House panel to discuss retirement system shortfall

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- A House panel plans to talk about proposals to fix South Carolina's pension system for state workers.

The panel cancelled it's planned meeting set for Wednesday.

The main retirement program for the state's workers and teachers has a $17 billion gap between investments and long-term pension promises.

Republican Rep. Jim Merrill of Daniel Island is the committee's chairman and says a final plan is weeks away.

Republican Rep. Mike Pitts of Laurens says the committee he serves on will begin discussing how to change benefits for current employees that include cost of living changes.

Pitts says the state should not put more money into a bailout of the system even though state revenues are growing faster than expected.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)