The Associated Press reported Tuesday night that with 79% of precincts reporting, 58% of voters rejected the constitutional amendment allowing the state to invest in stocks to pay for future retirees’ health care and pensions. Fifty-six percent voted no on the amendment for local governments.
South Carolinians rejected the measures even though governments warned that if they did not pass, taxes will have to be raised or spending trimmed to make sure they have enough money for the benefits.
According to the AP, supporters of the amendments say they will try again in two years.
Must Section 16, Article X of the Constitution of this State relating to benefits and funding of public employee pension plans in this State and the investments allowed for funds of the various state-operated retirement systems be amended so as to provide that the funds of any trust fund established by law for the funding of post-employment benefits for state employees and public school teachers may be invested and reinvested in equity securities subject to the same limitations on such investments applicable for the funds of the various state-operated retirement systems?
"Post-employment benefits" are benefits, mainly health insurance, provided to eligible state government and school district retirees. To comply with a change in accounting standards, the state has created trust funds to pay for these post-employment benefits. This amendment relates to how the money in these trust funds may be invested. A "yes" vote would give the state government the option to invest these funds in equity securities (stocks). A "no" vote would mean that state government is not allowed to invest these funds in any kind of equity securities (stocks).
Must Section 16, Article X of the Constitution of this State relating to benefits and funding of public employee pension plans in this State and the investments allowed for funds of the various state-operated retirement systems be amended so as 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, including those invested in independent trusts established for that purpose, may be invested or reinvested in equity securities of the type permitted for investment by the various state operated retirement systems, as provided for by the General Assembly?
This amendment is the same as Amendment 2 except it applies to local governments' post-employment benefits (instead of the state government's post-employment benefits).