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SCRS Death Benefit

The South Carolina General Assembly recently passed legislation that modifies the group life insurance benefit provided by the South Carolina Retirement Systems effective July 1, 2010. Essentially, the legislation changes the group life distribution from being considered life insurance proceeds to being considered a lump-sum benefit paid to your beneficiary after your death.

What does this mean for you? If you participate in either the SCRS defined benefit plan, the PORS defined benefit plan or the ORP defined contribution plan you are eligible for the death benefit after one year of service.  The benefit is equal to one year’s salary.  If you die on or after July 1, 2010, the benefit payable to your beneficiary upon your death will be subject to federal and state taxes, but will also be eligible for a tax-deferred rollover into another qualified retirement plan. The General Assembly passed the legislation to ensure that the Retirement Systems remained in compliance with the Internal Revenue Code.

If you have any questions about this change, please contact the Retirement Systems’ Call Center at 803-737-6800, toll-free at 800-868-9002 (within SC only), or at


19 Hagood Avenue, Suite 105 MSC 800, Charleston, South Carolina 29425

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