Due to the high volume of visitors, wait times may longer than normal. Our busiest times are between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. If you need to see a benefits counselor, we encourage you to visit outside of these hours and please arrive before 4:00 p.m. for a full counseling session. Also, we are not accepting appointments until further notice.
The Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR) for the South Carolina Retirement Systems for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2017, is now available. The 2016 PAFR is available on the Archives page.
The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the South Carolina Retirement Systems for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2017, is now available. The 2016 CAFR is available on the Archives page.
For service outside of South Carolina, the State Health Plan’s provider network includes the networks of local Blue Cross Blue Shield plans. In North Carolina, that is BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina (BCBSNC).
Mission Health in western North Carolina left the BCBSNC network in October 2017. Mission Health and BCBSNC have now agreed to a new contract. Mission Health will be a network provider for State Health Plan members effective December 15, 2017.
Visit www.StateSC.SouthCarolinaBlues.com to search for health care providers near you. You may also call BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina at 800.868.2520.
The IRS announced retirement plan contribution limits for 2018. The 2018 contribution limit for 401(k) and 457 plans is $18,500. This is an increase from $18,000 in 2017. The Age 50+ catch-up contribution limit remains the same at $6,000. Learn more about the 401(k) and 457 plans PEBA offers through the South Carolina Deferred Compensation Program here.
PEBA’s offices will be closed Friday, November 10, 2017, in observance of Veterans Day. Our offices will reopen on Monday, November 13 at 8:30 a.m.
The IRS announced flexible benefit contribution limits for 2018. This information is helpful to employees who may elect coverage or change contribution limits during open enrollment. Open enrollment ends October 31, 2017. You can learn more about MoneyPlus here.
If you are the former spouse of an employee or a retiree with State Health Plan coverage and are covered as a dependent on the employee or retiree’s policy, your coverage as a dependent will end December 31, 2017. You will need to enroll in coverage as a former spouse to continue coverage past December 31, 2017. More information, including premiums, is located here.
The State Health Plan’s out-of-network provider network consists of the networks of the local Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans. In the western North Carolina area, that is Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC).
This means Mission Health, its hospitals, outpatient facilities and most of its health care providers, will be out-of-network for State Health Plan members.
Please note that if Medicare is your primary payer for healthcare, this situation does not affect you. You may continue to receive care at Mission Health under the same payment rules as before.
The following information applies to State Health Plan members who do not have Medicare and for whom the State Health Plan is the primary payer.
The State Health Plan includes benefits for out-of-network providers, but they are less generous than that for in-network services. The State Health Plan pays 60 percent for covered services after deductible at out-of-network providers, rather than the 80 percent paid in-network. Plus, your annual coinsurance maximum out-of-network is $5,080, twice the amount of in-network services. Moreover, benefit payments at out-of-network providers are limited to the amount payable in-network, so you may receive a balance bill from an out-of-network provider for the difference between the contractually-allowed amount and the provider’s charge.
Mission Health’s website lists the following facilities as part of its system:
In addition, there are many physician practices affiliated with Mission Health. Please be sure to ask your health care provider if they are part of the Blue Cross Blue Shield network.
First, please note that in a medical emergency, you should always go to the nearest hospital. Here’s a list of area hospitals where you can still get in-network care:
Also, please visit www.SouthCarolinaBlues.com to find a comprehensive list of health care providers near you, or call BlueCard Access at 800.810.2583 for help in locating a nearby in-network doctor or hospital.
This situation is subject to change pursuant to further discussions between BCBSNC and Mission Health. We will do our best to keep you informed of any further developments. You may want to check local news outlets as well as www.peba.sc.gov for updates on this situation. Please call the State Health Plan’s claims administrator, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina, at 800.868.2520 if you have other questions about this matter.
The South Carolina Public Employee Benefit Authority (PEBA) has released a Request for Proposal (RFP) to Provide Brokerage Services for Cyber Risk Insurance Services. The RFP is located here: http://procurement.sc.gov/vendor/contract-opps/other-solicitations/peba. Please see the RFP for instructions on asking questions or requesting additional information.
