When Google stock hit $1,000 a share last October, the financial milestone didn’t go unnoticed on the 14th floor of Honolulu’s City Financial Tower, headquarters of the Hawaii Employees’ Retirement System, the state’s $12.5 billion retiree piggybank.
As newly minted Google millionaires in California’s Silicon Valley rushed to their local Lamborghini and Maserati dealers, pension officials in Hawaii were trying to calculate just how much the windfall might contribute to reducing their unfunded liability – that growing shortfall between the money it has, or expects to earn, and the billions it will need to make good on guarantees of financial security for current and future retirees.
On paper the ERS had made a tidy profit of $35.7 million on its Google stock, not a bad return in just three years. But this was mere pocket change when compared to the retirement system’s $8.5 billion long-term debt, a financial burden projected to get larger before it gets any smaller.
Series at a Glance4 ArticlesMondayWill Hawaii Ever Climb Out of Its $27 Billion Hole?TuesdayInvestments: Gambling With Public MoneyWednesdayThe Health Fund’s Quest for SolvencyFridayHouse Works to Wiggle Out from Under Unfunded Liability MandateGo to the Report Page Sidebar PF Bentley/Civil Beat Pension Promises: Here’s How — and Why — We Did This Project June 9, 2014 Civil Beat Debt Details: New Rules To Force Greater Accountability June 9, 2014
If estimates are anywhere near accurate, the ERS liability will grow to $9.6 billion over the next decade before it begins to shrink – but only if ERS investments pay off as hoped. Google shares split two-for-one in April and today are trading at about $562, resulting in no loss to the …
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Hawaii Gov. David Ige and the EPA praise a new agreement to fix the underground storage tanks, but critics say it’s not enough.
The Public Utilities Commission hears a lot about alternative utility ownership models, but little about a proposed sale of Hawaiian Electric Industries.
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The state Land Use Commission often lacks the power to enforce the conditions that developers agree to.
Keith Davis was in an unusual and sometimes dangerous line of work, often spending weeks at sea to make sure fishermen abide by the rules.
Of the state program’s 800-plus “graduates,” only 20 have returned to prison after committing a new sex crime, a recidivism rate of slightly more than 2 percent.
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The justices consider a change after nearly two dozen attorneys requested the ability to help clients who want to establish dispensaries.
A lawyer representing the homeless says the city violates the Constitution by immediately confiscating and in most cases destroying possessions.
City planners hoping to make Honolulu a more walkable city are trying to change an old rule that bans sidewalks cafes in most parts of town.
People say kids will adapt to most anything and that certainly seems to be the case for these children in a Honolulu homeless shelter.
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Everything Must Go
Crews will clear out the remaining sections of the Kakaako homeless encampment next Thursday and Friday, the city has announced.
High Surf Warning
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A magazine writer’s random thoughts while waiting for the next storm to hit Hawaii. What’s that? This one’s going to miss us too?
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The state Supreme Court’s rejection of plans for a 26-story hotel tower illuminates a city planning process steeped in bargaining and politics.
Members of a visiting presidential commission absorb the splendor of Ho’oulu ‘Aina Nature Park. Children from Catholic and Buddhist academies unveil a mural to bridge a cultural gap. And the uprooting of the homeless continues in Kakaako.
Hawaii is underserving its 12,000 youths who suffer from mental illness, and the problem is getting worse.
A former Honolulu mayor and a former state attorney general ask the Hawaii Supreme Court to permit lawyers to serve medical marijuana dispensary applicants.
A Sept. 14 letter from HART supplied six pages of detail relative to progress on the rail project, but the mayor’s reply makes it clear he wants more.
The federal government wants to tighten rules regulating pre-dispute agreements that remove the right to sue, but Hawaii’s long-term care ombudsman says they should just be banned.
Honolulu paid $167,500 to two hikers who said they were brutalized by officers, but its Police Department overruled a finding that excessive force was used.
Honolulu officials shouldn’t have exempted Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts from a coastal height setback requirement, justices decide.
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Citing a lack of “sufficient information,” she denies a request for a temporary restraining order.