The biggest pension loser

June 2, 2017


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Governments scrap over the taxpayer bone


The State published a story two days ago with the headline “SC pension deal will hit cities, counties, schools hard.” It’s referring to the astronomical increase in employer contributions to the state pension fund. The bill, now signed into law, increases the employer contribution by 70 percent over the next six years.

State agencies aren’t the only employers in the state pension system. Local governments, school districts, and even some private organizations and non-profits are part of the system and will have to cough up the dough to cover the mandated employer-contribution increase.

That will be difficult for many of them, so lawmakers agreed to cover up to half of the first year’s increase for all non-state agency employers. However, the House budget sent the bailout directly to the pension system, and the Senate sent it to the local government fund.

The difference? Some local governments would get more than others, depending on which plan you’re looking at. Lawmakers have evidently decided to go with the House plan and send the money straight to the pension system, according to The State’s story, which adds “That deal was reached after weeks of negotiations between S.C. House and Senate budget writers.”

Here’s what everyone is missing: In the tug-of-war between state government and local government, cities and counties and school districts, it’s the taxpayer that gets the shaft every single time.

It doesn’t matter whether the money goes to the local government fund or the pension fund. It doesn’t matter if state government covers the whole increase for local governments or not.

Because either way, the S.C. taxpayer is the one footing the bill. The real tension in this state is never between government entities.

It’s between tax spenders and tax payers.

Let’s say the state government decides to cover the entire mandated increase. Know who funds state government?

You do.

Let’s say that, as will likely be the case, local governments are on their own after this year and have to cover the rest of the increase themselves. Know who funds local government?

You do.

Know who the S.C. pension deal actually hits – and hits hard?

That’s right — it’s you.

Nerve stories are always free to reprint and repost. We only ask that you credit The Nerve.
  • Philip Branton

    Hmm…… Well, this article really makes one wonder if Hannah Hill has spent time to read the book “Flashboys”. If she had, I do believe this article would have been written totally different. Does she not stop to ask herself how the Pension is in a 20+ billion debt hole..and who orchestrated the outright theft..? Does she think that her readers are that clueless to not realize how all those decisions are digitally trackable and traceable…? How many students in our public universities getting public education loans can be inspired via classroom curriculum to actually do the grunt work to hunt down those that made every decision and how they profited..? I’m sure Hannah is a fine lady but does she really understand how her kids are being subjugated……

  • dm10ae

    The pension fund is under attack by the investing firm hired by the legislative body that also controls the input-aka employer/employee contributions,mediocre gains from investments and output-losses in the market, funds paid out for mediocre gains, huge payouts to legislators compared to other state employees-different rules for all whether judicial, police, state, or legislative systems. The fund now isn’t answerable to anyone that I see that can stop the madness. The investing people can lose a million and ask for another million there isn’t a bottom until all funds are exhausted-but taxpayers are responsible so we’re hooked for more.

  • MJ

    People have no trouble believing that their town clerk took money from the parking fine collections.

    However, for some reason, they can’t conceive of a high state government official taking millions from a $28 billion dollar fund.

    People, you allowed SC’s most influential people and their families rob you blind and you sat there and did nothing. Shame on you.

  • AZTEX00

    Hannah Hill apparently is unaware that employees who participate in the retirement system are being required to contribute more to their pension benefit, and now pay more than public employees in just about every other state. In addition to their pension contribution, they’re also contributing to Social Security, so around 15 percent of their paycheck goes straight to retirement.

    Moreover, public employees in South Carolina ain’t exactly hauling in six-figure salaries. Public employment in The Palmetto State does not pay well.

    And for all of Hannah’s crying about the taxpayer footing the bill, she ignores the fact that the retirement benefit is an essential tool for school districts, police forces, fire departments, state agencies, cities, etc., to attract and retain good employees. The retirement benefit is one of the reasons people choose to work for cities and states. Take away that benefit and see how well educated your kids will be, or if anyone shows up when you dial 911.

    Hannah Hill has some homework to do.