COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina House on Wednesday approved a bill designed to shore up the state's retirement system, requiring all public employees to contribute more toward their retirement and new hires to work longer.

The House voted 86-27 on a bill legislators said is necessary to ensure workers get their benefit checks decades from now. It requires another perfunctory vote in the House before heading over to the Senate.

"If we do nothing, the biggest problem is the system won't be here," said Rep. Jim Merrill, R-Charleston, who led a bi-partisan panel that spent months crafting the bill.

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