South Carolina Can Use Stimulus Cash for Pension Fund

By Staff Report

Apr. 3, 2009

The Obama administration has given South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford permission to use a portion of the state’s expected $2.8 billion in federal stimulus money to help reduce the liabilities of the $27 billion South Carolina Retirement System, according to Joel Sawyer, Sanford’s spokesman.

The administration had rejected Gov. Sanford’s original request to use the stimulus money to pay down state debt, including debt related to retirees.

He wrote a letter to President Obama on March 18 asking for the administration to reconsider allowing the state to use a portion of the $2.8 billion—the first payment of which is expected to be $740 million—to reduce pension liabilities.

Sanford will accept the stimulus funds as long as the state assembly uses equal amounts of the money received for programs and to pay down debt, Sawyer said, but the governor has not yet announced whether he has formally accepted them yet.

Filed by John D’Antona Jr. of Pensions & Investments, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail

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