Did You Know?
Police Officers Retirement System (PORS) Facts
• As of June 30, 2011, The Police Officers’ Retirement System (PORS) was 74.5% funded, which is the highest funded plan out of all of South Carolina’s Retirement Systems. **The desired level of funding for government pension plans is 80%, as stated by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB).
• The South Carolina Retirement System manages five different retirement systems with five different benefit structures. Each of the five retirement systems were created to incentivize and reward five distinct and different types of professions. Yes, all employees are government employees, but everyone does not perform the same tasks and should therefore be rewarded according to the level of sacrifice and service given.
• PORS members have an annuity factor of 2.14%. In other words, when an officer becomes eligible to retire after 25 years of service, he or she is only eligible to draw 53.5% of their salary. In many states, public safety employees draw upwards of 70-80% of their salary and may or may not contribute personally to the retirement fund. For example, in Florida Police Officers retire on 75% of their salary and never contributed to the retirement system personally.
• In 2011, the average law enforcement officer retired with 25 years of service making only $38,012.
• In 2011, the average retired law enforcement officer drew a retirement benefit of only $18,652.
• PORS members have paid 6.5% in employee contribution since July 1, 1988. Members of the SC Retirement System only started paying 6.5% in employee contribution in 2006.
• Legislators have proposed a 5% salary increase for some state law enforcement agencies to offset the cost of increased employee contributions to retirement and increased premiums for health insurance. Unfortunately, approximately 66% of PORS members will not benefit from that salary increase as they work for municipal and county governments and will be forced to take on these additional costs with what is already a very minimal salary.
In 2011, law enforcement officers across the United States were killed in the line of duty in a record amount. In fact, in the past seven months, 3 officers have been murdered in the line of duty in South Carolina. Instead of mourning for the men and women in blue and working to better protect them, our state is asking them to sacrifice more.
PORS members are willing to take the necessary steps to restore the system’s financial well-being however, we would ask the legislature to allow these changes to be implemented gradually or only on new hires in order to lessen the burden on current officers. After all, any increase, no matter how small, is a major increase to PORS members.