Serving those who serve South Carolina

Retirees frequently asked questions

How do I change my name on my account?

To update your name on your account, please send a certified copy of your marriage license, divorce decree or other duly executed court order verifying your name change to PEBA at the following address:

 

S.C. Public Employee Benefit Authority

Attention: Retirement Benefit Payments Department

202 Arbor Lake Drive

Columbia, South Carolina 29223

 

How can I update my address?

You may change your address by logging into Member Access and selecting the Change Address option. You may also send a written notification to our office which includes your signature, printed name, Social Security number and new address. Notice of an address change may be mailed to:

 

S.C. Public Employee Benefit Authority

Attention: Retirement Benefit Payments Department

202 Arbor Lake Drive

Columbia, South Carolina 29223

 

How do I set up direct deposit or make a change to my current direct deposit bank account?

Having your annuity directly deposited into your bank account is the most efficient and secure method for you to receive benefits. To set up direct deposit or change an existing direct deposit, log into Member Access and select Payment. Next choose Set Up Direct Deposit to set up a new direct deposit or choose the View/Change Direct Deposit option to modify an existing direct deposit. You may also complete a Direct Deposit Authorization (Form 7204) and send it to:

 

S.C. Public Employee Benefit Authority

Attention: Retirement Benefit Payments Department

202 Arbor Lake Drive

Columbia, South Carolina 29223

 

You may designate up to two bank accounts for direct deposit of your monthly retirement benefit.  However, our automated systems do not currently allow the flexibility to designate a portion of your benefit to be deposited into a bank account and the remainder of your annuity to be issued on a prepaid debit card.

 

How can I change the income tax withholding on my monthly retirement annuity?

As an annuity recipient, changes to both your federal and South Carolina state income tax withholding designations can be made through Member Access. Once you have logged in, select Payment, then choose the View/Change Tax Withholdings option. If you make no withholding election, federal regulations require PEBA Retirement Benefits to withhold federal income tax based on a status of married with 3 exemptions.  Your tax withholding designations will be updated immediately; however, changes that are made after our monthly payroll has been processed will be reflected in the following month’s annuity payment.  Although the dollar amounts may change annually as a result of changes to the required withholding tables, the changes you make for marital status and exemptions will remain in effect until you make further changes or revoke them. You may also complete a Withholding Certificate for Monthly Benefit Payments (Form 7202) and send it to:

 

S.C. Public Employee Benefit Authority

Attention: Retirement Benefit Payments Department

202 Arbor Lake Drive

Columbia, South Carolina 29223

 

When will I receive an IRS Form 1099-R for filing my income tax return?

Most benefit payments are reported on IRS form 1099-R and benefits paid under a Qualified Excess Benefit Arrangement are reported on form W-2.  Tax forms will be mailed via the United States Postal Service no later than the last business day of each January for benefits paid during the previous year. Once 1099-R forms have been issued, you may access current or prior year forms by logging into Member Access and selecting the 1099-R Tax Documents option or by reaching out to our Customer Contact Center.

 

I am a disability retiree. Why does the Form 1099-R from PEBA reflect a code 7 in box 7?

In accordance with guidelines set forth by the Internal Revenue Service, disability benefits paid by a PEBA-administered retirement plan are reported annually on form 1099-R as normal distributions for income tax purposes. Code “7” in box 7 of your form 1099-R means that you are not subject to the 10 percent tax penalty for early withdrawal because you receive your retirement benefits via a monthly annuity.  Code “3” is not applicable to box 7 because the disability program administered by PEBA is an occupational or job-related disability program rather than a total and permanent disability program as described in section 72(m)(7) of the Internal Revenue Code.

 

These benefits should be included as ordinary income for tax purposes. Although the Form 1099-R which you received from PEBA correctly contains a code “7” in box 7, if you also receive monthly benefits from the Social Security Administration and are considered totally and permanently disabled for Social Security purposes, you may qualify for the federal Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled. Please refer to IRS Schedule R when completing your tax return. You must keep for your records a copy of your physician’s statement, which certifies that you were permanently and totally disabled on the date that you retired. Tax laws are complex and change frequently; therefore, you should consult a tax advisor if you have questions regarding your individual federal or state tax return.

 

What does box 5 represent on my 1099-R form?

