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South Carolina state government salary

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State Information

This page describes the compensation, salaries and benefits that South Carolina's public employees receive from state and local government.

Information about South Carolina employees who earn less than $50,000 per year is limited, by statute, to figures that are rounded.

Legislator salaries

See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2010, South Carolina state legislators received an annual salary of $10,400.[1] Legislators received a per diem up to $131 per day for meals and housing for each statewide session day and committee meeting.[1]

Two bills, H. 3504 and H. 3505, could cut legislator and agency salaries by 25 percent if passed.[2]

State executive salaries

See also: Compensation of state executive officers
State executive salaries[3]
Office '10 salary Current official
Governor $106,078 Nikki Haley
Lieutenant Governor $46,545 Glenn McConnell
Secretary of State $92,007 Mark Hammond
Attorney General $92,007 Alan Wilson
Treasurer $92,007 Curtis Loftis, Jr.

As of 2008, the salary of South Carolina's governor ranked 38th among U.S. governors' salaries. The average salary earned by U.S. governors was $128,735. The median salary earned by U.S. governors was $129,962.[4]

Judicial salaries

See also: State court budgets and judicial salaries
South Carolina judicial salaries[5]
Position '10 salary Current justice
Chief Justice $144,029 Jean Hoefer Toal
Associate Justice $137,171 Kaye Hearn
Associate Justice $137,171 John Kittredge
Associate Justice $137,171 Costa Pleicones
Associate Justice $137,171 Donald Beatty

As of 2010, the salary of South Carolina's chief justice ranked 32nd among U.S. chief justices' salaries. The average salary earned by U.S. chief justices was $155,230. The median salary earned by U.S. chief justices was $151,284.[5]

As of 2010, the salary of South Carolina's associate justices ranked 37th among U.S. associate justices' salaries. The average salary earned by U.S. associate justices was $151,142. The median salary earned by U.S. associate justices was $145,984.[5]

State and local employees

According to 2008 U.S. Census data, the state of South Carolina and local governments in the state employed a total of 290,248 people.[6] Of those employees, 241,725 were full-time employees receiving net pay of $826,764,431 per month and 48,703 were part-time employees paid $48,338,796 per month.[6] More than 54% of those employees, or 159,155 employees, were in education or higher education.[6]

As of 2010, 15,224 employees in South Carolina made over $50,000 per year. Their combined salaries equaled $1,133,969,806.00.[7]

In 2011, the South Carolina Retirement Investment Commission voted to increase the salary of Robert Borden, Chief Investment Officer of the South Carolina Retirement System, to $485,000, an increase of 37 percent. The raise made him one of the state’s highest paid employees.[8]

A legislative panel in 2012 approved pay increases of 7 percent and 8 percent for 81 state agency directors – their first pay increases since 2007. The 7 percent increase would go to state agency directors and technical college presidents. The 8 percent increase was for presidents of four-year state colleges and universities.[9]

The increases would cost the state $640,220.08. The then-current average salary for an agency director was $123,764.40. Since 2007, lawmakers have increased state workers’ salaries three times: 3 percent in 2006-07, 1 percent in 2008-09 and 3 percent in 2012-13. Those raises did not apply to agency directors, whose salaries are set by the Salary Commission.[10]

Teacher salaries

Teacher salaries[11]
Beginning teacher salary Average salary
$31,710 $47,421

State employee benefits


State employees receive the following 12 paid holidays:[12]

  • New Year's Day
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • George Washington's Birthday/President's Day
  • Confederate Memorial Day
  • National Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Veterans Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Day after Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Day
  • Day after Christmas

Annual leave

State employees working 40 hours per week earn 1.25 days of annual leave per month for a total of 15 days per year. Annual leave for a part-time employees in a permanent position is based on the number of hours worked per week.[12]

After 10 years of service with the state, employees earn annual leave at a higher rate that increases annually for each year of service. No more than 45 annual leave days may be carried over from one calendar year to the next.[12]

Sick leave

State employees working 40 hours per week earn 1.25 days of sick leave per month for a total of 15 days per year. Employees may use up to 10 days of sick leave annually to care for immediate family members. Up to 180 sick leave days may be carried over from one calendar year to the next.[12]


Full-time, permanent employees are eligible for insurance benefits.[13]


Employees can choose from three different health plans, including a PPO and two HMOs.[14] All plans include prescription and mental health coverage.[14]

The different plans each cost the state approximately $260 for an employee seeking individual coverage in 2010.[15] The PPO offers a savings plan and a standard plan. The standard plan costs employees $9.28. per month for individual coverage and the standard plan costs $93.46 per month for individual coverage.[14] The HMOs cost employees either $185.56 or $251 per month for individual coverage.[14]

On. August 9, 2011, however, the state Budget and Control Board voted to raise premiums for the state health plan by 4.5% for both employees and the state, with the amount of the increase depending on several factors. The average increase will be $6.82 per month.[16]


Dental insurance is available to employees, and at no cost to an employee with basic individual coverage.[15] The state contributes $11.71 per month.[15]


Vision insurance is available to employees as well. Individual coverage costs $7.76 per month.[15]


The state provides free term life and accidental death and dismemberment insurance to employees enrolled in a health plan. Employees younger than 70 receive $3,000 in life insurance. Those 70 and older receive $1,500.[14] Employees can increase the amount with supplemental coverage.[14]


Employees can also opt to add basic long term disability insurance, supplemental long term disability insurance and long term care insurance.[14]


See also: South Carolina public pensions

Newly hired state employees may elect membership in the South Carolina Retirement System (SCRS) defined benefit plan or the State Optional Retirement Program (State ORP) defined contribution plan. Regardless of the plan, employees contribute a tax-deferred 6.5% of gross pay into their retirement accounts.[17] Each employee's account earns 4 percent interest compounded annually on the balance as of the previous June 30.[18] The employer contributes 9.24%.[19]

In addition, the SC Deferred Compensation Program (SCDCP) offers two voluntary supplemental retirement plans to South Carolina’s state employees. The SCDCP’s 401(k) and 457 plans permit employees to save on a pre-tax basis for retirement.[17]

Other benefits

  • Flexible Spending Accounts enable active employees to save money on eligible medical and dependent care costs by paying these expenses with money deducted from salaries before taxes through a Medical Spending Account; a limited-use Medical Spending Account, which can accompany a Health Savings Account; and a Dependent Care Spending Account.[14]

See also

External links