Columbia Star

1963        Celebrating 60 Years      2023

We Need A Yes Vote On Amendment #3

Letter to the Editor

When you vote in November, there will be several proposed amendments to the State Constitution. One of those will be about the SC Retirement System and the way it invests the money that government employees and the government put into the system.

The proposed change will allow the Retirement System to invest in high-quality companies whose offices are in other countries. A YES vote on Amendment #3 will mean that the Retirement System can earn more from its investments – and that will help the Retirement System better meet the needs of it’s members SC’s average annual return on investments is only about 5.4%. Other states with fewer restrictions are seeing returns of 12-17%.

We all recognize the following foreign companies that have businesses in the US: Michelin, Firestone, Toyota, Daimler-Chrysler, Purina Pet Food, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, Dunkin-Donuts, and Penn-America’s #1 Selling Tennis Ball. Another, FN Manufacturing in Columbia, manufactures weapons for the military and law enforcement but is a Belgian company. And there are many others.

The SC Retirement System cannot invest in any of these because their home offices are in other countries – and the State Constitution currently prohibits such investments. The proposed Amendment #3 would allow investments in these and other companies.

A YES vote on Amendment #3 would release restrictions that would allow more prudent investing in all stocks and bonds as a means of diversification and seeking higher returns. A group of six qualified, competent, experienced professionals on the SC Retirement Investment Commission oversee and investigate all investments. We urge everyone to vote YES on Amendment 3 on the November ballot.

Charley C. McDonald, Ret., South Carolina Highway Patrol

Chairman of the South Carolina Retirement I Pre-Retirement Advisory Board

Phone 803-252-7479

Other Retirement Advisory Board Members with the agencies they represent are:

Mr. Gary Cannon, Municipal Employees

Mr. Robert S. Croom, County Employees

Dr. Oscar P. Butler Jr., Higher Education Teachers

Miss Shanda Johnson, Public School Teachers

Mrs. Elizabeth (Bit) Howell, Public SChool Teachers

Ms Sandy Agee, State Employees

Mr. Dave Leopard, State Employees

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