State government offices close when the county in which they operate closes. Richland County announced it will be closed on Monday. As such, PEBA will be closed Monday, September 11, 2017. We encourage our members and covered employers to contact our vendors for assistance and to check our Facebook and Twitter pages periodically for updates.
PEBA continues to closely monitor the weather and potential path of Hurricane Irma. Based on the latest models, we have decided to cancel the Benefits at Work conference next week. The conference presentations are available online at www.peba.sc.gov/baw.html.
Insurance open enrollment information is available at www.peba.sc.gov/openenrollment.html. The page contains a full list of changes members can make during this year's open enrollment. Resources on the page include:
PEBA follows the same weather hazard decisions made by Richland County. PEBA will communicate updates via email, website and social media. In preparation for potential closings, below is important information.
If you have enrollment transactions with current effective dates, please complete them as soon as possible using EBS and/or MyBenefits. This includes submitting all supporting documentation through the electronic upload feature.
Our third-party vendors can be reached at the contact information below.
During open enrollment, eligible employees, retirees, COBRA subscribers and survivors may change their coverage for the following year. A full list of changes that can be made during this year’s open enrollment is available on the Open enrollment page. You can download an open enrollment checklist by subscriber type on the page, too.
Open enrollment is October 1-31, 2017. If you are satisfied with your current coverage, you do not need to do anything during open enrollment. Any changes that you make during open enrollment take effect January 1, 2018. Learn more about open enrollment now.
As part of the Retirement System Funding and Administration Act of 2017, the custodial responsibilities were transferred from the Office of the State Treasurer to PEBA. This transfer of responsibility does not impact member benefits in any way.
Effective July 1, checks issued by PEBA from the Retirement Systems Trust Fund will look different. Below are some things a member will notice:
Members who have set up direct deposit will not see a difference.
To initiate direct deposit of a monthly retirement benefit payment, log in to Member Access and select “Payment.” Next choose “Set Up Direct Deposit” to set up a new direct deposit. A member may also complete a Direct Deposit Authorization (Form 7204) and mail it to PEBA at:
S.C. Public Employee Benefit Authority
Attention: Benefit Payments Department
202 Arbor Lake Drive
Columbia, SC 29223
For questions, call PEBA’s Customer Contact Center at 803.737.6800 or 888.260.9430.
The Retirement System Funding and Administration Act of 2017 increases retirement contribution rates for SCRS and PORS beginning July 1, 2017, with a 2 percent employer increase. Employer rates for SCRS will increase to 13.56 percent, which includes the incidental death benefit contribution. The employer contribution rate submitted to PEBA for State ORP will increase to 8.56 percent, which includes the incidental death benefit contribution. Employers will continue to remit 5 percent in employer contributions to State ORP vendors. Employer rates for PORS will increase to 16.24 percent, which includes the incidental death benefit and accidental death program contributions. The insurance surcharge is not included in these rates. Insurance surcharge rates will be provided soon.
Employee rates for SCRS and State ORP will increase to 9 percent. Employee rates for PORS will increase to 9.75 percent. Employers should implement the rate increases July 1, 2017, and begin reporting and remitting contributions accordingly.
The new employer contribution rates are effective on contributions paid July 1, 2017, and after. The new employee contribution rates are effective on compensation earned July 1, 2017, and after. Employers should continue to calculate employee and employer contributions as they have always done, taking into account the increases in the rates. Employers should calculate and submit their remittances using the new rates.
For the first 1 percent of the 2 percent increase in employer contributions, the state will continue to pick up the General Fund and EIA share of the employer contribution increase. The Executive Budget Office will allocate these funds to state agencies and school districts.
The General Assembly has fully funded the second 1 percent increase in employer contributions for all employers in SCRS and PORS for fiscal year 2018. However, the second 1 percent increase will not flow through the normal appropriations process. Rather, the General Funds for the second 1 percent have been appropriated directly to PEBA to issue a credit to each employer in SCRS and PORS. PEBA will issue credit invoices to each employer for 1 percent of the employer contributions, based on its share of the appropriated funds. To see your credit amount, click here.
