Payment to Attorneys for SC Retirees Adjusted to $1M

March 18, 2008 ( - Fees awarded to lawyers representing retirees who sued the state of South Carolina over contributions required for the Teacher and Employee Retention Incentive (TERI) program have been adjusted again.

The Associated Press reports that the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled in January that the $8.7 million originally awarded in attorneys’ fees was “entirely unreasonable” and recommended $445,000 instead. On Monday, the justices adjusted that amount to just over $1 million to include additional fees.

Taxpayers will pay the fees, the AP said.

In May 2006, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the state wrongly forced thousands of retirees who returned to work under the TERI program to pay contributions toward their pensions.  The high court ordered the state to refund by July 1, 2006, the contributions, with interest, to employees who signed up for the program before July 1, 2005 (See SC Supreme Court Sets State Timetable to Refund $30M to Retirees ).

It was later rumored that the attorneys were requesting 40% of the award to participants, then estimated to reach $125 million (See SC Leaders Say Payment to Attorneys is $50M ).