement Accounts

South Carolina Deferred Compensation • Other Supplemental Retirement Accounts


Membership Overview

Who Participates?

  • All permanent, full-time and part-time employees must join a retirement plan unless specifically exempted by statute.
  • All newly hired adjunct and temporary employees may choose to join SCRS (South Carolina Retirement System) or the State ORP (Optional Retirement Plan). A decision must be made within 30 days from your date of hire.

What Are the Plans?

  • All Public Safety Officers and Fire Marshalls must contribute to:  

The Police Officer Retirement System

  • All Permanent, full-time and part-time employees must contribute to either: 

The South Carolina Retirement System (SCRS)-Defined Benefit Plan, or
The State Optional Retirement Plan (State ORP)-Defined contribution Plan   

When Does Membership Start?

  • Membership starts with your effective date of employment.
  • Please note that you will automatically be enrolled in the South Carolina Retirement System if you do not select a plan within 30 days.
  • In addition, if you already have contributions from previous employment in a plan, you must continue with that plan.

Are There Any Supplemental Retirement Accounts?

  • South Carolina Deferred Compensation - You may shelter your savings from current income taxes using one or both of two plans: 401(k) or 457.
  • Roth 401 (k) and Roth 457 Plans – available with after-tax dollars
  • Other SRA's – tax sheltered 403(b) accounts are also available through various vendors including TIAA/CREF, MassMutual, VALIC, and MetLife.

(please contact Human Resources for other participating vendors)

POLICE OFFICER RETIREMENT SYSTEMS (PORS)
Defined Benefit Plan
Plan Summary

  • Complete details: PORS
  • Currently, there are two classes of membership:  Class Two and Class Three.  Class Two members are employees whose membership in PORS was effective before July 1, 2012.  Class Three members are those members hired after June 30, 2012.

Contributions

  • You contribute: tax-deferred 9.75 percent of gross pay into your PORS retirement account.

  • The College contributes: 15.84 percent of your gross pay into your PORS account. 

Service Retirement Eligibility

Class Two Members

  • 25 years of service credit, five years of which must be earned service, or
  • Age 55 or older with at least five years of earned service. 

Class Three Members

  • 27 years of service credit, eight years of which must be earned service, or
  • Age 55 or older with at least eight years of earned service. 

PORS Incidental Death Benefit

  • If you die in-service with at least one year of service credit, a payment equal to your current annual earnable compensation will be paid to your designated beneficiary or trustee.
  • If your death results from a job-related injury, the one-year requirement is waived.   

PORS Accidental Death Program

  • Provides a survivor annuity if you are covered and die as a result of an injury by external accident or violence incurred while undergoing a hazard peculiar to your employment while in the actual performance of duty, without willful negligence on your part.

Disability Retirement

  • You may apply for a disability retirement annuity if you become physically or mentally incapable of performing the regular duties of your job and your disability is likely to be permanent.  Becoming disabled does not automatically qualify you for a disability retirement annuity; you must file an application and go through the review process.  PEBA Retirement Benefits must receive your disability retirement application within 90 days of the date of your termination from covered employment.

  • For Class Two members, you must have at least five years of earned service credit toward retirement unless your disability is the result of an injury arising out of and in the course of the performance of your job duties.  Class Three members must have at least eight years of earned service credit toward retirement.  For more information, please visit the PEBA Retirement website

Returning to Covered Employment

  • To return to work after you retire, you must first have a complete, bona fide severance or termination of employment.  After 30 days of retirement, you may be hired by an employer covered by the Retirement Systems to return to work.  
  • Any retired member who is employed by an agency that adheres to state personnel policies will be exempt from the state Employee Grievance Procedure Act. This means your employment is at will.
  • Working retired members must contribute a tax-deferred 9.75 percent of gross pay into their retirement account. No additional service credit will be applied.

SOUTH CAROLINA RETIREMENT SYSTEMS (SCRS) -
Defined Benefit Plan
Plan Summary

  • Complete details: SCRS

Overview

  • The SCRS is the traditional retirement plan for state and public school district employees, and employees of counties and cities that elect to participate in the Retirement Systems. SCRS provides members a guaranteed monthly pension based on a formula that includes your average final compensation, years of service, and a 1.82 percent benefits multiplier.
  • Currently, there are two classes of membership:  Class Two and Class Three.  Class Two members are employees whose membership in SCRS was effective before July 1, 2012.  Class Three members are those members hired after June 30, 2012.

