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An Optional Retirement Program (ORP) participant is an employee who is enrolled in one of the following retirement programs:  TIAA-CREF, MetLife Resources, The Hartford or VALIC.  To determine which retirement program you are enrolled in, go into your VIP, click on the “Employment” icon, then click on the “Benefits Profile” and scroll down until you find “Retirement Benefits.”  If you have determined that you are not an ORP program participant, please disregard this email.

Open enrollment for the State Optional Retirement Program (State ORP) ends on March 1, 2012. Participants may change vendors or, if eligible, may irrevocably elect to join the South Carolina Retirement System (SCRS) during this open enrollment period.  For more detailed information to assist you in making this important retirement decision, please view the video, It’s Your Choice:  SCRS Plan or State ORP , which is found at http://www.retirement.sc.gov/video/videos/yourchoice/yourchoice.htm.

Any State ORP participant electing to switch from State ORP to SCRS must have a minimum of 12 months but no more than 60 months of participation in State ORP by March 1, 2012.  State ORP participants hired between January 1, 2007, and March 1, 2011, are eligible to switch from State ORP to SCSC during the open enrollment period.  The effective date of all changes is April 1, 2012.

If you elect to change to SCRS, employees may purchase service for periods of State ORP participation at a rate of 16 percent of their highest fiscal year salary.

Since there are forms to be completed, please call the Human Resources Office, ext. 5322, to set up a convenient time prior to March 1.

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