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Benefits FAQ

Retirement

  • When can I retire under the SC Retirement System?
  • When I look in "My Records", it says that MUSC contributes 12.89 percent to my ORP plan. I thought it was 5 percent?
  • Can I make changes to my retirement plan?
  • Can I "buy time" in the SCRS or PORS plans?
  • What is the TERI program? 

Terminating Employment

  • Will I receive a payout for annual leave when I separate employment or retire?
  • Can I continue my health insurance after I leave employment?
  • Will I be paid for my sick leave if I leave employment or retire?
  • What should I do if I terminate employment from MUSC?

Changing Benefits

  • Can I change benefits if I change positions?
  • When can I make changes to my insurance benefits?
  • How many hours do I have to work to be eligible for benefits? 

Insurance

  • When can I enroll in or change my Optional Life insurance?
  • Can I increase the amount of life insurance on my child(ren)?
  • Is it true that I lose any money that has not been reimbursed from my Dependent Care and Medical Spending Accounts at the end of the year?
  • I am not enrolled in a Flexible Spending Account, but a MoneyPlus admin fee is being deducted from my check.
  • Why is Optional Life listed twice on my paycheck?

Retirement Questions

When can I retire under the SC Retirement System?

You may retire one of the following ways:

  • Regular Retirement (full benefits) at either age 65 or with 28 years of retirement service credit.

  • Early Retirement (reduced benefits) at age 60 or age 55 with 25 years of retirement service credit.

When I look in "My Records" it says that MUSC contributes 12.89 percent to my ORP plan. I thought it was 5 percent?

MUSC contributes 12.89 percent, however 5 percent of that goes directly to the employee's ORP account. The remaining contribution goes to the SC Retirement System for fees (ORP plan, admin fees, etc.), the retiree insurance surcharge and to pay for the group life benefit (equal to one times the employee's annual salary).

Can I make changes to my retirement plan?

SCRS participants may not change their retirement plan. The enrollment period for State Optional Retirement Program (ORP) participants is January 1 through March 1 of each year. During the enrollment period, ORP participants may change investment providers or, if eligible, irrevocably elect to join the South Carolina Retirement System (SCRS). ORP participants who have a minimum of 12 months of participation, but no more than 60 months by March 1, 2008 (initially enrolled between January 1, 2003 and March 1, 2007) are eligible to switch from State ORP to SCRS during the 2008 retirement enrollment period. ORP participants may change investment providers regardless of participation time.

Can I "Buy Time" in the SCRS or PORS Plans?

A member may establish additional service credit for various types of previous employment and leaves of absence for which they do not already have service credit in another defined benefit plan, and may establish up to 5 years of non-qualified time.

Public, educational, military, and leave of absence service may be purchased at 16 percent of the career highest salary for each year of service purchased.

Withdrawn service can be purchased at the amount withdrawn plus interest.

Non-qualified time or "air-time" can be purchased at 35 percent of the career highest salary for each year of service purchased.

Members are encouraged to call the SC Retirement System for more information on eligible service time and to request purchase forms.

What is the TERI program? 

The Teacher and Employee Retention Incentive (TERI) program allows a participant of the SCRS plan to retire and defer their monthly benefit for up to 60 months while they continue working. Once the program ends, the retiree is required to separate employment and will receive the money that has accumulated. A TERI participant is an at-will employee with no grievance rights and is not guaranteed employment at the end of TERI.

Terminating Employment Questions

Will I receive a payout for annual leave when I separate employment or retire?

Remaining annual leave, not to exceed 360 hours (45 days), will be paid to the employee upon separation or retirement. The employee may choose a cash payout or to defer a portion pre-tax to a MUSC approved supplemental retirement plan. For more information, refer to HR Policy 18: Annual Leave.

Can I continue my health insurance after I leave employment?

You may continue health and dental coverage for you or any dependents covered at the time you lose coverage for up to 18 months; however, you are required to pay the full cost of the monthly premiums plus 2 percent. The Benefits Office will send you COBRA notice that includes the enrollment form and rates.

Will I be paid for my sick leave if I leave employment or retire?

Employees who resign or are terminated are not eligible for unused sick leave. However, employees who retire under the SCRS traditional plan may apply up to 720 hours of unused sick leave toward their retirement service credit. Sick leave cannot be used to qualify a participant for retirement.

What should I do if I terminate employment from MUSC?

Employees should stop by the benefits office at 19 Hagood Avenue, Suite 102 (Harborview Office Tower), for exit processing.

Changing Benefits

Can I change benefits if I change positions?

  • Insurance: An employee may not make changes to their benefits if they change to another benefits eligible position. They may enroll in benefits if their FTE percent increases to at least 50 percent or higher.
  • Retirement: An employee may not make changes to their retirement plan due to a position change unless they have opted out and are now employed in a position that requires their participation.

When can I make changes to my insurance benefits?

Enrollment Periods occur every year from October 1st through October 31st. Employees may make changes to their benefits based on the type of enrollment period. All changes and any applicable premium changes are effective January 1st of the following year. Annual Enrollment changes are allowed every year, while Open Enrollment changes are permitted in October of the odd-numbered years only.

You can review the changes permitted each year on the Enrolling and Changing Benefits page.

How many hours do I have to work to be eligible for benefits?

To be eligible for insurance benefits, MUSC employees must work at least 50 percent (20 hours per week).

Retirement eligibility is not based on FTE percent, it is based on position. A classified employee or faculty member is required to participate in the one of the SC Retirement Systems plans. Resident, research grant, temporary and postdoctoral scholars have the opportunity to participate, but it is not mandatory unless they have an active account or are retired from the SC Retirement Systems.

Insurance Questions

When can I enroll in or change my Optional Life insurance?

If you participate in the pre-tax premium feature, you may enroll/add/drop/decrease during guaranteed increases and apply with medical evidence during Annual Enrollment (every year).

If you do not participate in the pre-tax premium feature, you may enroll/add/drop/decrease during guaranteed increases and apply with medical evidence at any time throughout the year.

Can I increase the amount of life insurance on my child(ren)?

The life insurance is a set amount of $15,000. The Hartford may increase this amount in the future. Each child is insured with $15,000 and the cost is $1.24 total per month, not per child.

Is it true that I lose any money that has not been reimbursed from my Dependent Care and Medical Spending Accounts at the end of the year?

Estimate your expenses carefully because you will lose any money remaining in the account at then end of the plan year. The plan year for Dependent Care is from January through December and the Medical Spending is from January through March 15th of the following year.

I am not enrolled in a Flexible Spending Account, but a MoneyPlus admin fee is being deducted from my check.

The MoneyPlus admin fee of $0.28 is the pre-tax premium feature which allows employees to pay their health, dental (plus), and up to $50,000 of optional life insurance premiums before taxes.

Why is Optional Life listed twice on my paycheck?

If you participate in the pre-tax premium feature (listed as MoneyPlus admin fee of $0.28 on your check), then your entire premium is deducted from your check before taxes. The pre-tax portion is noted with an asterisk* under "Taxes and Deductions" on your paystub. Any coverage amount over $50,000 is multiplied by an IRS imputed rate. This amount is added back to your earnings listed as OTL Imputed NC under "Earnings" on your paystub.