Sanford says SC pension fund in trouble

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COLUMBIA — Experts say the pension fund for state employees in South Carolina is underfunded, but they disagree on how much more money is needed.

The State newspaper reported Gov. Mark Sanford called a summit to discuss the problem.

The Budget and Control Board estimates the shortfall at $12 billion. Sanford thinks it's much higher.

Aiken Sen. Greg Ryberg says he thinks the shortfall is between $20 billion and $30 billion. He expects lawmakers to work on the problem next year.

The retirement system covers 232,000 active state and local government employees and another 118,000 retirees in five plans.

Alternatives include cutting benefits, raising the number of years for workers to retire from 28 years to 30 years. Lawmakers could also change the way benefits are calculated.

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curly123053
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curly123053 10/21/10 - 08:22 am
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There is a SC FairTax

There is a SC FairTax Amendment which was introduced in the SC House and it is time for it to be brought to the floor for debate. I expect that to be a priority for my local State Reps when they reconvene in January. The present system is not working and it is time for change to a more stable way to collect taxes.

johnston.cliff
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johnston.cliff 10/21/10 - 08:40 am
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I agree curly, the way to get

I agree curly, the way to get this law passed is one state at a time. So many problems would be solved with the Fair Tax in place.

The government employees retirement plan is out of balance in most states. Who would have guessed?

Chillen
17
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Chillen 10/21/10 - 09:59 am
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All pension funds are in

All pension funds are in trouble. They are unsustainable.

Hard decisions lie ahead. Revisions to programs that people expected to never change must be made. They will be mad, upset, they will scream & riot but eventually they will accept it. There is no other way.

The money is not there.

pittsburg
4
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pittsburg 10/21/10 - 10:06 am
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The trade union pension plans

The trade union pension plans in SC are in pretty good shape,but they only make up about 3.5% of the work force.

seenitB4
90639
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seenitB4 10/21/10 - 10:19 am
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OK ...now let's see...the

OK ...now let's see...the money is NOT there....why don't we send another 42,000 FACTORIES to other countries & see how that will affect our money problem here!!! Or we could just build a ballpark or better still let's put some streetcars in the town...hey FORGET about pensions...we have it let's just throw it away...why don't we..
PLEASE VOTE FOR SENSIBLE PEOPLE or the USA will sink. imho

ruudvonbaron
0
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ruudvonbaron 10/21/10 - 01:27 pm
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Chillen is 100% absolutely

Chillen is 100% absolutely correct. Pensions morphed into ponzi schemes. Fortunately many corporations realized this long ago and went the 401k plan as the major retirement benefit. Government.....well they don't like change and they think they can always tax more in the future to avoid irriating a government employee today.

ameliaf
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ameliaf 10/21/10 - 04:36 pm
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The pension plans are in

The pension plans are in trouble because the legislators and governors ignored the problem and didn't tax people to fund the programs. It doesn't matter if the tax system is the (so-called, but not) Fair Tax or a progressive income tax. You will end up in the same position when those you elect do not do their jobs.

And I agree that defined benefit pension plans need to be gone. But, if they magically disappear tomorrow, there is still the problem of the benefits already promised today. Would you cut the benefits that 70 year old is currently receiving? Would you tell a sixty year old who has worked for the government for 30 years that, oops, sorry, we are going to cut the pension we promised you and you have to wait 3, 4, 5 more years to start collecting?

Do you keep your promises?

By the way, I think the last time I ready about the state retirement plan for Georgia workers, it was fully funded.

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