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HB 1007: Add Emergency Medical Services Personnel to State Retirement Plan

Here’s a bill of substance that everyone should like: House Bill 1007 would add emergency medical services personnel to the South Dakota Retirement System.

According to slides on proposed legislation presented at the SDRS November 23, 2022, meeting, EMS providers have asked to be added to the state’s retirement plan, and the SDRS board supports their inclusion (because adding workers to pay into a pension only makes the retirement system stronger, right?). HB 1007 would add EMS drivers, responders, and technicians of all levels to SDRS as Class B members. Class B members make contributions equal to 8% of their compensation into the pension, with employer match; the contribution rate for Class A members is 6%. Class B currently includes most other first responders as well as other public servants: justices, judges, state law enforcement officers, magistrate judges, police officers, firefighters, sheriffs and deputies, correctional security staff, parole agents, air rescue firefighters, campus security officers, court services officers, juvenile corrections agents, gaming enforcement agents, conservation officers, and park rangers.

Like most other public and private employers, EMS services across the state are having a hard time finding and keeping good workers. Allowing ambulance drivers and paramedics to buy into the best retirement plan in the state should help keep some people in the field.


  1. Jake 2023-01-05 09:15

    I agree. Better them for sure, than legislative members intent on their own glory and wallets; plus the other out-of-state additions to our governor’s “smoke and mirrors” administration. (along with some questionable ‘in-staters’!

  2. O 2023-01-05 11:03

    Another disproval of the myth of the individual contribution 401K retirement being the answer for worker retirement security: well-funded, well-managed, well-insulated pensions are what take care of (and therefore attract) workers.

  3. P. Aitch 2023-01-05 14:42

    It’s SD. Home of negativity bias. Someone within some group will fight this. If only because it’s a “change” and “change” is hard. Especially when it involves the future.

  4. grudznick 2023-01-05 17:12

    The Teachers Union is not going to like this.

  5. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-01-05 19:40

    Wait—I’m getting some conflicting info from an anonymous source—are EMS personnel already in the system? Might HB 1007 just be moving EMS workers from Class A to Class B, with the higher contribution rate?

  6. O 2023-01-06 08:19

    grudznick, you lost me on this one; how does this hurt teachers/education/students?

  7. grudznick 2023-01-06 21:06

    Mr. O, as you know, teachers are a jealous lot, and whinier than most. They will view this as some outside group of rural ambulance fellows or the private money-gouging ambulance fellows wanting to jump on the backs of the top 4 levels of the SILT (who pay the most into the retirement systems) and be on a gravy train. Even if the math shows this won’t harm the teacher payouts, the Math Teachers will be enraged and be unable to quadratically see the situation.

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