Politics & Government

McMaster silent on whether he will sign pension proposal


S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster would not say Thursday whether he plans to sign or veto a proposal to increase the costs of the state’s pension system for state workers and their employers at state agencies, cities and counties.

“We are studying the bill,” McMaster said.

The Richland Republican has until midnight Tuesday to veto the proposal or it will become law without his signature.

The plan raises and caps the amount that government workers, including S.C. teachers, have to pay into the pension system. Starting July 1, 9 percent of a workers’ pay would go into the retirement fund, up from 8.7 percent now.

The proposal also eventually would increase the amount that employers — state agencies, cities, counties and schools — pay into the system to 18.56 percent of a worker’s pay.

Opponents to the proposal, including the limited-government Club For Growth group, want McMaster to veto the proposal. They say the higher costs for public-sector employers mean S.C. taxpayers will be footing the vast majority of the cost — eventually, more than $800 million a year — to shore up the pension system, which has roughly $20 billion in debts.