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HSTA endorses Bennett Yap for Hawaii Employees' Retirement System (ERS) trustee

The 25-year state employee currently serves as HGEA treasurer and board member

The Hawaii State Teachers Association is pleased to endorse the candidacy of Bennett Yap for the general employee trustee position on the Hawaii Employees' Retirement System (ERS) Board of Trustees.

As a 25-year employee of the State of Hawaii, working for the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, Yap is a dedicated public servant who cares deeply about the health and preservation of the Hawaii ERS.

For the past 22 years, he has been an active member of Hawaii’s largest public-sector union, HGEA, where, as the current treasurer, he oversees complex investments of union trust funds, staff pensions, retiree medical and arbitration and emergency reserves.

With his public service and union background and experience, Yap is committed to work hard to ensure the security of the pension fund.

"I have dedicated my career to public service because I believe in our mission to serve the people of our state much like you, as educators, dedicate yourselves to teaching the children and shaping their lives in a positive way," he said.

Born and raised in Kaneohe, Yap is a product of both the Hawaii State Department of Education and Kamehameha Schools.

Background

Three members are vying in the election for a general employee seat on the Employees’ Retirement System’s Board of Trustees.

Ballots were mailed to the membership on Sept. 6 by ERS’ election vendor KMH LLP, and must be returned and postmarked by Oct. 25 to be considered valid. Members who did not receive a ballot or need a replacement ballot should contact Rebecca Gleason at (808) 543-3302 or email ERSBallot@kmhllp.com.

Members who contribute to the Hawaii ERS are encouraged to vote.

The Board of Trustees is the governing body of the ERS and is comprised of eight members, including four elected by the membership: two general employees, a teacher, and a retiree. Of these four elected members, one general employee and the retiree position are up for election.

Board chairman Emmit Kane was re-elected for the retiree seat without opposition and will serve another six-year term.

The candidates for the general employee seat are Ray Matsuura, Ryan Morita and Bennett Yap. A general employee is any member of the ERS who is classified as a general employee. The term “general employee” includes police officers and firefighters, but does not include teachers, educational officers, or faculty and instructors of the University of Hawaii. The general employee seat up for election is held by Jackie Ferguson Miyamoto, whose term ends on Jan. 1, 2020.

The election results will be reported at the Dec. 9 board meeting.

The new trustee will serve a six-year term starting on Jan 2, 2020.

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