National Association of State Retirement Administrators

South Dakota

The South Dakota Retirement System administers pension and other benefits for 462 employers including the state and employees of school districts and other participating political subdivisions. The South Dakota Investment Council manages the assets of the System.

Authorizing Statutes

Chapter 3-12 of the South Dakota Codified Laws consolidates all previous public employee retirement systems in the state into the South Dakota Retirement System. According to Chapter 3-12-46,

3-12-46. Previous retirement systems consolidated--Purpose. The Supreme and Circuit Court Judicial Retirement System, district county court and municipal court judges retirement program, South Dakota Teachers Retirement System, South Dakota Municipal Retirement System, South Dakota Law Enforcement Retirement System, and South Dakota Public Employees Retirement System are hereby continued as a consolidated system known as the South Dakota Retirement System to provide an orderly means of continuing benefits of those already retired and those eligible to retire from the respective systems.

Chapter 3-12-48 creates the Board of Trustees.

3-12-48. Board of Trustees created--Composition. There is created a governing authority of the system to consist of a board known as the Board of Trustees. Voting representation on the board shall be the following:

  • (1) Two state employee members;

  • (2) Two teacher members;

  • (3) A participating municipality member;

  • (4) A participating county member;

  • (5) A participating classified employee member;

  • (6) A current contributing Class B member other than a justice, judge, or magistrate judge;

  • (7) A justice, judge, or magistrate judge;

  • (8) One head of a principal department established pursuant to § 1-32-2, or one head of a bureau under the Department of Executive Management established pursuant to § 1-33-3 appointed by the Governor;

  • (9) An individual appointed by the Governor;

  • (10) A county commissioner of a participating county;

  • (11) A school district board member;

  • (12) An elected municipal official of a participating municipality;

  • (13) A retiree; and

  • (14) A faculty or administrative member employed by the Board of Regents and not subject to the provisions of chapter 3-6A.

  • A representative of the State Investment Council shall serve as an ex officio nonvoting member.

Board Composition


Board Size



Plan Members

Ex Officio

South Dakota Retirement System







Per the U.S. Census, in FY 2021, employer contributions to South Dakota state and local government pension plans were 1.73 percent of all state and local government direct general spending.

Constitutional Protections

No explicit constitutional protection for public pension benefits, but courts provide protection based on the impairment of contract principles. Tait v. Freeman, 57 N.W.2d 520 (S.D. 1953)(recognizing that the state's statutory retirement system was contractual); 1980 S.E. Op. Atty. Gen. 209 (indicating that accrued benefits are protected from impairment); but see Buchholz v. Storsve, 740 N.W.2d 107 (S.D. 2007)(retroactive application Uniform Probate Code provision setting forth general rule that divorce automatically revokes an ex-spouse's beneficiary designation in a retirement plan did not violate state constitution's contract clause because amendment was not a severe restriction since it did not prevent participant from maintaining ex­ spouse as beneficiary, and even if it substantially impaired contractual relationship it served significant and legitimate public purposes). (SD CONST., Article 6, §12) Source: Robert Klausner, Esq., State Constitutional Protections for Public Sector Retirement Benefits

Flag of South Dakota (November 9, 1992)

Population (2022) 909,824

South Dakota public pension statistics, per U.S. Census Bureau as of FY 2022 ($ in 000s)



Active Members




Benefits Paid


Employee Contributions


Employer Contributions




More Data

Other Resources