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Town of Hilton Head Island Retirement Programs

The Town offers generous retirement benefits to help employees prepare for the future.

In addition to the retirement income benefits available to you, retiree health, dental and vision benefits may also be available. Retirees are eligible to enroll in retiree health, dental and vision insurance through the State Plan provided they retire under the Police Officers' Retirement System or are age 60 with at least 5 years of service. The cost for retiree coverage is equal to the active employee premium plus the employer premium or 100% of the cost of coverage.

Administrative Staff Employees

Employees are eligible to save for retirement under the Town's Savings Program administered by Empower Retirement. Options for savings include your primary retirement plan, a 401(k) deferred compensation plan, as well as a supplemental 457 deferred compensation plan. Both pre-tax and Roth options are available under these plans. Regular full-time and part-time employees are eligible to participate in these plans as soon as you begin working for the Town. The earliest you may retire under this plan without a penalty for early withdrawal is age 55.

The Town makes a basic contribution of 5% to an employee's 401(k) account each year. Then, for the first 4% an employee saves on a pre-tax basis, they receive a 100% Town match. In addition, for the next 4% contributed, they receive a 50% match. Under the 401(k) Plan, employees have the opportunity to receive Town matching contributions on the first 8% of pay saved.

Employees are always 100% vested in the amounts they contribute to these savings plans and on the investment earnings on that money. For Town contributions, vesting is incremental, based on years of service, with full vesting occurring at 5 years.

The Town's Savings Program offers a range of investment options allowing you to design an investment mix to meet an employee’s needs.

Fire & Rescue Division Employees

Designated Fire & Rescue Division employees are required to participate in the Police Officers Retirement System (PORS) as a condition of employment. PORS is a defined benefit retirement plan. Contribution Rates, as a % of pay for new hires are 9.75% for the employee and 16.24% for the Town.

Under this plan, employees are entitled to receive a future retirement benefit after 5 years of service for employees hired prior to 7/1/2012 and 8 years for those hired on or after 7/1/2012. Employees are always fully vested in their own contributions. If employees choose to waive their retirement benefit by withdrawing their contributions and interest, they lose the Town's contributions. Upon retirement, employees receive a monthly pension based on salary and years of service.

As a PORS participant, employees can save additional money for retirement by contributing to the Town's 401(k) or 457 Plans. While the Town will not match the 401(k) contributions of PORS participants, the 401(k) Plan is still an excellent option for increasing retirement savings on a pre-tax basis.

Retirement Health Savings Plan

The Retirement Health Savings Plan is designed to provide Town retirees with support for payment of retiree medical expenses and encourage reduced use of sick leave by employees.

On an annual basis, the Town will defer into individual employee Retirement Health Savings accounts 100% of the value of forfeited sick leave (hours in excess of the cap as of 12/31). At retirement, 100% of the value of remaining sick leave will be contributed to the retiring employee's Retirement Health Savings Account.

Upon retirement from the Town, this account may be used for reimbursable medical expenses eligible under IRC Section 213. Employees who terminate employment prior to reaching retirement eligibility will forfeit employer contributions made to their account.

Health and Dental ~ Life Insurance ~ Vacation, Sick Leave, Disability & Holidays ~ Additional Benefits