STATE PENSION The State House of Representatives adopted a budget proviso during the latter part of March 06. The proviso offered by Representatives James Smith, Harry Ott, and Dan Cooper was for the purpose of reinstating the SC National Guard Pension Retirement Fund to those members who joined the Guard after 1993. Under previous action of the General Assembly, the retirement fund was closed to all Guard persons who entered the Guard after 1993. More specifically, the provision was to reinstate the pension fund which would provide a monthly stipend of $50 to all Guard members who have served 20 years in the SCNG or $100 to all Guard members who have served 30 years in the SCNG. The measure was approved by the Senate Finance Committee and the full Senate and all SCNG personnel with 20 or more years are eligible for this pension. Again, this reinforces the thought process that we need to maintain strong membership in the NGASC.
TRICARE BENEFITS TRICARE RESERVE SELECT (TRS) coverage is available to members, and TRICARE RETIRED RESERVE (TRR) to former members of the National Guard. To purchase coverage, please visithttps://www.dmdc.osd.mil/appj/trs/ and for more information about Tricare benefits, please visithttp://www.tricare.mil. Once you have entered your profile, you can explore the plan you are using and see how the benefits change when you are activated, deactivated, and deployed. Registration in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) is required before family members can become eligible for any TRICARE coverage. To register, please visit a uniformed services identification (ID) card issuing facility near you.
SOUTH CAROLINA COLLEGE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (CAP) For further information, please contact the SC National Guard Education Office athttp://www.scguard.com/education or at 866-345-8400 or 803-806-4253. For more information about your TRICARE benefits and how they change during periods of activation and deactivation, visit the TRICARE Website at http://www.tricare.mil . Once you have entered your profile, you can explore the plan you are using and see how the benefits change when you are activated, deactivated, and deployed.
NO SC INCOME TAX ON NATIONAL GUARD PAY FOR CURRENT OR RETIRED MEMBERS According to a national tax firm this equates to a 3% to 7% annual savings to the member contingent on income and tax bracket. Based on the assumption that a member earns a minimum of $2,000 per year from the National Guard that would equate to savings of $60.00 to $140.00 per year for the member. In reality, all NGASC members are able to pay their annual dues without any cost to them based on this benefit alone. I might add that most states pay income tax on their NG pay. Also, the membership dues are tax deductible because you are a member of a Professional Organization. We have had comments that all SCNG personnel were entitled to this benefit regardless of whether they participated as a member of NGASC or not. This is correct, however; we don’t want any of our existing benefits diminished or taken away as was the State Pension. This reinforces the thought process that we need to maintain strength in numbers.
DISTINCTIVE NATIONAL GUARD LICENSE TAG This is an attractive NG TAG that can be purchased by Active or Retired SCNG personnel at no additional cost. Go to www.dmvonline.com and then follow the link for vehicle plate gallery. In the military section you can view all South Carolina military plates. Plus download the form and instructions.
SCHOLARSHIPS Since inception of this program, NGASC has contributed over $1,000,000 for higher education of guardspersons or their dependents. The Scholarship applications are sent out to the units during September of each calendar year with specific criteria as to form completion and mail in instructions. NGASC usually awards approximately 32 ($1,000 scholarships per year), with another 10-15 being awarded by individual persons or other entities. The winners are announced and receive their scholarship awards at a scholarship luncheon each year. Scholarship applications are located on our web site.
SOUTH CAROLINA COLLEGE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (CAP) On 1 July 2007, the tireless work of your NGASC coupled with the strong support of the SC General Assembly produced a landmark college assistance program for the men and women of the SC National Guard For the first time in our history, we have a fully-funded college assistance program that pays toward the cost of attendance of South Carolina colleges and universities. Funded at $3,000,000 and anchored in the base budget of the state of South Carolina, you can count on these funds now and in the future. Eligible members may receive up to $4,500 per academic year; up to a total of $18,000. Specifically, members of the South Carolina National Guard enrolled or planning to enroll in an eligible institution may apply for a college assistance program grant. To qualify an applicant must: Be in good standing with the active South Carolina National Guard at the beginning of each academic year and remain a member in good standing with the active South Carolina National Guard throughout the entire academic year for which benefits are payable; Have valid tuition and fee expenses from an eligible institution; Maintain satisfactory academic progress the institution to remain as a student; And satisfy any additional eligibility requirements as may be promulgated. For further information, please contact the SC National Guard Education Office athttp://www.scguard.com/education or at 866-345-8400 or 803-806-4253
TUITION LOAN REPAYMENT PROGRAM Members of the SC Army and Air National Guard are eligible to receive tuition assistance under this program. Details concerning assistance are available from local unit administrative offices or by calling the Education Officer at the Adjutant General’s office 803-806-4253.
VA HOME LOANS Veterans will be able to get no-down payment loans of up to $417,000. VA-Guaranteed home loans are made by banks and mortgage companies to veterans, service members and reservists. A National Guard member has to have 6 or more years of service to be eligible. More information is available athttp://www.homeloans.va.gov.
FURNITURE DISCOUNTS The discounts are available through Palmetto Furniture Company in Society Hill, South Carolina on Highway 15 & 401. Just show your NGASC membership card to receive 45% off the retail price on any items of furniture. Palmetto Furniture carries a large line of name brand furniture. Terms are cash or credit card.
