Pension Reform

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) _ South Carolina’s current public employees would see fewer changes in their pension benefits under a Senate panel’s plan than the House proposed. A Senate subcommittee voted unanimously Thursday on its proposal for state retirement system fixes. The version moving to the full Senate Finance Committee would still allow current employees to factor their unused vacation and sick days into their benefit calculations. Base benefits would continue being based on employees’ final three years of pay, rather than using a five-year average. Employees hired after June 30 would be subject to those benefits changes. But employees would contribute more, 1.5 percent over three years instead of 1 percent over two years. A special retirement program would be eliminated in 2018. Retirees would get a guaranteed 1 percent annual benefit increase.

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