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June 18, 2008


(Columbia,SC)…One year after the Treasurer’s Task Force on COLAs (Cost-of-Living Adjustments) was formed, all of its recommendations were adopted by both the General Assembly and the State Budget and Control Board.

“Today, the State of South Carolina took a very positive final step forward in moving to address a 40-year old problem”, said State Treasurer Converse Chellis referring to the 10 billion dollar unfunded liability of the State Retirement System.

Earlier this month the General Assembly passed H.4876 (COLA legislation) and then overrode a veto by the Governor. The action today by the Budget and Control Board was to raise the “assumed rate of return” on Retirement System investments from 7.25% to 8.00%. Eight percent is the median for retirement systems across the county.

“We have finally taken politics out of this decision-making process and replaced it with sound financial practices”, said Chellis adding, “Today we’ve set a course to stabilize and strengthen the Retirement System while treating our retirees in a fair manner and with respect.”

Treasurer Chellis also thanked the members of the Treasurer’s Task Force in a morning press conference. Chellis also thanked the over 100 retirees who attended the Budget and Control Board meeting to show support for the Task Force’s recommendations.

The President of the State Retirees Association, Sam Griswold, said after the meeting, “The State’s retirees are very very pleased with the action taken by the Budget and Control Board today. The Board’s action treats retirees fairly while enhancing the fiscal integrity of the Retirement Fund. I’m pleased with the leadership displayed by Treasurer Chellis and the assistance of Senator Leatherman in this effort.”
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