The Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) of the State of Hawaii was established in 1926 to provide retirement allowances and other benefits to State and county government employees. The Board of Trustees is the governing body of the ERS, with certain areas of administrative control vested in the State Department of Budget and Finance.
The ERS administers benefits for service retirement, disability, and survivor benefits for employees of the State of Hawaii, the City and County of Honolulu, County of Hawaii, County of Maui and County of Kauai which includes teachers, professors, police officers, firefighters, judiciary employees, judges, and elected officials. The ERS collects retirement contributions from members; provides pre-retirement counseling services; conducts disability hearings and appeals; reviews claims for retirement, disability, and death benefits and certifies these benefits for payments; processes monthly pension checks to retirees and beneficiaries; accounts for and safeguards assets in the ERS investment portfolio; and invests funds to help finance this program.
The ERS is a qualified defined benefit public pension plan covered under Section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Hawaii Revised Statutes Chapter 88 and Hawaii Administrative Rules Title 6, Chapters 20 – 29 contain the language governing the pension trust.
The ERS covers all eligible full-time and part-time State and county employees in the State of Hawaii. Funding for benefit payments comes from employer and member contributions, and investments. The ERS membership is comprised of the following:
ERS Membership as of June 30, 2011:
- Total Members: 111,648
- Active Members: 65,310
- Retirees and Beneficiaries: 39,689
- Inactive Members: 6,649