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The South Carolina Deferred Compensation Program (Program) is a powerful tool to help you reach your retirement dreams. As a supplement to other retirement benefits or savings that you may have, this voluntary Program allows you to save and invest extra money for retirement through before-tax and after-tax contributions in a 401(k) and/or 457¹ plan!


Why should I participate in the Program?

The South Carolina Deferred Compensation Program (Program) helps you save and invest additional money for retirement through a 401(k) and/or 4571 account. It also may help you reduce the amount of current state and federal income tax you pay each year. The Program can be an excellent tool to help make your future more secure.

Is there any reason why I should not participate in the Program?

Participating may not be advantageous if you are experiencing financial difficulties, have excessive debt, or do not have an adequate emergency fund (typically in an easy-to-access account).

Who is eligible to enroll?

All current full and part-time employees of agencies, departments, and institutions of higher education of the state of South Carolina are immediately eligible to participate in the Program. All employees of municipalities, counties or other political subdivisions of the state of South Carolina which have entered into participation agreements with the South Carolina Deferred Compensation Commission are also immediately eligible to participate. Independent contractors of the state or its political subdivisions are not eligible to participate in the Program.

When am I vested in the 457 and 401(k) plans?

Your contributions to the Program and any earnings generated are always 100% vested (including rollovers from previous employers and employer matches).

May I roll over my account from my former employer's plan?

The 401(k) plan will accept participant rollover contributions of eligible rollover distributions from a 401(a), 401(k), 403(a), 403(b) or eligible governmental 457(b) plan or a non-Roth Individual Retirement Account (IRA).

Teacher and Employee Retention Incentive (TERI) program participants can roll their TERI account funds into the 401(k) plan at termination of the TERI period. If you do not already have a 401(k) account, you must enroll by completing the enrollment form in the Enroll Now section of this website or by contacting a Empower Retirement (Great-West) education counselor. The money rolled out of your TERI account will not affect the maximum contribution limits for that year.

Rollovers from a designated Roth 401(k) or Roth 403(b) account to your Program's designated Roth 401(k) account are allowed. However, your Roth IRA may not be rolled into your designated Roth account under the Program.

The 457 plan will only accept participant rollover contributions of eligible rollover distributions from other 457 plans. You are encouraged to discuss rolling money from one account to another with your financial advisor/planner and to consider any potential fees and/or limitations of available investment options.

To compare each plan in the Program, review the Plan Comparison chart.

Still not sure? Read this brochure about the benefits of the plan or view this interactive presentation.

1 All references to the 457 plan are to a governmental 457(b) plan.

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