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Haley: Benefits changes won't affect already-retired state workers

Mar 8, 2011 1:33:00 PM - thestate.com
Gov. Nikki Haley told 300 state retirees that while she will push to change public worker’s benefits, retirees would receive their promised pensions and health insurance.

Haley said the state needs an independent analysis to determine how financially stable the state benefits system is before proposing changes. Haley said last week that South Carolina must cut its benefits for state workers but, since then, has declined to elaborate on what she might change about state worker pay, health care or pensions. However, she has said she is considering changes to all three.

More than 500,000 current, retired or terminated employees are covered by the S.C. Retirement System. The benefits of public-sector workers became the focus of a national debate after Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker supported a bill stripping collective bargaining rights from that state’s public-sector workers.

Unlike those Wisconsin workers, South Carolina’s public-sector workers are forbidden by law from unionizing.

"We've got to make some tough decisions," Haley said Tuesday, without elaborating. "You are going to get everything you were promised."

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