House Speaker Bobby Harrell called into Charleston affiliate WTMA on his way to Columbia this morning as one of the station’s talk shows was talking about the state budget and retirement. Harrell said it piqued his interest.
I was just on my way to Columbia this morning. I was listening to the folks talking about different ways to save money. The fellow a minute ago talking about the retirement system, and what he was saying to go through the defined contribution system instead of the defined benefit system is absolutely a great idea. I would love to get that pushed through. I think that will save the state a ton of money.
Currently, South Carolina has a defined benefit system for retirement where the state determines what benefits a state employee receives. The defined contribution system would allow state employees to determine what benefits they receive and how much.
So, the question that some listeners have: Why can’t the General Assembly get that pushed through?
It is entrenched like you wouldn’t believe. There are so many people who are concerned about changing the system, it baffles me. I’m talking about legislators. You start with Democrats not wanting to do it, then you add a handful of Republicans on top of that that don’t want to do it. It’s difficult to get the thing through.
Harrell says the retirement system is a great example of how the state can head towards recovery in its budget.