TO: All RCUH Employees (who are State or County Retirees receiving ERS pension benefits)
FROM: Nelson Sakamoto
Director of Human Resources
SUBJECT: Act 179 Relating to the Employment of Employees’ Retirement System Retirants
On June 28, 2010, Governor Linda Lingle signed into law Act 179 Relating to the Employment of Employees’ Retirement System Retirants. This law effective on January 1, 2011 amends Chapter 88 (Pension and Retirement Systems), Hawaii Revised Statutes by imposing a set of defined restrictions to re-employment with any State or County agency. These restrictions apply to any current and prospective retirees of the State’s Employee Retirement System (ERS) from immediately working for another State or County agency. Act 179 also imposes financial penalties on a retiree for non-compliance.
The Research Corporation of the University of Hawaii (RCUH) believed these restrictions did not apply to us. The RCUH is a State agency, and are not subject to Chapter 88, HRS; therefore we believed employment with the RCUH was exempt from Act 179. The RCUH sought a formal opinion from the Department of the Attorney General (AG) to determine whether Act 179 applied to State or County retirees working for the RCUH. Today, we learned that AG has determined that State and County retirees who are receiving ERS pension benefits and who are working for the RCUH are subject to the stipulations of Act 179.
The applicable section of Act 179 (Chapter 88-9, HRS) states: “Requires a 6 month retirement period before an ERS retiree can return to work in a State or County temporary, part-time, casual, or other position that is excluded from ERS membership.” This defined restriction applies to you since the RCUH is excluded from the ERS, and employment with the RCUH is excluded from ERS membership. Therefore, you are affected by Act 179 if you did not have a 6-month period between your effective date of your ERS pension/retirement and your first day of employment with the RCUH. If this is you, you must contact the ERS immediately and plan to stop work.
If you are unsure about the 6-month retirement period or if you have any questions: Read the Attachment #1 – October 1, 2010 memo from Wesley Machida, ERS Administrator and review and complete the Attachment #2 – ERS Form 209 – Certification of Compliance with Requirements for Employment of a Retirant, Attachment #3 – July 2010 ERS Newsletter, and Attachment #4 – Act 179. If you have questions, please contact Karl Kaneshiro, ERS Retirement Benefits Manager at 586-1649 or email at [email protected].
Principal Investigators or Project Administrators with questions relating to Act 179 may contact me at 956-6965 or email me at [email protected]. The RCUH extends our apologies to all affected employees and projects for this late notice. We did our best to get this matter clarified and we had hoped for a better outcome. Thank you for your understanding.