Insurance Benefits
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Can I keep my health, dental and vision insurance when I retire?

Eligibility for retiree group insurance is not the same as eligibility for retirement. The information in this section is provided as a guide. Always contact PEBA to confirm your eligibility for retirement and retiree group insurance before you set your retirement date.

You may be eligible for health, dental and vision coverage in retirement if you meet these three criteria:

  1. You are eligible to retire due to: Expand Years of service Expand Age or Expand Disability
  2. You retire from an employer that participates in the state insurance program; and
  3. Your last five years of employment were served consecutively in a full-time, benefits-eligible position with an employer that participates in the state insurance program.

Exceptions:

  • Former municipal and county council members who served on council for at least 12 years and were covered under the state plan by a participating employer when they left council may be eligible for retiree insurance if the county or municipal council on which they served allows coverage for former members.
  • If you retire from a local subdivision that does not participate in PEBA Retirement Benefits you must have 28 years of service or have reached age 60 or be approved for disability through Standard Insurance Company.

Enrollment in retiree insurance is not automatic. If you wish to continue your insurance, you must submit a Retiree Notice of Election form and Employment Verification Record to PEBA Insurance Benefits within 31 days of leaving active employment.

Employees Who Participate in the State Optional Retirement Program
There is no minimum age or years of service requirement for State Optional Retirement Program (State ORP) participants. They become eligible to receive distributions when they leave employment or reach age 59½.

However, eligibility for retiree group insurance is not the same as eligibility for retirement. To be eligible for retiree group insurance, State ORP participants must:

  • Have 28 years of service with a state insurance participating employer or
  • Have five years of service with a state insurance participating employer and have reached age 60.

The employer must verify time worked as a State ORP participant.


I have decided to participate in the TERI program. What happens to my insurance benefits?

If you are a Teacher and Employee Retention Incentive (TERI) program participant in a permanent, benefits-eligible position, your insurance benefits as an active employee continue until your TERI ends and you leave employment. When you leave active employment, you must apply for continuation of your insurance benefits as a retiree (if eligible) within 31 days of your date of termination. Your service as a TERI participant in a full-time, permanent position with a participating employer may be applied toward retiree insurance eligibility.


How much will my insurance cost when I retire?

Local subdivisions determine premiums for their retirees. Local subdivision employees should contact their benefits office for information about retiree insurance premiums.

If you retire from a state agency, higher education institution or school district, you may be eligible for a state contribution to your retiree insurance premiums based on when you began employment and on your number of years of earned service credit with an employer that participates in the state insurance program.

Employees Hired Before May 2, 2008

If you worked in an insurance-eligible position before May 2, 2008, with an employer participating in the state insurance program, your health insurance premiums are based on the number of years of earned service with an employer participating in the state insurance program.

There are two premium structures for retirees hired before May 2, 2008. A funded retiree pays the same premium as an active employee. A non-funded retiree receives no contribution from his former employer and is responsible for the entire cost.

Expand Am I eligible for funded insurance?

Expand Am I eligible for non-funded insurance?

Whether you are a funded or a non-funded retiree, these types of service do not count toward your earned service credit requirement for insurance eligibility: non-qualified, federal, military, out-of-state employment, educational service, leave of absence, unused sick leave or service with employers that do not participate in the state insurance program.

Employees Hired on or After May 2, 2008

New employees hired on or after May 2, 2008, are subject to provisions set by S.C. Code Ann. Section 1-11-730 (B). At retirement, you must meet established insurance eligibility rules. Funding for your health insurance will be determined by calculating the number of years of earned service with an employer participating in the state insurance program.

For insurance eligibility purposes, earned service credit is time earned and established with one of the plans administered by PEBA Retirement Benefits (SCRS, PORS, GARS or JSRS). Insurance eligibility also can be earned by time worked with participating in State ORP or time worked with a local subdivision that participates in PEBA Insurance Benefits but not with PEBA Retirement Benefits.

There are three premium structures for retirees hired on or after May 2, 2008. A funded retiree pays the same premium as an active employee. A partially funded retiree receives a smaller contribution from his employer, and therefore pays more than an active employee but less than a non-funded retiree. A non-funded retiree receives no contribution from his employer and is responsible for the entire cost.

The last five years must have been served consecutively in a full-time, permanent position.

Expand Am I eligible for funded insurance?

Expand Am I eligible for partially funded insurance?

Expand Am I eligible for non-funded insurance?

Whether you are a funded, partially funded or a non-funded retiree, the following types of service do not count toward your earned service credit requirement for insurance eligibility: non-qualified, federal, military, out-of-state employment, educational service, leave of absence, unused sick leave or service with employers that do not participate in the state insurance program.


What happens to my life insurance when I retire?

If you are enrolled in Optional Life when you retire, you may continue your term life insurance or convert your insurance to a whole life policy with MetLife. Whole life is a permanent form of life insurance. Term life provides coverage for a specific period of time. It has no cash value. See this flyer for more information about continuing or converting your life insurance. A Continuation of Group Optional Life Coverage Form or Notice of Group Life Insurance Conversion Privilege Form must be completed and received by MetLife within 31 days of the date your coverage ends.

You may also choose to convert your Basic Life or Dependent Life for a spouse or child by completing the Notice of Group Life Insurance Conversion Privilege Form. It must be received by MetLife within 31 days of the date your coverage ends. Your benefits office can assist you with completing these forms.


Where can I find more information about my insurance benefits in retirement?

More information about insurance benefits in retirement can be found in the Insurance Benefits Guide.