PRESS RELEASE: House Passes Retirement Reform Conference Report

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(Columbia, SC) – House Speaker Jay Lucas (District 65-Darlington) issued the following statement after the House passed a conference report agreed upon by the House and Senate to address retirement reform.

“The passage of today’s conference report is a significant and vital first step towards protecting the integrity of the South Carolina retirement system. Once this bill is signed into law, the state’s unfunded liabilities will no longer continue to spiral out of control and the retirement system will be placed back on a path to solvency.  With the additional $150 million the House added into the state budget several weeks ago, I am confident that our state retirement system will be preserved for future and current participants. It must be noted that the House and Senate put forth equal effort to ensure an efficient and timely resolution to this pressing issue.”

Provisions included in the Retirement Conference Committee Report

  • Increase to the employer contribution rate
  • Place a cap on the employee contribution rate
  • Reduce the assumed rate of return on investments and put protections in place to oversee changes in future rate adjustments
  • Modify the amortization rate period to reduce unfunded liabilities
  • Implement governance recommendations from the Funston Advisory Services and Legislative Audit Council
  • Require a four year rotation schedule for fiduciary audits of PEBA and the RSIC (Retirement System Investment Commission)

*Last fall, Speaker Jay Lucas and Senate President Pro Tempore Hugh Leatherman created a joint study committee, which met in the off-session to develop recommendations to be used in legislation to ensure quick resolution of the issue. Mirrored legislation was introduced and passed by both bodies and then sent to conference to work out the differences.

*In 2013, legitimate concerns were shared over the RSIC’s investment management. To ensure that South Carolinians’ investments were being managed in the most efficient and cost effective way, then-Speaker Pro Tempore Lucas, Representatives Gary Simrill, Greg Delleney, Dennis Moss, and former Representative Phil Owens, sent a letter to LAC requesting an audit of the RSIC. The audit’s findings were revealed in December 2015 and served as the catalyst to address this issue as quickly as possible.