Angel Tree

Commission Timeline


1943

1945

  • The South Carolina Retirement System (SCRS) was officially established to create a cost-sharing multiple-employer defined benefit pension plan.

1950

  • The SC Budget and Control Board was created by Reorganization Plan No. 2 and grew out of the South Carolina Preparedness for Peace Commission’s 1945 recommendations to merge existing state government functions under a new “Finance Committee” consisting of the governor and the chairmen of the two budget-writing committees.
  • The Budget and Control Board invested in domestic fixed income only.

1962

  • The South Carolina Police Officers Retirement System (PORS) was officially established.

1966

  • The Retirement System for Members of the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina (GARS) was established.

1975

  • The South Carolina National Guard Supplemental Retirement Plan (SCNG) was established.

1979

  • The Retirement System for Judges and Solicitors of the State of South Carolina (JSRS) was established.

1995

  • Actuarial assumptions changed to remove provisions for future cost of living adjustments (“COLAs”).
  • Actuarial assumptions changed to lower the assumed rate from 8.00 percent to 7.25 percent.
  • Funded ratio jumps from 80.7 percent to 88.2 percent.

1997

  • The Retirement Systems Investment Panel was created to advise and recommend an investment strategy for the Budget Control Board.
  • Voters approved a referendum allowing pension funds to be invested in equities, or stocks.
  • The State Treasurer’s Office responsibile for the bond portion of the portfolio.

1999

  • SCRS employee contribution is 6 percent, employer contribution is 7.55 percent.**
  • Funded ratio is 98.9 percent
  • PORS employee contribution is 6.50 percent, employer contribution is 10.30 percent.**

2000

  • Legislature enacted the 28-year retirement and the Teacher and Employee Retention Incentive (TERI) program. TERI and 28 years.*

2001

  • Ad hoc COLA increase is 3.4 percent.
  • Dot-com stock market crash significantly impacts pensions systems nationwide, including the Retirement.

2002

  • Ad hoc COLA increase is 1.3 percent.

2003

  • Ad hoc COLA increase is 2.4 percent.

2004

  • Ad hoc COLA increase is 1.6 percent.

2005

  • Ad hoc COLA increase is 2.4 percent.
  • Automatic COLA increase is 1 percent.
  • Funded ratio drops from 80.3 percent to 71.6 percent.
  • Unfunded liability amortization period reaches 30 years, the maximum allowed under State law before contribution rates must increase.
  • Act 153, the South Carolina State Retirement System Preservation and Investment Reform Act, created the Retirement System Investment Commission. The RSIC is structured as a separate state agency reporting to a body of appointed and ex officio Commissioners.
  • Up to 70 percent of the plan was allowed to be invested in equities and stocks.
  • S.618 changed interest credited on member accounts from 6 percent to 4 percent.

2006

  • Ad hoc COLA increase is 2.5 percent.
  • Automatic COLA increase is 1 percent.
  • Employer contribution increases to 8.20 percent.**

2007

  • Ad hoc COLA increaseis 1.4 percent.
  • Automatic COLA increase is 1 percent.
  • The passage of a constitutional amendment was approved by voters which deleted the restriction on equity investment in foreign equities.
  • Employer contribution increases to 9.21 percent.**

2008

  • The global financial crisis delivers a huge blow to pension systems nationwide, including the Retirement System.
  • Actuarial assumptions changed to smooth asset losses over a 10-year period instead of a 5-year period.
  • Actuarial assumptions changed to raise the assumed rate from 7.25 percent to 8.00 percent.
  • Ad hoc COLA increase is 1 percent.
  • Automatic COLA increase is 2 percent.
  • SCRS employee contribution increases to 6.5 percent, employer contribution increases to 9.39 percent.**

2009

  • PORS employee contribution remains at 6.50 percent, employer contribution increases to 10.65 percent.**

2010

  • ESCRS employer contribution increases to 9.68 percent.**
  • PORS employee contribution remain at 6.50 percent, employer contributions increases to 11.13 percent. **

2011

  • SCRS employee contribution increases to 7.5 percent, employer contribution increases to 10.60 percent.**
  • PORS employee contribution remain at 6.50 percent, employer actuarially determined employer contributions increase to 12.30 percent.**

2012

  • Pension reform Act 278 enacted.
  • Limited future COLAs (limited annual benefit adjustment (COLA) to 1 percent up to a max of $500.
  • Created Public Employee Benefit Authority (PEBA) combining the South Carolina Retirement Systems and the Employee Insurance Program to administer the various retirement plans under the umbrella of the Retirement Systems.
  • Closed GARS to newly elected officials after the general election of 2012. Newly elected officials are able to join SCRS or State ORP.
  • Eliminated interest on inactive accounts.
  • SCRS employee contribution increases to 8 percent, employer contribution increases to 10.90 percent.**
  • PORS employee contribution increases to 8.41 percent, employer actuarially determined employer contributions increase to 13.41 percent.**
  • Legislature lowers the expected return on investment from 8 percent to 7.5 percent and lawmakers limited COLA increases for retirees.
  • Vesting period increases from 5 years to 8 years.

2013

  • SCRS employee contribution increases to 8.16 percent, employer contribution increases to 11.06 percent.**
  • PORS employee contribution increases to 8.74 percent, employer actuarially determined employer contributions increase to 13.74 percent.**
  • TERI and 28 closes to new entrance.

2014

2015

  • Employee contribution increases to 8.19 percent of their salaries.**
  • Employer contribution increases to 11.09 percent.**

2016

  • Employee contribution increases to 8.66 percent of their salaries.**
  • Employer contribution increases to 11.56 percent.**
  • The State Fiscal Accountability Authority approved a 0.5 percent increase in employee and employer contributions. Employees contribution increased to 8.66 percent of salaries.
  • The Joint Committee on Pension Systems Review is created to work on pension reform to meet the difficulties presented by the Great Recession of 2008.
  • Funded ratio is 59.5 percent.

2017

  • The Retirement System Funding and Administration Act of 2017 passes.
  • Employee rates for SCRS will increase to 9 percent. Employer rates for SCRS increases to 13.56 percent with a 1 percent increase per year over the next six years to cap at 18.56 percent.
  • Employee rates for PORS will increase to 9.75 percent. Employer rates for PORS increases to 16.24 percent with a 1 percent increase per year over the next six years to cap at 21.24 percent.
  • The assumed rate of return changed from 7.50 percent to 7.25 percent.


*TERI/28 encompasses 2 distinct benefit improvements. This link only describes TERI, not the 28 portion of reform, which lowered the retirement eligibility service period from 30 to 28 years.
**Contribution rates shown represent the actuarially determined contribution rates taken from a given fiscal year’s actuarial valuation report. There is a 2-year delay in implementation of a contribution rate increase from the date of valuation, following Board approval.