Teacher & Employee Retention Incentive (TERI): A. What is the TERI program?
TERI is an acronym for the Teacher and Employee Retirement Incentive, a deferred retirement plan that lets eligible employees retire, but continue to work. TERI participants may continue employment for up to five years from the date they enter the program. The S.C. Retirement System will calculate a participant\'s retirement benefit as of the effective date of the TERI application. For employees entering the program after June 30, 2005, the final retirement benefit will be recalculated at the end of the TERI program to include payment for unused annual leave.
During the TERI period, the S.C. Retirement System will deposit the participant\'s monthly retirement benefit into their tax-deferred TERI account. No interest is paid on retirement benefits paid into the TERI account, however applicable cost-of-living increases will be added to the monthly benefit. As of July 1, 2005, TERI participants will resume paying employee contributions to the S.C. Retirement System at 6.25% of earnings. The employee contribution will increase to 6.5% on July 1, 2006. The University will continue its normal employer contributions during the specified TERI period. Those employer contributions will increase by 1% over two year starting July 1, 2006.
TERI participants accrue no further retirement service credit, and cannot apply for disability retirement during the TERI period. TERI participants are eligible for the S.C. Retirement Systems\' group life insurance benefit in the amount of one year\'s base salary.
Upon separation from employment either during or at the end of the TERI period, the S.C. Retirement System will issue a lump-sum payment of the funds that have accumulated in the participant\'s TERI account. To the extent permitted by law, this amount may be rolled over into an eligible plan as specified in the TERI Payout Election Form 7500. At that time, former TERI participants will begin receiving a monthly retirement check.