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State Retirement Plans

Participation in one of the state retirement plans is mandatory for classified employees, faculty, and employees with prior SCRS pension accounts (active or inactive). Participation is optional for temporary employees, research grant employees, residents, and postdoctoral fellows.

You have 30 days from your hire date to select a retirement plan. If you are required to participate and do not make a selection within 30 days, you will automatically default to the SCRS plan. Election of membership, whether defaulted or elected, is permanent until you separate employment.

The two state retirement plans are SC Retirement System (SCRS) Traditional Pension Plan and State Optional Retirement Plan (ORP). To view the differences between the SCRS and State ORP plans you can watch the Select Your Retirement Plan video.

If in an optional participation position and you do not make a selection within 30 days, you will automatically default to the SCRS plan. Should you elect non-membership you may only join one of the plans at a later time if you are assigned to a position that requires your participation. Election of membership, whether defaulted or elected, is permanent until you separate employment.

SC Retirement System Traditional Pension Plan (SCRS)

A defined benefit plan. When you retire, you receive a monthly pension based on a formula that includes average final compensation, years of service and a 1.82 percent benefit multiplier. You must have a minimum of 5 years of earned service (Class II members) or 8 years of earned service (Class III members) to be eligible to receive a retirement annuity. Learn more about the SCRS Plan.

South Carolina Optional Retirement Program (ORP)

A defined contribution plan. Retirement income is based on contributions, investment choices and account balances. Learn more about ORP.

Police Officers Retirement Plan (PORS)

A defined benefit plan. When you retire, you receive a monthly pension based on a formula that includes average final compensation, years of service and a 2.14 percent benefit multiplier. You must have a minimum of 5 years (Class II members) or 8 years of earned service (Class III members) to be eligible to receive a retirement annuity. Learn more about PORS.

The enrollment period for all State Optional Retirement Program (ORP) participants is from January 1 through March 1 of each year. During the retirement enrollment period, State ORP participants may change investment providers or, if eligible, irrevocably elect to join the South Carolina Retirement System (SCRS). State ORP participants who have a minimum of 12 months of participation, but no more than 60 months are eligible to switch from State ORP to SCRS during the ORP retirement enrollment period. ORP participants may change investment providers regardless of participation time. Notification will be sent annually to ORP participants.

Participants can review plan information on the South Carolina Retirement Systems website as well as in the Select Your Retirement Plan Guide (PDF).

 
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