|EMPLOYEE BENEFITS, EMPLOYER AND CONTRIBUTED INSURANCE AND RETIREMENT
- Employer-Contributed Insurance
1. Health and Dental Insurance
Trident Technical College participates in all insurance programs offered to employees of the State of South Carolina for which the employer pays full or partial cost. Employees may choose health insurance coverage from either a group policy or membership in a pre-selected health maintenance organization(s). Employees may also enroll in a dental insurance plan. For more detailed information, visit: http://www.eip.sc.gov/.
The College continues to pay the employer's share of premium(s) while a nine-month faculty member is on non-pay status for the other three months. However, employees on leave without pay for other circumstances are required to pay both the employer and employee's share of insurance premiums to continue insurance coverage.
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) provides for the continuation of dental and health insurance if loss of insurance is a result of employment termination, divorce, dependent no longer eligible, survivor of deceased employee, reduction in work hours to fewer than 30 hours per week, or retirement. For more detailed COBRA information regarding employee's cost and coverage period, visit: http://www.eip.sc.gov/.
2. Unemployment Compensation
Employees of the institutions of the State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education (SBTCE), effective January 1, 1972, are covered under the provisions of the South Carolina Unemployment Compensation Act. Information concerning unemployment compensation benefits may be obtained from the local offices of the South Carolina Employment Security Commission.
Participation in the state's retirement plan is mandatory for employees in Full-time Equivalent (FTE) positions and for temporary employees with funds already on deposit with SC Retirement System (SCRS). Contributions are deferred from federal and state income tax. There are three (3) retirement plans available to TTC employees: SCRS (Traditional) Plan, the Optional Retirement Program (ORP) and the Police Officers Retirement (PORS) Program.
SC Retirement System (Traditional) Plan is a defined plan which means that the retirement annuity is based upon the employee's annual final compensation and years of service. Both the employee and the employer contribute to the plan.
The Optional Retirement Plan is a defined contribution plan which means the retirement annuity is based upon contributions and investment performance. Persons electing to participate in the ORP will be required to select an investment provider. For current investment options, visit: http://www.retirement.sc.gov/. Both the employee and the employer contributes to the plan.
Police Officers Retirement System is a defined benefit retirement plan that is limited to law enforcement officers. A law enforcement officer is defined as a person who is required by the terms of his or her employment to give his time to the preservation of public order; protection of life and property; and the detection of crime in the state For details including contribution rates and retirement eligibility, visit: http://www.retirement.sc.gov/.
1. Service and Disability Retirement
The Retirement System provides for both service retirement and disability retirement. Information pertaining
to both types of retirement is available in the College's Employee Handbook and from the Human Resources
department. Application for either type of retirement should be coordinated with the Human Resources
department. For more detailed information, visit: http://www.retirement.sc.gov/.
2. Return of Contributions
- Termination: A member is entitled to a refund of his total contributions with interest less Federal withholding taxes when his/her services are terminated. Under provisions of the retirement laws, refunds of contributions are made within six months but not less than 90 days from the date the employee ceases to be an active member of the retirement system. Vested employees who terminate may elect this option or the deferred retirement option. They may also elect to rollover the taxable portion of the refund to an IRA or 401 eligible plan.
- Death: If a member dies before retirement, the amount of his accumulated contributions paid into the South Carolina Retirement System plus accumulated interest thereon shall be paid to his estate or to such person as he/she shall have nominated by written designation, duly acknowledged and filed with the South Carolina Retirement System office.
- Deferred Retirement: A member with five years of retirement service is vested and eligible for a deferred annuity at age 60. If a member is age 60 or older on the date of termination, that member is eligible to receive a monthly benefit, regardless of length of service. A member with 5 years of retirement service may elect to leave the contributions and interest with the Retirement System in order to receive a monthly benefit at age 60.
3. Pre-retirement (In-service) Death Benefit
A death benefit equal to the annual earnable compensation of the member shall be paid
upon proof, satisfactory to the South Carolina Retirement System, of the member's death.
This benefit shall be paid to such person, if that person is living at the time of the member's
death, as the member nominated by written designation, duly acknowledged and filed
with the South Carolina Retirement System. If the person designated to receive the death
benefit is not living at the time of the member's death, the death benefit shall be paid to the
member's legal representatives.
Such benefit shall be payable apart and separate from the payment of the member's
accumulated contributions. For purpose of this section, a member shall be deemed to be in
service at the date of his death if his last day of actual service occurred not more than 90
days before the date of his death, provided that he/she shall not have retired or applied for
a refund of contributions.
Survivor's Option: If a member in service dies after he/she has attained age 65, or after he/she
has 15 years of creditable service, his/her designated beneficiary(ies) may elect to receive a
monthly annuity for life instead of the refund mentioned in the preceding paragraph.
4. Additional Retirement Credit for Military Service
A law was enacted effective March 16, 1972, to allow members of the South Carolina Retirement System and the
South Carolina Police Officers Retirement System to receive credit for retirement purposes for the time spent on active
military duty prior to July 1, 1974, up to a maximum of six years. The military service is credited at the rate of one year
for each two years of state service. Separation from military service has to be under conditions other than
dishonorable, and the employee must pay to the retirement system all money he/she would have been required to pay
had he/she been employed by the State during the time to be credited. This payment will include interest at four
percent per year from the date it would have been paid until the actual date of payment and must be paid by a single
payment prior to retirement or death. At the time of establishing military credit, the entire period of active military
duty must be established at one time, not to exceed six years. This payment may be made before the employee has
worked the required number of years under the retirement system. However, the employee will be required to have
two years of State service for each year of military credit at the time of his retirement. It is to the employee's
advantage to establish military service credit at the earliest possible date to avoid the continuing accrual of interest. In
addition, this would insure credit toward the survivor's benefits in the event of the employee's death. If the employee
establishes credit for his military service and then decides to resign before retirement, this money can be refunded.
However, only one-half of the interest will be refunded.
The request to claim military service credit toward retirement should be directed to the South Carolina Retirement
System Office. A copy of the discharge certificate from military service or other essential documents to claim this
service should be included with this request. This applies both to employees covered under the South Carolina
Retirement System and the South Carolina Police Officers Retirement System.
5. Out-of-State Service
Out-of-State service performed by an employee which would have been creditable had the employment been
in South Carolina is creditable on a retroactive basis after July 1, 1975. However, if the service performed
out-of-state is performed after a person was eligible for membership in the South Carolina Retirement System,
it is not creditable.
6. Unused Sick Leave Service Credit
Employees receive service credit for up to 90 days of unused sick leave at no cost to the employee. The
additional service credit may not be used to qualify for retirement.
7. No Service Credit During Leave Without Pay
During any period of leave without pay, the employee shall retain all accumulated sick leave and service
retirement credit. However, no benefits or state service time may be earned during an extended period
of leave without pay.
Updated February 26, 2010