South Carolina Retirement System

The SCRS carried in 1999 and unfunded liability of $179 million with a 2-year amortization period. Today it currently carries an unfunded actuarial liability of over $13 billion with another $5 billion in the smoothing pot and a 37-year amortization period. State and local governments, furthermore, now contribute approximately $600 million per year to carry the unfunded liability. In order for the 37-year amortization period to fall to 30, which is the upper limit according to federal guidelines, state and local governments will have to contribute $700 million next year. The annual contribution by state and local governments, just to carry the unfunded liability, is projected by the current actuaries to rise to almost $2 billion by 2030.

How did we get here? Unfortunately, lawmakers have been making political promises, sidestepping the real issues, and kicking the can down the road. We cannot ignore this problem. The System in its current condition is unsustainable. I look forward to a serious discussion about these issues. I will make every effort to maintain the current benefits for our retirees, but if we do nothing then soon nothing will be left.