South Carolina State Treasurer Curtis Loftis Jr. recently voted against a request from the Public Employee Benefit Authority (PEBA) to the State Fiscal Accountability Authority to increase employee and employer contribution rates to the state pension fund effective July 1, 2017.
"This increase is not going to fix the problem. At this rate, the pension debt is going to continue to grow, until it’s too big to fix," Loftis said. "Pension increases should not be measured in money, but by how many teachers, policemen, firefighters and other public employees are taken off the streets."
Officials said the rate for employees under the SC Retirement System increased from 8.66 to 9.1 percent and employer contributions increased from 11.56 to 12.06 percent.
The rates for employees under the Police Officers Retirement System increased from 9.24 to 9.74 percent and the employer rates increased from 14.24 to 14.74 percent. These increases take effect July 1.
"Lawmakers are going to have to make tough choices when it comes to fixing the pension system. They must make the pension debt their top priority during the upcoming legislative session," Loftis said. "Without a doubt, the pension crisis is the most significant challenge of our generation."