House Acts on New State Retirement Plan

5:32 PM, Mar 1, 2012   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Lawmakers are moving forward with a plan to address the state retirement system.

A subcommittee passed a bill making changes to the system Thursday morning.

Under the plan, someone already employed with the state would not lose any benefits earned up to June 30, 2012.

Upon retirement, someone would receive two calculations of benefits one based on the old and new system. The worker would receive whichever plan is more beneficial.

After the bill goes into effect, new hires would have to work 30 years to become eligible for retirement, that's instead of the 28 years required now.

The plan also removes built-up sick days from calculations for retirement.

"We wanted to do the least amount of harm that we could do we knew we had to make structural changes we knew that everybody was going to have to chip in to some degree and I think we achieved that we started with the worst case scenario and then we backed out of that bill we tried to apply as much as we could to new hires we tried to minimize the amount of money that taxpayers were gonna have to put into the system and the current employees were gonna have to put into the system," said Rep. Jim Merrill, a Republican from Berkeley County.

Merrill said he was proud of the bipartisan effort on the bill.

The legislation also addresses lawmakers. They won't be able to retire and continue serving at the same time.

The bill will now head to the full House Ways and Means Committee.

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