The State ORP is a defined contribution plan,
meaning you decide how to invest your retirement funds among the plan’s investment options.
Instead of receiving a set amount when you retire, you bear the investment risk and your
retirement benefit is based on the balance of your account when you retire.
Eligible participants for the State ORP include all newly hired state, public school and public
higher education employees, as well as individuals newly elected to the South Carolina General
Assembly at or after the general election in November 2012. This includes all permanent
full-time, temporary and part-time employees, and political appointees.
The State ORP is not available to employees of participating counties, cities, municipalities
or other local subdivisions of government. As a State ORP participant, you contribute
a percentage of gross salary to your retirement account throughout your years of service.
Your employer will also contribute 5 percent of your gross salary into your State ORP account.
The State ORP is all about choices—your choices. You choose an investment provider
to manage your account and you decide which funds you want to invest in to reach your
retirement goals. There is an annual open enrollment period
for State ORP during which you can change investment providers. Also, during any open
enrollment period after your first anniversary of participation, but before your fifth anniversary
of participation, you may permanently switch to the South Carolina Retirement System.
As a State ORP participant, you have immediate rights to your account balance when you retire
or leave state service. You may choose from a variety of payment options, including a
lump-sum distribution or periodic withdrawals. You may also use a portion or all of your
account balance to purchase an annuity There is no minimum age or years of service
requirement to retire from State ORP; however, when you leave employment or reach age 59
½, you become eligible to receive distributions. Keep in mind that distributions taken prior
to reaching 59 ½ may be subject to penalty by the IRS. You can also postpone receiving
payments until you reach age 70 ½ and are required by the IRS to begin receiving annual
required minimum distributions. In the event of your death, your beneficiary is entitled
to any remaining balance in your State ORP account.
That’s a brief overview of your State Optional Retirement Program. More detailed information
can be found on our website, www.peba.sc.gov. PEBA
Serving those who serve South Carolina