South Carolina Independent Trusts for Pensions, Amendment 3 (2008)

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The South Carolina Independent Trusts for Pensions passed the state legislature as Amendment 3. The measure, if it had passed, would have amended the South Carolina Constition to provide that the funds of any political subdivision of this State that have been set aside for the funding of post-employment benefits for the political subdivision's employees may be invested or reinvested in equity securities.[1]

It is similar to Amendment 2, except Amendment 2 applies to state government employees whereas Amendment 3 applies local government employees.

The measure is a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, one of three placed on the November 2008 ballot by the state legislature.

Election results

See also 2008 ballot measure election results

These results are based on the Elections Division of South Carolina.[2]

South Carolina Amendment 3 (2008)
Defeatedd No962,30456.42%
Yes 743,406 43.58%

Specific Provisions

The proposed amendment would have changed 16, Article X of the South Carolina Constitution, which relates to benefits and funding of local public employee pension plans and the investments allowed for funds of the various state-operated retirement systems.

"Post-employment benefits" are benefits provided to eligible state government and school district retirees.

South Carolina has created trust funds to pay for post-employment benefits. The proposed amendment relates to how the money in these trust funds can be invested.

  • A "yes" vote gives the state government the option to invest these funds in equity securities (stocks).
  • A "no" vote means that state government is not allowed to invest these funds in any kind of equity securities (stocks).


Arguments in Support

Arguments made in support of the measure included:

  • State and local governments need the additional money that investing in stocks is likely to bring in. A recent federal government requirement forces state and local governments to have enough retirement fund money on hand to cover every employee, even if many of them won’t retire for years. At the interest rate state and local retirement funds are earning now, there’s not enough money to in those retirement accounts to meet that requirement.[3]

See also

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