COMMISSARY PRIVILEGES According to the Defense Commissary Agency, patrons enjoy savings ranging from 25 to 30 percent on their purchases. A typical family of four regularly shopping at the commissary can save about $2,000 per year.
PX PRIVILEGES We would not enjoy this benefit today without the collaborative efforts of our predecessors.
ANNUAL CONFERENCE A regular annual conference of the association is held on such date and at such place as determined by the membership. Some of the activities occurring at the annual meeting are as follows: Friday Night: Usually a meal, beverages and entertainment are available to personnel attending the meeting. Saturday Morning: A business session is held on Saturday morning, with outstanding military and civilian speakers in attendance. Spouse’s Activity/Auxiliary Meeting: Some specific activity for spouses, including a Spouse’s Auxiliary Meeting scheduled while the Saturday morning business meeting is in session. Saturday Evening: A social hour, formal banquet and entertainment are usually observed on Saturday evening. The Governor and other dignitaries, together with known military and civilian guests, usually participate in the activities. Personnel designated as the Outstanding Army and Air Guardsperson for the year are recognized and honored at the banquet. Distinguished service awards are also presented to recipients at this function. Plus … Visiting Hospitality rooms are a must!! Numerous hospitality rooms are open for all attendees. Sunday Morning: Following memorial/religious services conducted by the presiding Chaplain, the business session resumes. Report from various committees will be given, and the business session will adjourn following the election of new officers.
NGASC MAGAZINE A magazine containing pertinent information is emailed to each member bi-annually. This letter keeps you apprised of current events going on with the NGASC as well as the South Carolina National Guard.
PRODUCTS OFFERED BY NGASC NGASC Life Insurance Program for South Carolina National Guardsmen It’s Easy To Apply. Applying for coverage is easy. All you have to do is answer a few short health questions. Coverage levels. The coverage levels are: $50,000, $30,000, $15,000 or $5,000. At age 60, the amount of the policy will reduce by ½ . At age 65, the amount of the policy will reduce by ½ again. At age 70, the policy will terminate.. No War exclusion No Aviation exclusion No Hazardous Duty or Civilian Occupation Restriction The National Guard Association of South Carolina 132 Pickens Street Columbia SC 29205
When it comes to Big Decisions, make a Good Decision
Underwritten by: ReliaStar Life Insurance Company Annuities What is an annuity? And Why Do I Want One? CEPP-CLTC An annuity is a legally enforceable written agreement under which an insurance company promises to make a series of periodic payments to a named person, starting on a specified date, in exchange for a premium or series of premiums paid to the insurer. Read on and we will answer the other question for you. We are excited about the opportunity to provide a new product to our membership as well as all National Guard members and their families in South Carolina. Fixed Indexed Annuities are an excellent way to have tax-deferred growth on your retirement dollars that can be accelerated by gains in the market with no principal risk. Who benefits from the Fixed Indexed Annuity? Individuals seeking the opportunity for accelerated interest credits, without market risk. What do Indexed Annuities offer? · Your choice of interest credits based on changes in a Market Index or Guaranteed-Interest Option. · Safety of Principal and Interest – No Risk of Loss if Held to Term. · Minimum Interest Rate Guaranteed. · Tax Deferred Growth. · Access to Your Money. · May Provide Probate Free Death Benefit. · Income Options. · Asset Allocation Capabilities. Questions? Do you feel that safety of principal, tax-deferred growth, liquidity of funds, probate avoidance and a lifetime income option would benefit you? If so, an Indexed Annuity may be right for you. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by. For a free no obligation consultation, call NGASC. Long Term Care Insurance To learn more about the # 1 Health Crisis in America, visit www.perryneese.com. If maintaining dignity and choice are important to you, your siblings, or your parents please call NGASC for a free no obligation consultation. This will provide you with enough information to make a prudent decision about you and your family’s future. After all, long-term care involves families, not an individual. Term Life Insurance (Over 13,000,000 paid out in claims) To request a unit visit for the NGASC Benefits Presentation call NGASC. NGASC has a goal of visiting each unit at least once per year and more often if needed. Cancer Insurance Please call NGASC at the above listed number/s for more information. Attention We want to make you aware of the fact that the National Guard Association’s Life Insurance Program, Long-Term Care Insurance Program, and the Annuities Program are the major sources for financing the everyday operational costs of the Association. They are also the funding source for the scholarships that the Association gives away each year. Without these programs, the NGASC would not be the effective office that it is today and that is why we are seeking your help. We are having a good year in the sale of new products, however; the number of terminations from our life insurance program equals or surpasses the number of enrollments. Much like in recruiting and retention, we want to do our best to retain those of you who are already members of this program. Here is what you, as a conscientious policyholder and family member, can do to help. The problem occurs when you, the soldier/airman and policyholder, initiate the ETS or Discharge Process. Also, the problem occurs when personnel are deployed, return from deployment, and have the 90-day R&R leave before returning to paid drill status. All we ask is that you, the policyholder, notify someone in the NGASC office at the beginning of the ETS, Discharge or the 90 day R&R Leave. Your assistance in this regard will be appreciated.
ONGOING EFFORTS OF NGASC Continued Representation in Congress and State Legislature Maintaining Educational Benefits through the South Carolina Legislature Maintaining the South Carolina retirement for Guardsmen Addressing the conditions of our Armories Working with Congress on 20-year retirement at age 55 Go to www.ngaus.org for a complete list of current Legislative priorities