The 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 service provider or, if eligible, may irrevocably elect to participate in the South Carolina Retirement System (SCRS). Changes made during the annual open enrollment period become effective on April 1, 2021.
State ORP service provider change
During open enrollment, you may change to one of the four service providers:
If you change service providers during annual open enrollment, you may transfer your existing account balance, subject to the current State ORP service provider’s contractual limitations, to your new service provider. To do so, you must initiate the process by contacting your previous service provider and requesting the appropriate forms. It’s important that you wait to request a transfer after the change becomes effective on April 1. You should also confirm that all your contributions prior to April 1 post to your account at your previous service provider before making your transfer request. This will ensure you transfer your full account balance and do not leave residual contributions with your previous service provider. You may also choose to leave funds on account with your prior service provider.
Irrevocable election to participate in SCRS
You are eligible to change from State ORP to SCRS during the 2021 open enrollment period if at any point during the open enrollment period it has been at least one year, but not more than five years, since your initial enrollment in State ORP (i.e., initial enrollment between January 1, 2016, and March 1, 2020).
If you do not change to SCRS within the allotted time, you will, by default, continue State ORP participation. If you change to SCRS during the allotted time, you may purchase service credit for all or a portion of your State ORP participation at any time after joining SCRS.
The cost calculation is based in part on your current age and service credit, as well as your career highest fiscal year earnable compensation at the time PEBA receives the service purchase request. The cost, which is actuarially determined, will not be less than 16 percent of your career highest fiscal year compensation for each year purchased. State ORP participation that is established in SCRS is considered earned service for the determination of the SCRS minimum service requirement for benefit eligibility. Please note that earnings associated with established State ORP participation will be considered for possible inclusion in the calculation of your average final compensation.
If you wish to irrevocably elect to participate in SCRS, you should request that your employer submit an SCRS enrollment through EES. EES will prompt your employer to confirm that the enrollment is an irrevocable election to change from State ORP to SCRS. You will then be contacted to confirm the change. If your employer is unable to submit an enrollment through EES, you should complete a Form 1100, and return it to PEBA for processing.
If you have any questions, please contact our Customer Service department.