Contributions

  • You contribute: tax-deferred 9.00 percent of gross pay into your SCRS retirement account.

  • The College contributes: 13.41 percent of your gross pay into your SCRS retirement account

Service Retirement Eligibility (Full Retirement)

  • You may retire at:

    Class Two Members

- 28 years of service credit - five years of which must be earned service or

- Age 65 with five years of earned service

    Class Three Members

- Meet rule of 90 requirement.  This means that your age and years of service must add up to 90.  For example, a member who is 56 years old and has at least 34 years of service, eight years of which must be earned, would be eligible for full retirement (56+34=90).

- Age 65 or older with eight years of earned service.

Service Retirement Eligibility (Early Retirement)

        Class Two Members

- Age 60 with at least five years of earned service. Your annuity is permanently reduced 5 percent for each year of age less than 65 (partial years are pro-rated), or

- Age 55 or older with 25 years of service credit, five years of which must be earned service. Your annuity is permanently reduced 4 percent for each year of service credit less than 28 (partial years are pro-rated). Cost of living increase restrictions apply.

Class Three Members

Age 60 with at least eight years of earned service.  Your benefit is permanently reduced 5 percent for each year of age less than 65

TERI Program

  • Active members of SCRS who are eligible for service retirement may elect to participate in the TERI program.
  • The TERI Program will be closed effective June 30, 2018. The program will be phased out for Class Two members in a 5-4-3-2-1 format.

SCRS Incidental Death Benefit

  • If you die in-service with a least one year of service credit, a payment equal to your current annual earnable compensation will be paid to your designated beneficiary or trustee.
    If your death results from a job related injury, the one-year requirement is waived.

Disability Retirement Information

  • A member of SCRS may be approved for disability retirement benefits from SCRS only if the member has first been approved for disability benefits from the federal Social Security Administration, which generally requires an incapacity to perform any gainful occupation.  For more information, please visit the PEBA Retirement website.

Returning to Covered Employment

  • To return to work after you retire, you must first have a complete, bona fide severance or termination of employment.  After 30 days of retirement, you may be hired by an employer covered by the Retirement Systems to return to work.  For Class Two members the TERI period counts toward the 30-day break requirement.
  • Any retired member who is employed by an agency that adheres to state personnel policies will be exempt from the State Employee Grievance Procedure Act.  This means your employment is at will.
  • Working retired members must contribute a tax-deferred 9.00 percent of gross pay into their retirement account.  No additional service credit will be applied.

STATE OPTIONAL RETIREMENT PLAN (State ORP)
Defined Contribution Plan
Plan Summary

  • Complete details: ORP

Overview

  • If you join the State ORP, an account is established in your name through the investment provider you select (VALIC, MetLife, Mass Mutual, or TIAA).

Contributions

  • You contribute: tax-deferred 9.00 percent of your gross pay into your State ORP account, which is then invested in the products you select from offerings from your investment provider.
  • The College contributes: 5 percent of your gross pay into your State ORP account, which is then invested in the products you select from offerings from your investment provider.

Service Retirement Eligibility

  • There is no minimum age or years of service required for retirement.
  • An employee becomes eligible to receive distributions when he or she terminates employment or reaches age 59 1/2.
  • Your retirement benefit will be based on the balance in your account when you retire.
  • An employee may leave the balance on deposit to accumulate earnings tax-deferred until he or she elects to receive them.

Changes

  • You may change your investment provider only during an open enrollment period which is January 1 through March 1.
  • State ORP participants may irrevocably elect to join SCRS during any open enrollment period (January 1 through March 1) after the first annual anniversary, but before the fifth annual anniversary of the person's initial enrollment in the State ORP.

State Incidental Dealth Benefit

  • If you die in-service with at least one year of service credit, a payment equal to your current annual salary will be paid to your designated beneficiary or trustee.
  • If your death results from a job-related injury, the one-year requirement is waived.

SUPPLEMENTAL RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS

South Carolina Deferred Compensation

Complete details: South Caroline Deferred Compensation

  • You may shelter your savings from current income taxes using one or both of two plans: 401(k) or 457.
  • A Roth 401(k) or Roth 457 is also available with after-tax dollars

Other Supplemental Retirement Accounts

  • Tax-sheltered 403(b) accounts are also available through various vendors including TIAA/CREF, MassMutual, VALIC, and MetLife. Contact Human Resources for other participating vendors.