The credit invoice will be a one-time credit. Employers can use this credit invoice for the quarterly deposit for the quarter ending September 30, 2017 (due to PEBA by October 31, 2017). An employer cannot use the credit on a monthly deposit or for the quarter ending June 30, 2017, since the funds are allocated specifically for fiscal year 2018.
Total allocated funds for the South Carolina Retirement System, or SCRS, are $104,974,462. Total allocated funds for the Police Officers Retirement System, or PORS, are $13,121,990. Below is a summary of how PEBA will calculate each employer’s share of the appropriated funds.
Calculating each employer’s share of additional funding
The calculation began with employer contributions reported in the Schedule of Employer Allocations in the audit report for Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) 68 for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2016. These employer contributions were independently audited and the audit report is posted on PEBA’s website at www.peba.sc.gov/rgasb.html.
Employer contributions per the audit report were reduced by incidental death benefit and accidental death program contributions, if applicable. The total compensation for each system was calculated by dividing employer contributions by the applicable base employer rate for fiscal year 2016 (SCRS – 10.91 percent; PORS – 13.34 percent; State Optional Retirement Program (State ORP) – 5.91 percent).
Each employer’s total compensation was then divided by the total compensation for each system to calculate the employer’s proportionate share of total compensation. Each employer’s proportionate share of total compensation was then multiplied by the amount of appropriated funds for each system to calculate the employer’s share of appropriated funds. Each employer’s credit amount is available on PEBA’s website at www.peba.sc.gov/assets/pensionfundingallocationcredit.pdf.
If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact Employer Services at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact Jennifer Dolder at 803.737.4075, George Hazin at 803.737.6882 or Paul Graham at 803.737.4388.
The South Carolina Public Employee Benefit Authority (PEBA) has released a Request for Proposal (RFP) to Provide Investment Consulting Services. The RFP is located here. Please see the RFP for instructions on asking questions or requesting additional information
The South Carolina Public Employee Benefit Authority (PEBA) has released an Invitation for Bid (IFB) to Provide Group Life Insurance for State Employees. The IFB is located here. Please see the IFB for instructions on asking questions or requesting additional information.
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster signed into law the Retirement System Funding and Administration Act of 2017. This act was designed to meet the priorities outlined by the Joint Committee on Pension Systems Review and accelerate the plans’ progress toward fully funding the unfunded liabilities. This legislation is an enormous step forward in all respects.
“On behalf of the PEBA Board of Directors and the many members of the state’s public pension plans, I extend my gratitude to Governor McMaster, the leadership of the South Carolina General Assembly and the members of the Joint Committee for delving into the complex world of pensions and working through the different scenarios to provide for the sustainability of our state’s public pension plans,” said John Sowards, chairman of the PEBA Board of Directors.
“The Governor and General Assembly have exhibited great leadership in acknowledging the significance of the state’s obligations to its public workers and ensuring that benefits promised to our public servants will be payable when due.”
PEBA’s responsibility, and the responsibility of many other governmental organizations to the more than 558,000 members of the state’s retirement plans, is a tremendous one. PEBA is focused on the issues which impact the plans’ future. PEBA’s staff will continue to work closely with the Joint Committee as it resumes meeting to discuss potential benefit structure changes.
PEBA administers the state’s public pension plans and employee insurance programs.
The South Carolina retirement plans were created to provide retirement benefits for those who serve South Carolina. The largest of the plans, the South Carolina Retirement System or SCRS, and the Police Officers Retirement System or PORS, had a combined $27.9 billion trust fund as of June 30, 2016. In 2016, $3.04 billion in annuities were paid to current retirees and beneficiaries from PEBA’s five defined benefit retirement plans. Nearly 94 percent of these annuitants live in South Carolina, representing a potential $2.84 billion impact on our state’s economy. While that is more than the personal income derived from utilities, farming and forestry/fishing1, the plans’ benefits are far from generous. The average annual benefit for all SCRS annuitants was $20,068 as of July 1, 2016. Continue reading here.
