COLUMBIA — South Carolina’s financial oversight board has voted to cut in half cost-of-living increases for state retirees, to 1 percent.

That could cost the typical retiree about $180 a year.

The Budget and Control Board agreed Thursday to reduce the state’s expectation of how much it would earn on investments. Under the old assumption retirees got a 2 percent increase. The lowered expectation cuts that to 1 percent.

The board also agreed to increase the amount that employers contribute to the retirement system by nearly 1 percent.

The changes come as state legislators scramble to find a way deal with long-term shortfalls in the retirement system.

Without changes, the state would not be able to cover a $17 billion gap between cash and promised benefits for as long as 60 years.