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2021 open enrollment for state ORP participants


The annual open enrollment period for the State Optional Retirement Program (State ORP) is January 1 to March 1 of each year. Participants in the State ORP  can use this opportunity to change their State ORP service provider or, if eligible, irrevocably elect to participate in the South Carolina Retirement System (SCRS). State retirement plans are administered by the SC Public Employee Benefit Authority (PEBA), and more information on the open enrollment period for State ORP is available on PEBA’s website.

The deadline to take advantage of this open enrollment period for State ORP participants is Monday, March 1, 2021. No further action is needed by those participants who do not wish to make changes at this time.
Possible Changes During State ORP Open Enrollment

A. Change State ORP service provider.

  • Participants should contact their new service provider to establish a new account with them.

Please note: A change of service providers only directs future retirement contributions to the new provider. If participants wish to transfer existing funds from their previous provider to a new provider, participants will need to contact each provider for assistance with transferring funds between accounts.

B. Irrevocably switch from State ORP to the South Carolina Retirement System Plan (SCRS), if eligible.

  • Check eligibility.
    • You are eligible to switch from the State ORP to the SCRS plan during the 2021 open enrollment period if at any point during the open enrollment period it has been at least one year, but not more than five years, since your initial enrollment in State OPR (i.e., initial enrollment between January 1, 2016 and March 1, 2020).
  • Review important considerations.
    • If you do not change to SCRS within the allotted time, you will, by default, continue State ORP participation. If you change to SCRS during the allotted time, you may purchase service credit for all or a portion of your State ORP participation at any time after joining SCRS.
      • Give serious consideration to purchasing part or all of your State ORP service to change from a Class Three to a Class Two member, if eligible. Doing so may allow you to become retirement eligible sooner.
    • The following resources provide helpful information when considering a change in plans:

When Will State ORP Open Enrollment Changes Go into Effect? 
Your changes will go into effect April 1, 2021 and will be reflected on your paycheck scheduled for April 15, 2021.

Contact PEBA Customer Service with any questions regarding open enrollment for State ORP participants.

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