The Teacher and Employee Retention Incentive (TERI) program will close to all members June 30, 2018. Program participants who have questions about ending their TERI participation on or before this date can now learn more on the Ending your TERI participation webpage. Participants can find TERI publications and presentations, as well as forms needed for the TERI-end process.
Legislation addressing the funding of the state’s public pension plans was recently enrolled for ratification and will be sent to the Governor for his signature in the coming weeks. The initial provisions of the act will take effect July 1, 2017. Among its provisions are funding schedules for the South Carolina Retirement System (SCRS), the largest of the state’s public plans, and the Police Officers Retirement System (PORS). A summary of the legislation is available here.
The live chat feature on PEBA's website will be unavailable on Friday March 10, 2017. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
Mandiant, the South Carolina Public Employee Benefit Authority’s third party technology security services vendor, reported to the agency today that it did not find any evidence of a compromise of PEBA’s information systems.
PEBA had requested an independent investigation following reports online in mid-February that listed PEBA as the victim of a breach by an alleged Russian-speaking hacker. Mandiant confirmed the findings of investigations conducted by both PEBA and the South Carolina Department of Administration Division of Technology, which also detected no compromise of the agency’s information systems. PEBA’s February 16, 2017, article is immediately below.
A report published online February 15, 2017, included the South Carolina Public Employee Benefit Authority (PEBA) on a list of government organizations that were victims of a breach by an alleged Russian hacker. PEBA has multiple layers of security in place to prevent breaches of its information systems. In addition to the security measures PEBA takes, PEBA also uses security services from the South Carolina Department of Information Security Operations Center, which is part of the South Carolina Department of Administration Division of Technology.
PEBA’s Information Technology staff followed all incident response procedures, which included conducting an analysis of the agency’s information systems. PEBA’s IT staff also performed a full investigation for evidence of a successful attack and did not find any evidence of a compromise of PEBA’s data. PEBA IT staff fully debriefed the state security team on the issue and requested that the Department of Administration Division of Technology conduct an analysis as well. The Division of Technology did not find any evidence of a compromise of PEBA’s data. PEBA engaged its third party information technology security services vendor to conduct an independent technical review of the agency’s security controls and the same vendor is conducting an analysis to confirm that no compromise of confidential or restricted data occurred.
A recent opinion issued by the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office has been misused to suggest that the state’s public pension plans are not being administered in accordance with state law and actuarially sound practices. In response to the misuse of that opinion, the South Carolina Public Employee Benefit Authority (PEBA) has issued a briefing paper to reassure stakeholders and other interested parties that the state’s public pension plans have been, and will continue to be, administered and funded in full compliance with all applicable state laws and professional actuarial standards of practice. The briefing paper is available online.
The South Carolina Public Employee Benefit Authority (PEBA) is aware of the January 10, 2017, opinion released by Solicitor General Robert Cook and disagrees with its conclusions. The opinion does not accurately reflect the funding methods used for the state’s public employee retirement plans. PEBA has and will continue to administer these plans in compliance with all statutory and constitutional requirements, as well as accounting and actuarial standards of practice.
PEBA considers the funding of the state’s public employee retirement plans a high priority and is working collaboratively with the Joint Committee on Pension Systems Review, which was established by the South Carolina General Assembly to study and address the plans’ funding, and will continue to do so.
Employee Benefits Services (EBS) and MyBenefits will be unavailable due to maintenance beginning Friday, January 13 at 5 p.m. through Monday, February 16 at 8:30 a.m.
An annual open enrollment period for all participants of the State Optional Retirement Program (State ORP) is January 1 to March 1 of each year. During this period, State ORP participants may change their State ORP vendor or, if eligible, may irrevocably elect to participate in the South Carolina Retirement System (SCRS).
Details about the 2017 open enrollment period are available online.