State ORP service provider transition effective January 1, 2021

As required by state statute, PEBA recently awarded a contract to four service providers to deliver third-party recordkeeping, administration and associated services for the State Optional Retirement Program (State ORP). The current contract with the four existing providers expires December 31, 2020. The new contract, which begins January 1, 2021, was awarded to AIG Retirement Services (AIG), MassMutual, TIAA and Voya Financial (Voya). As a result of this award, MetLife Resources (MetLife) will no longer be a State ORP service provider, and Voya will be a new State ORP service provider beginning January 1, 2021. The new contract will result in:

  • Lower fees for State ORP participants;
  • Diverse menu of low-cost, high-quality investment options; and
  • Local service from retirement plan counselors with each service provider.

Special enrollment opportunity for current MetLife participants

If your current service provider is MetLife, you will need to determine which service provider will best meet your needs going forward. Information about investment options and fees with each service provider are discussed below.

If you decide that Voya will be the best service provider for your needs going forward, you do not have to take any further action.

If you determine AIG, MassMutual or TIAA will be the best service provider for your needs, you will have a special open enrollment opportunity beginning October 1, 2020, and ending October 31, 2020, to elect to switch from MetLife to AIG, MassMutual or TIAA. The change will be effective December 1, 2020, so contributions for payroll deductions that occur on or after that date will be remitted to your new service provider.

If you are contacted by a company other than AIG, MassMutual, TIAA or Voya with regard to your State ORP account with MetLife, please note that the company is not under contract with PEBA to administer State ORP and there is a transition plan for MetLife accounts in State ORP. In addition, it is important to note that, unless you are age 59½ or older, you cannot roll your account balance out of State ORP if you are actively participating.

You cannot switch from State ORP to the South Carolina Retirement System (SCRS) defined benefit plan during this special open enrollment period. This special open enrollment opportunity does not impact the State ORP annual open enrollment period that will occur January 1, 2021, to March 1, 2021.

How to change service providers

  1. Complete a State Optional Retirement Program (State ORP) Notice of Termination or Change form (Form 1162) and return it to your employer’s human resource department.
  2. Your employer will update its payroll records and forward the form to PEBA. Your employer is responsible for ensuring your payroll contributions are sent to the appropriate service provider based on any changes you make.
  3. PEBA will provide your new service provider with your basic demographic information, and the provider will establish an account for you.

You must select your desired investment options and designate your State ORP account beneficiaries with your new service provider. If you do not do this, your contributions will be invested in the default investment option, which is a target date fund based on your date of birth and normal retirement age. Additionally, your beneficiary will default to your estate according to the State ORP Plan Document.

What happens if you switch service providers?

If you choose to switch to one of the other service providers during this special open enrollment opportunity, you may also wish to transfer your existing account balance at MetLife to your new service provider prior to the blackout period, which is expected to begin December 23, 2020. You can transfer your balance after your account is established with the new service provider. If you do not transfer your balance to your new service provider, your MetLife account balance will transfer to Voya effective January 1, 2021. The forms needed to transfer your account balance to your new service provider will be available under Quick links to the right by November 1, 2020.

What happens if you do not switch service providers?

If you do not switch to one of the other service providers during this special open enrollment opportunity, your demographic information, account balance, beneficiary designations and future contributions will automatically transfer to Voya effective January 1, 2021. Voya will map your account balance from your existing investment options to the new investment options based on the mapping schedule discussed below. You can make changes to your existing investment options at MetLife prior to the blackout period, which is expected to begin December 23, 2020.

State ORP participants who have terminated all covered employment

If you are a State ORP participant with MetLife who has terminated all covered employment, you may choose to roll your account balance over to an IRA or to your new employer’s retirement plan. You may also elect to take a full distribution of your MetLife account balance. If you wish to roll over your account balance or take a distribution, call MetLife participant services at 800.543.2520. You must complete this process prior to the blackout period, which is expected to begin December 23, 2020.

Participating in the special open enrollment

You also have the option to participate in the special open enrollment by completing Form 1162 and returning it directly to PEBA via email at dc@peba.sc.gov or fax at 803.740.1464. If you choose this option, you will need to transfer your existing account balance at MetLife to your new service provider prior to the blackout period, which is expected to begin December 23, 2020. Learn more about this process in the What happens if you switch service providers? section above.

If you do not switch to one of the other service providers, your demographic information, account balance and beneficiary designations will automatically transfer to Voya effective January 1, 2021. Learn more about this process in the What happens if you do not switch service providers? section above.

Investment options, fees and mapping schedule

The current investment options and fees are available under the Quick links to the right. Information about investment options and fees with each service provider under the new contract beginning January 1, 2021, will be available in October. The mapping schedule for assets that will transfer from MetLife to Voya effective January 1, 2021, will also be available in October.

More information

If you have questions, email PEBA’s Customer Contact Center or call 803.737.6800 or 888.260.9430, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.