|Population (2012) 4,723,723 |
|South Carolina public pension statistics, per U.S. Census Bureau as of FY 2011 ($ in 000s) |
The South Carolina Retirement System administers pension benefits to nearly all employees of the state including teachers, general employees, and employees of political subdivisions who elect to participate. The Police Officers Retirement System covers police officers, and other plans exist for judges, solicitors, and members of the general assembly. New hires since 2002 may elect to participate in the State Optional Retirement System, which is a defined contribution alternative to the traditional SCRS defined benefit plan.
Constitutional Protections for Public Sector Retirement Benefits
No explicit constitutional protection for public pension benefits, but courts provide protection based on impairment of contract principles if the pension statute expressly creates a binding agreement. Layman v. State, 630 S.E.2d 265 (S.C. 2006)(holding that retirement statute created binding contract) 
Title 9 of the South Carolina Code of Laws deals with state retirement systems.According to Section 9-1-20 of the South Carolina Code of Laws:
A retirement system is hereby established and placed under the management of the State Budget and Control Board for the purpose of providing retirement allowances and other benefits for teachers and employees of the State and political subdivisions or agencies or departments thereof. The System so created shall have the power and privileges of a corporation and shall be known as the South Carolina Retirement System, and by such name all of its business shall be transacted, all of its funds invested and all of its cash, securities and other property held .Section 9-2-20 creates the Retirement Board.
The board shall consist of eight members appointed by the State Budget and Control Board and must be constituted as follows:
- One member representing municipal employees;
- One member representing county employees;
- Three members representing state employees, one of whom must be retired and one of whom must be an active or retired law enforcement officer who is contributing to or receiving benefits from the Police Officers Retirement System. If this law enforcement member is retired, the other two members representing state employees do not have to be retired;
- Two members representing public school teachers, one of whom must be retired;
- One member representing the higher education teachers. The Budget and Control Board shall invite the appropriate associations, groups, and individuals to recommend persons to serve on the board 
South Carolina PoliceTitle 9, Section 9-11-20 establishes retirement benefits for police officers. According to the section,
(1) A retirement system is hereby created and placed under the administration of the Board to provide retirement allowances and other benefits for police officers. The System shall begin operation as of July 1, 1962. It shall have the power and privileges of a corporation and shall be known as the South Carolina Police Officers Retirement System, and by such name all of its business shall be transacted, all of its funds invested, and all of its cash, securities and other property held .
|Plan||Board Size||Appointed||Elected||Plan Members||Ex Officio|
|South Carolina Retirement Systems||5||0||0||0||5|
Statewide retirement systems
- South Carolina Retirement Systems
- Police Officers Retirement System
- National Guard Retirement System
- Judges and Solicitors Retirement System
- The General Assembly Retirement System
Contribution rates for some South Carolina plans, with the constitutional or statutory reference which govern them, are provided in the table below. In FY 2009, employer (taxpayer) contributions to South Carolina government pension plans were 2.32 percent of all state and local government spending .
|System||Employer Rate (%)||Employee Rate (%)||As of||Social Security Coverage||Employer Contribution Basis||Employee Contribution Basis||ARC Requirement||Constitutional/Statutory Reference and Language|
|South Carolina RS||9.24% plus 0.15% for death benefit||6.50%||6/30/2011||Yes||ARC requirement is specified in statute||Established by the Board as set forth in statute||Yes||S.C. Code Ann. §9-1-1080 The total amount payable in each year by each employer for credit to the employer annuity accumulation fund shall not be less than the sum of the rate per cent known as the normal contribution rate and the accrued liability contribution rate of the total earnable compensation of all members during the preceding year. Subject to the provisions of §9-1-1070, the amount of each annual accrued liability contribution shall be at least three per cent greater than the preceding annual accrued liability payment, and the aggregate payment by employers shall be sufficient, when combined with the amount in the fund, to provide the employer annuities and other benefits payable out of the fund during the year then current."|
|South Carolina Police||11.13% plus 0.40% for death benefit||6.50%||6/30/2011||Yes||ARC requirement is specified in statute||Established by the Board as set forth in statute||SECTION 9 11 75. The State Budget and Control Board shall adjust the employer contribution paid by employers under the South Carolina Police Officers Retirement System in an amount sufficient to offset the actuarial cost of the provisions of Sections 9 11 60 and 9 11 70, not to exceed three percent of payroll. If the employer contribution adjustment provided in this section is insufficient to offset the actuarial cost of the provisions of Sections 9 11 60, 9 11 70, 9 11 210, and 9 11 300, the board shall adjust employee contributions of the members of the South Carolina Police Officers Retirement System in an amount sufficient to offset the additional actuarial cost.|
- ↑ SC CONST., Article I, §4