State Insurance Benefits
Learn the necessary steps to receive and maintain the insurance coverage you need.
Eligible employees may enroll in state insurance benefits within 31 days of their date of hire.
Failure to complete enrollment documents within 31 days of hire will result in a missed opportunity to enroll initially and your next opportunity to enroll will be during open enrollment or due to a qualifying life event, whichever occurs first.
The university uses an online system to ensure that you have completed all of your new employment tasks. You will receive an email notification to get you started.
Generally, transfer employees cannot make changes to state benefits, unless a special eligibility situation occurs simultaneously with the transfer to UofSC.
- Complete the New Employee Transfer of Benefits Form [pdf].
Open enrollment occurs annually from October 1 – October 31. All changes made during open enrollment are effective for the new plan year, beginning January 1.
Each year, employees may:
- Enroll, cancel or change health and vision plans
- Add or drop dependents
- Cancel or decrease optional life insurance or dependent life spouse coverage
Changes are made online through MyBenefits.
Employees may also:
- Enroll or increase optional life and dependent life spouse, which may require medical evidence of insurability
- Enroll or re-enroll in MoneyPlus Flexible Spending Accounts (Medical Spending Account, Limited-use Medical Spending Account, Dependent Care Spending Account) using MyBenefits
During odd enrollment years (e.g., 2019), subscribers may:
- Enroll, cancel or change dental plans
If you have a qualifying life event outside of an open enrollment period, you may be able to make changes to state insurance benefits:
- Within 31 days of your life event, contact the Benefits Office at 803-777-6650. If you are employed at a campus other than Columbia, contact your campus benefits administrator pdff]
- Generally, upon notification, your benefits administrator will initiate an online transaction in MyBenefits for your review and approval
- Provide appropriate documentation [pdf], e.g., a marriage certificate to add a new spouse
- To make a change, enroll or cancel a MoneyPlus Flexible Spending Account MSA,LMSA,DCSA), complete the Active Notice of Election (NOE) Form [pdf] and submit it to your benefits counselor
- At any time during the year, subscribers may update contact information and beneficiary designations with SC PEBA Insurance by accessing the MyBenefits online enrollment system.
- Subscribers may update name and address information by submitting the Name/Address Change form [pdf] to the UofSC Benefits Office.
State Retirement Benefits
Your retirement benefits are an investment in your own future, so be sure to thoughtfully consider your options and enroll within the first 30 days of your employment.
Eligible employees have 30 days from their date of hire or date of eligibility to make a selection into state retirement benefits. If you do not make a selection within that time period, you will automatically become a member of South Carolina Retirement System (SCRS) or Police Officers Retirement System (PORS), which is irrevocable.
Enrollment into retirement benefits is initiated through the university’s online system. You will receive an email notification asking you to complete a task in our system. Once that task is completed, you will receive an email from PEBA that allows you to make your state retirement enrollment selection. Important: If you do not respond to the email from PEBA within 30 days of your initial date of hire, you will default into an applicable plan SCRS or PORS), which is irrevocable.
Note: Generally, employees transferring from another PEBA-participating employer cannot make changes to state retirement benefits at the time of transfer to UofSC.
There is an annual open enrollment period between January 1 and March 1. During this time, State ORP members may:
- Change vendors either by using Member Access, or by completing Form 1162
- Irrevocably switch to SCRS, if at any point during the open enrollment period, they have at least one year, but no more than five years of participation from initial enrollment in State ORP
All changes made during this time will be effective April 1.
- At any time during the year, active members can change their address on file with SC PEBA Retirement through Member Access. Retired members can also change tax withholdings, and modify existing direct deposit authorizations.
- Subscribers may update name and address information by submitting the Name/Address Change form pdff] to the UofSC Benefits Office.
South Carolina Deferred Compensation Program SCDCP)
SCDCP is administered by the UofSC Payroll Office.
Eligible employees may enroll in SCDCP at any time throughout the year by completing the SCDCP enrollment form [pdf] (enter USC Payroll Center Number 1417) and returning it to Empower Retirement. Empower Retirement will notify the Payroll Office to start your payroll deduction(s).
Note: Participants transferring to UofSC from another SCDCP participating employer must contact Empower Retirement and provide the USC Payroll Center Number 1417.
Participants can increase, decrease or stop contributions at any time using the SCDCP website.
- 401(k) contribution changes may take up to two pay periods to take effect
- 457 contribution changes are monthly
Empower Retirement will notify the Payroll Office accordingly.
UofSC Supplemental Benefits
These plans are administered by Colonial Life and Trustmark.
Eligible employees have 30 days from their date of hire to enroll.
The University of South Carolina partners with Ward Services, a third-party enrollment vendor, to offer a personalized enrollment experience.
Schedule a one-on-one (virtual or in-person on campus) meeting with a Ward Services benefits representative to learn more, ask questions and get assistance enrolling in these benefits.
For online scheduling support, call 844-533-2022. Once your appointment is scheduled, you will receive a confirmation and reminder email from AppointmentPlus. If you don’t receive these emails, please check your junk mail.
Open enrollment occurs once a year. Eligible employees may enroll in plans by scheduling a meeting with a Ward Services benefits representative.
Ward Services is a third-party enrollment vendor approved by the Division of Human Resources and Hub International.
Automobile and homeowner's insurance may be purchased anytime throughout the year, but may be subject to approval of other conditional clauses outlined within the policy.
USC'ss 403(b) Program is administered by the Benefits Office. Call 803-777-6650 to inquire about enrolling or making changes to a 403(b) plan.
For 403(b) plan distributions/rollovers, loans, or hardship withdrawals, please contact the Payroll Office at 803-777-4227.