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ORP plan

Plan details

VALIC is proud to partner with the State of South Carolina to administer the State ORP. Our goal is to help make retirement planning, investment selection, State ORP enrollment, and account administration as simple as possible for our clients. 

More about your ORP 

Effective July 1, 2000, the State of South Carolina enacted legislation establishing the South Carolina State Optional Retirement Program (ORP), which is a defined contribution plan available to certain public school (K-12) employees hired after June 30, 2000. 

Eligible employees have 30 days from their date of hire to enroll in the State ORP. If an employee does not elect to enroll in the State ORP within that time period, he/she will automatically become a member of the South Carolina Retirement System (SCRS) Defined Benefit Plan. 

The main difference between the State ORP and the SCRS is the method by which participants accumulate retirement benefits. In a defined contribution plan, like the State ORP, total contributions plus investment earnings over a career determine the account value. Upon retirement or separation from service, participants have many payment options from which to choose a retirement benefit. In a defined benefit plan, like the SCRS, a pre-set benefit formula determines the retirement benefit. SCRS employer contributions and investment earnings have no direct impact on your monthly benefit. 

There is an annual open enrollment period (January 1 - March 1) during which a State ORP member may: 

  • Change investment providers  
  • Irrevocably switch to SCRS if the member has between one and five years of State ORP service. 

A financial advisor can help you determine which plan is best for you. To arrange an appointment, call our South Carolina office in Columbia at 803.743.2020 or 1.800.647.4416. 

Click below to view the additional features and highlights of your employer’s retirement plan.

The plan highlights are only a brief overview of the plan's features and are not a legally binding document. The information in this section does not modify the terms of the plan and in the event of a conflict, the terms of the plan control.

Take advantage today

Effective July 1, 2000, the State of South Carolina enacted legislation establishing the South Carolina State Optional Retirement Program (ORP), which is a defined contribution plan available to certain public school (K-12) employees hired after June 30, 2000. Legislation enacted during the 2001 legislative session expanded the definition of employees eligible to participate in the State ORP to include:

  • Full-time employees of South Carolina public school districts hired after June 30, 2001.
  • Full-time employees of South Carolina state-supported colleges, universities, and technical colleges hired after June 30, 2002.
  • Full-time employees of the state of South Carolina or any of its departments, agencies, bureaus, commissions, and institutions hired after June 30, 2002.
  • A person who was a participant in the South Carolina Higher Education Optional Retirement Program as of June 30, 2002.
  • Part-time permanent and temporary employees by eligible employers as of July 1, 2003.

Eligible employees have 30 days from their date of hire to enroll in the State ORP. If an employee does not elect to enroll in the State ORP within that time period, he/she will automatically become a member of the South Carolina Retirement System (SCRS) Defined Benefit Plan.

Starting early has its advantages

Contributions

  • Each participant shall contribute monthly to the program the same amount(s) he would be required to contribute to the South Carolina Retirement System if the participant were a member of that system (currently, 9% of your salary). 

  • Your employer contributes an amount equal to 5% of your salary each pay period, on a pre-tax basis.

Vesting

You are always 100% vested in employee and employer contributions to your State ORP account.

Accessing your money before retirement

Withdrawals

The South Carolina State ORP is designed to encourage long term savings so that participants can enjoy a secure retirement.  Money can be withdrawn from your ORP account in these events:

  • Retirement or separation from service (distributions where the employee retires or separates from service on or after age 55 are not subject to the 10% early withdrawal federal tax penalty)

  • Your death or total disability

In addition, you must begin taking distributions once you reach age 70½ or you retire, whichever is later. 

Bear in mind that income taxes are payable upon withdrawal and that a 10% federal tax penalty can apply to withdrawals prior to age 59½. 

VALIC offers many distribution options, allowing you to tailor your benefits to meet your individual needs. Depending on your employer’s plan provisions, your withdrawal options include:

  • Transferring or rolling over your vested account balance to another tax-advantaged plan that accepts rollovers

  • Receiving systematic withdrawals

  • Taking a lump-sum distribution

  • Choosing one of the many annuity options available from VALIC

  • Deferring distributions until a later date (but no later than attainment of age 70½) if you are no longer working for the employer sponsoring the plan, allowing your account to continue to grow tax deferred.

Loans

Loans are not available under the South Carolina State ORP Plan. 

An array of investment choices

Withdrawals

The following funds are available in your retirement plan. They provide you with the flexibility you need to create a suitably diversified portfolio that matches your personal retirement time horizon, investment risk tolerance and investment preferences.
 

Administrative fees 

VALIC's current administrative service fee is 0.19% on mutual funds assets.  Any revenue sharing from the mutual funds is returned to participants who invested in those funds and shown as a separate transaction.  Plan administrative expenses are assessed across participants and shown as a separate transaction.
 

To view or print a prospectus, access, “Prospectuses and Other Important Materials”. The prospectus contains the investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses and other information about the respective investment companies that you should consider carefully before investing. Please read the prospectus carefully before investing or sending money. You can also request a copy by calling 1-800-428-2542.