On form 1099-R, box 5 is not used to indicate health insurance premiums, but rather the amount of retirement benefits you received during the tax year that were after-tax dollars. The amount shown in box 5 represents the annual portion of the retirement benefit disbursed to you that is tax-free because of employee contributions you made prior to 1982 and/or any service purchases you made on an after-tax basis. Those after-tax contributions are spread out during your lifetime thus resulting in your exclusion amount.

 

As a recipient of a monthly annuity, when am I eligible to receive a benefit adjustment?

Based on current law, you may be eligible for a benefit adjustment if your retirement was in effect the previous July 1. If you retired early as a Class Two member of SCRS, you are not eligible for a benefit adjustment until the second July 1 after you reach age 60 or the second July 1 after the date you would have attained 28 years of service credit had you not retired.

 

I am participating in the TERI program. When will I receive a statement of my TERI account balance?

You may print your TERI statement by logging into Member Access and selecting the TERI Statement option. You can also receive a copy via mail by reaching out to our Customer Contact Center.

 

I have terminated the TERI program. When will I receive my TERI account payout and start receiving my monthly retirement annuity?

Upon termination of employment, you must  a complete TERI Payout Election (Form 7500) and return it to our office along with a copy of your driver’s license or Department of Motor Vehicles issued identification card. Your employer is also required to verify your termination date and any payment for unused annual leave. Once all required information is received from both you and your employer, the TERI account balance will be distributed and you will begin receiving your monthly annuity.

 

I am ending my TERI participation. Where can I learn more?

You can find TERI publications and presentations, as well as forms needed for the TERI-end process on the Ending your TERI participation webpage.

 

When will PEBA finalize my retirement annuity?

It generally takes from six to nine months following the date of your retirement for your account to be finalized; however, it is PEBA’s goal to ensure that you begin receiving an estimated retirement benefit immediately. Your benefit payments will be calculated as an estimated amount. After your employer submits all required information, your retirement benefit will be finalized. The final amount may be less than, or more than, your estimated benefit. You will be notified in writing upon finalization of your benefit. Any difference (positive or negative) between your estimated benefit and final benefit will be retroactively applied to your date of retirement.

 

Will Social Security affect my retirement?

The retirement benefit that you receive from PEBA is not affected by any benefits you may receive from the Social Security Administration or through a workers' compensation program.  If you are a disability retiree receiving Long Term Disability benefits from Standard Insurance Company, please contact them regarding the effect of Social Security on their payments.

 

As a retiree, can I change my payment plan option?

After monthly annuity payments have begun, you may not change your payment option unless you experience a qualifying event such as a marriage, a divorce, or the death of a spouse. A request to change the form of your monthly annuity based upon a change in marital status must be made within five years of the qualifying event. Also, if you have selected Option B or Option C, your annuity will revert to the maximum benefit (Option A) if all of your designated beneficiaries predecease you. Your form of monthly annuity payment may not be changed more than twice regardless of the number of qualifying events that occur.

 

What happens if I return to work after retiring?

If you began receiving a service retirement benefit before January 2, 2013, you may return to work for an employer covered by PEBA Retirement Benefits with no earnings limitation; however, you will be subject to the same contribution rate as active employees. These contributions will be posted to your retirement account, but as a retiree, you will not earn additional service credit or receive interest on your account.

Effective January 2, 2013, if you retire before you reach age 62 (SCRS) or 57 (PORS) and return to covered employment, you will be subject to a $10,000 per year earnings limitation. This earnings limitation applies regardless of your age when you return to work.

 

If you are under age 65 for SCRS or 55 for PORS and are receiving a disability retirement benefit, there is a limit on the amount of income you may earn without impacting your retirement benefits. In February of each year you will receive a letter for PEBA Retirement Benefits indicating the amount you may earn from gainful employment for that calendar year. Please notify our office immediately if you return to employment and believe that your earnings from that employment will exceed your earnings limitation for the year.

 

Can you help me in matters concerning my health insurance?

If you have state-sponsored health insurance, you should contact PEBA at 803.737.6800 or 888.260.9430 for assistance with your request. If you have other coverage, you may want to contact your former employer for assistance.

 

202 Arbor Lake Drive

Columbia, SC 29223

803.737.6800 | 888.260.9430

Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

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