SC Senate approves pension reform plan

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina Senate has approved a pension reform plan that puts most of the changes on new employees.

The plan approved 39-1 on Wednesday closes a special retirement program in 2018.

But it allows current employees to continue factoring unused vacation and sick days into their benefit calculations at retirement. It also continues to base benefits on employees’ final three years of pay, rather than using a five-year average.

The changes would apply only for employees hired after June 30. The House plan applied those to current workers, too.

New employees would also have to work longer to receive full benefits. Workers’ age and years of service must equal 90.

All employees would have to contribute more toward their retirement — 1.5 percentage points over three years.

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