Optional Spouse Protection Program Senate Bill (Audio)
South Dakota Senators are looking at four bills aimed at making the South Dakota Retirement System more financially sound. One bill that passed the Senate makes some changes to the optional spouse protection program.
Senator Corey Brown of Gettysburg says when the optional spouse protection program was created there weren't any commercial products on the market that addressed the need.
"Since that time there are a number of commercially available options that are actually probably better than what we have in the retirement system version," Brown says. "In addition, this coverage has ended up being subsidized by members of the other parts of the retirement system because, quite frankly, the rate was not high enough to cover that."
To remedy this, Senate Bill 19 increases members' contribution to the spouse protection program from 1.2 percent to 1.5 percent. It also eliminates any new enrollments. Another bill that passed the Senate floor allows for the cost of living adjustment to decrease from just over three percent to just over two percent if the retirement system isn't well funded.
Member stations can download the audio file here.