The value of your benefits

The South Carolina Public Employee Benefit Authority (PEBA) is the state agency responsible for the administration and management of the state’s retirement systems and employee insurance programs for South Carolina’s public workforce. PEBA is governed by an 11-member Board of Directors. Members of the Board are appointed by the Governor, President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Speaker of the House of Representatives and Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

The PEBA Board of Directors makes trustee-level policy decisions related to maintaining the fiscal soundness of the state’s benefit plans. The Board is committed to working with the following co-fiduciaries to accomplish this:

As part of its administration and management of the state’s benefits programs, PEBA also partners with various outside vendors. These vendors include auditors, actuaries, investment consultants and third-party claims administrators.

Retirement Systems


Our membership

The South Carolina Retirement System (SCRS) is for employees of state agencies, public and charter school districts, public higher education institutions and other optional employers. The Police Officers Retirement System (PORS) is for public safety employees of state agencies, public school districts, public higher education institutions and optional employers. The State Optional Retirement Program (State ORP), a defined contribution retirement plan, is an alternative option for some members of SCRS. The South Carolina Deferred Compensation Program (Deferred Comp) is a voluntary, supplemental savings program that offers 401(k) and 457 plans.

200,264 Active SCRS members 144,292 SCRS retirees and beneficiaries
27,397 Active PORS members 19,094 PORS retirees and beneficiaries
32,132 Active contributing State ORP members
99,321 Deferred Comp participants

SCRS and PORS data from the Actuarial Valuation Reports as of July 1, 2019.
State ORP data from the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report as of June 30, 2019.
Deferred Comp data from the Empower Retirement Quarterly Report as of June 30, 2019.


Pension reform legislation

The South Carolina General Assembly sets the provisions of the retirement plans for our state’s public workforce. The General Assembly passed significant legislation in 2012 and in 2017 to promote the fiscal soundness of SCRS and PORS. While the unfunded actuarial accrued liability, or UAAL, has continued to rise, the additional contributions required by the 2017 legislation have reduced the funding period. If actuarial assumptions are met, the funding period is expected to shorten over time. The actual reduction in the amortization period will depend upon emerging experience, including investment experience.

Data from the SCRS Actuarial Valuation Report as of July 1, 2019.

Benefit reform in 2012
Funding reform in 2017
Benefit reform in 2012; Funding reform in 2017; and a bar chart for the 2017 funding reform enacted, showing a gradual decrease in the amortization period (in years) per fiscal year

Additions to pension trust funds | 2005-2019

There are three primary sources of income for the pension trust funds: employee contributions, employer contributions and investment income. These sources of income are used to fund retirement benefits. The exact proportion of these numbers to each other will change over time as investment income changes and if any changes are made to contributions.


Includes SCRS, PORS, JSRS and SCNG
Amounts expressed in thousands
Data from the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report

Employee contributions: $11,086,826; Employer contributions: $16,128,541; Investment income: $21,719,824

Investment returns | 2005-2019

The South Carolina Retirement System Investment Commission (RSIC) manages and invests the assets of our state’s public pension trust funds. The assumed rate of return, which is the amount we expect to receive from investments each fiscal year, is 7.25 percent.


Data from the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report

bar chart with the following data: 7.02% in 2005; 5.13% in 2006;10.64% in 2007; -2.56% in 2008; -19.04% in 2009; 14.62% in 2010; 18.59% in 2011; 0.61% in 2012; 9.99% in 2013; 15.3% in 2014; .59% in 2015; -0.47% in 2016; 11.88% in 2017; 7.91% in 2018; and 5.8% in 2019

Annual compensation by employer type for SCRS

Employers are divided into three categories: state agencies and higher education institutions, school districts and optional employers. Each employer pays contributions based on the total compensation of its employees.


Amounts expressed in thousands
Data from the SCRS Actuarial Valuation Report as of July 1, 2019.

Optional employers: 578 employers that includes cities, counties and other local subdivisions of government, and $2,591,130; State agencies and higher education institutions: 118 employers and $3,846,606; and School districts: 118 employers and $4,536,509

Average retirement benefit

SCRS and PORS offer lifetime monthly benefits for retirees. On average, employees who reach full retirement eligibility can expect to receive a benefit equal to approximately 50 percent of their salary.


Data from the Actuarial Valuation Reports as of July 1, 2019.

Average SCRS annual benefit is $20,615.
Average PORS annual benefit is $20,852.

Economic impact of retirement benefits

PEBA disbursed more than $3.5 billion in retirement benefits in calendar year 2019 to more than 180,000 payees. More than 91 percent of payments were made to individuals who live in South Carolina.


Dollar amounts expressed in thousands

map of South Carolina that shows the number of retirees in each county and the total amount PEBA disbursed to each county

State Health Plan


Our membership and participating employers

PEBA’s insurance programs cover more than 500,000 people throughout South Carolina. Employers are divided into four categories: state agencies, higher education institutions, school districts and optional employers.


As of January 2020

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Average monthly premiums

The State Health Plan’s average monthly premiums compare favorably to other Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans. Premiums shown below are for single coverage and include both the employee and employer share.


Data from the Kaiser Family Foundation
Employer Health Benefits 2019 Annual Survey

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Average annual deductible

The State Health Plan’s average annual deductible is less than half of that of employers with more than 200 employees in both public and private sectors.


Data from the Kaiser Family Foundation
Employer Health Benefits 2019 Annual Survey

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Historical State Health Plan increases

Employees have had only one premium increase since 2006 and employee premiums have not increased since 2012.


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Actuarial value

Actuarial value is the portion the State Health Plan pays of the total allowed amount for covered services. The value considers patient cost sharing elements, including copayments, deductibles and coinsurance.


State Health Plan's actuarial value is 84.45%


Actuarial value of Bronze is 60%; the actuarial value of Silver is 70%; the actuarial value of Gold is 80%; and the actuarial value of Platinum is 90%