Columbia, SC – Today, I voted against a request from PEBA to the State Fiscal Accountability Authority to increase both employee and employer retirement contribution rates to the state pension fund by .5% effective July 1, 2017. The increases are a result of years of mismanagement of the South Carolina pension fund, and now has state and public employees contributing 9.16% of their pay towards future retirement benefits, which is 55% more than the national average. Public employees and taxpayers are going to pay more, when they are guilty of nothing but working hard and trusting their elected officials.
This increase is not going to fix the problem. At this rate, the pension issue is going to continue to grow, until it’s too big to fix. Pension increase should not be measured in money, but by how many teachers, policemen, firefighters, and other public employees are taken off the streets.
Lawmakers have tough choices when it comes to fixing the pension fund problem. They must make the pension system their top priority in January when session starts. The pension is the most significant challenge of our generation.