Effective April 1, 2022, Empower officially acquired the full-service retirement business of Prudential. For more details, review the important information associated with the acquisition PDF File opens in a new window.

Five things you can do

1. Get started

Join the plan!

From automatic payroll deduction to automated investing services, a comfortable financial future is in your hands—join today and get on track toward your destination. And the sooner you join, the faster you’re likely to get there. So what are you waiting for?

Enroll in the Island $avings Plan

2. Get online

Set up your account

If you’re already in the plan, set up your account online, set your contribution rate, and review or update your investments as well as your beneficiaries. You can also start taking advantage of a wealth of tools and resources from Empower.

Register your account

3. Get a plan

See what it’s going to take and stay on track

The Retirement Income Calculator helps you define your income goal, shows you if you’re on track to meet it and gives you specific steps to take if you aren’t. Best of all, the tool updates every time you log in to your account, so you’ll always know where you stand—and where you may need to go—on the road to a more secure retirement.

Log in to use the calculator

4. Get diversified

Invest the way that makes sense to you

Your plan offers three ways to build a well-diversified portfolio: Do-it-yourselfers will find investment options that cover all the major asset classes. More hands-off investors can opt for age-based diversification through one of six Lifecycle Funds. Or, for more personalized approaches, consider the optional, no-extra-cost GoalMaker asset allocation program, investment advice from Morningstar Investment Management LLC or the fee-based Managed by Morningstar service.

Goalmaker asset allocation program

5. Get it together

Consider consolidating

If you have retirement assets outside the Island $avings Plan, you may be able to roll them into your Plan, simplifying your financial life. Consolidation can offer a number of benefits, but it may not be right for everyone. Your Retirement Education Counselor can help you weigh your options and walk you through the paperwork, step by step.

Download Rollover in form

Frequently asked questions

By participating in the State of Hawaii Island $avings Plan (“Plan” or “I$P”), you are taking a major step toward planning for your financial future. The following is a list of some of the most frequently asked questions.

If you need more information, please contact an Island $avings Plan Retirement Education Counselor at the local Empower office in Honolulu, call 888-71-ALOHA (888-712-5642) and select option “2”. Retirement Education Counselors are available Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. HST, and on Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. HST.

It is a voluntary retirement savings plan offered to you and authorized under section 457 of the Internal Revenue Code and Hawaii Revised Statutes (“HRS”) chapter 88E. The Plan is intended to help you save for retirement using pre-tax contributions, and potential tax-deferred growth. You decide when to start, how much to contribute, and which investment options to use (within permissible limits).

No. You cannot use the Age 50+ Catch-Up provision in any of the three (3) years that you are using the 3-Year Catch-Up provision

There are general Plan administrative and recordkeeping fees that the employee pays. This fee amount is 7.5 basis points, which is .075% of your account balance, and is paid to Empower. This annualized fee is deducted from your account on a quarterly basis.

For example:

If the quarter-end account balance is $35,000, the fee deduction is calculated as follows:
.00075 divided by 4 =0.0001875
0.0001875 multiplied by $35,000 = $6.56 in fees

Each investment option charges an investment management fee, which is deducted from the investment option’s return. Please see the “Performance” section of your account for each investment option’s fees, or you may call the Plan’s toll-free Information Line at 888-71-ALOHA (888-712-5642).

The Plan also offers Self-Directed Brokerage Accounts—additional fees will apply.

Generally, quarterly statements are mailed out no later than fifteen (15) business days after the end of the calendar quarter. They are also available on the website.

Yes, you may use your deferred compensation funds to purchase service credits (if applicable). Members of the Employees' Retirement System of the State of Hawaii can use their pre-tax retirement account to buy service credits. All purchase of service credits must be made prior to retirement.

To purchase service credits, you must complete two forms—the ERS Election to Purchase Service Credit by Lump Sum Payment Form (Form ERS-26) and Empower's 457 Prior Service Buy Back Form.

You must contact ERS to obtain the Buy Back amount and complete ERS Form 26. The amount stated on the form is only good for 60 days. The ERS Form 26 must be submitted to Empower with the completed 457 Prior Service Buy Back Form. This form can be obtained through the forms section of the I$P website.

Detailed instructions are on both forms. If you have any questions, please contact a Retirement Education Counselor at 888-71-ALOHA (888-712-5642), option “2.”

Your named beneficiary(or beneficiaries) will be entitled to maintain, withdraw, or rollover any/all of the remaining balance in your account.

For this reason, it is very important that your beneficiary information is kept up to date anytime your situation changes, especially after events like marriage, divorce, or birth of a child.

Changes can easily be done using the website (under the ‘Personal Information’ tab in your account) or by calling the Island $avings Plan toll-free Information Line at 888-71-ALOHA (888-712-5642).

If qualified, you may withdraw all or part of your account balance.
With this option, consider this: There are significant tax consequences to think about before making this choice:

  • Federal and state income tax is due on the amount distributed (and the amount you are withdrawing may push you into a higher tax bracket).
  • The amount of money you are withdrawing is no longer tax-deferred.
  • A mandatory 20% of your withdrawal is withheld for federal taxes.

You may take a withdrawal in cash by using the participant website, automated phone system, or by speaking to a participant service representative. You will have the option of having the check delivered via standard U.S. Mail delivery 3 - 5 business days after check is issued, or via express delivery for a $25 charge (sent 1 - 2 business days after check is issued). Alternatively, you can have the payment sent via Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) by contacting the participant service at 888-71-ALOHA (888-712-5642).

Any employee of the State of Hawaii, Hawaii County, Kauai County, or Maui County who is eligible to participate in the Employees’ Retirement System (“ERS”) of the State of Hawaii (this includes employees of the University of Hawaii, Department of Education, Judiciary, Legislature, County of Hawaii Water District, Waialae Charter School and Hawaii Health Systems Corporation).

If you are or will reach age 50 (or older) before the end of a calendar year, you may make an additional catch-up contribution as long as what you contribute does not exceed your available paycheck. You are eligible to make this catch-up contribution only if you defer the maximum annual amount permitted under the Plan.

Once enrolled, you may change your contribution amount at any time through the website by selecting contributions, or by calling the Plan’s toll-free Information Line at 888-71-ALOHA (888-712-5642). Any changes you make to your contribution percentage or dollar amount will usually take effect within two pay periods, depending on when you make the change. See Deferral Change Schedule to view when changes will take effect. Changes may be made at any time, and a confirmation statement will be mailed to your home address for each change that you make.

Other qualified retirement accounts may be consolidated into the Plan by a Direct Rollover. For help with this process, complete a Rollover In form located in the “Forms” section of the website and contact Empower’s local office in Honolulu by dialing 888-71-ALOHA (888-712-5642), and pressing “2.”

If you are an active employee you may call 888-71-ALOHA (888-712-5642) and press “2” to speak with the local office for assistance.

If you are a terminated employee, you may update your address via the website, or speak to a participant service representative at 888-71-ALOHA (888-712-5642) who will be happy to make this update for you.

ONLY retired participants or participants who have separated should complete a change of address form, EXCEPT for the active participants employed by the following Departments & Jurisdictions:

  • House of Representatives
  • Judiciary
  • Legislative Audit
  • Legislative Bureau
  • Office of Hawaii Affairs
  • Office of the Ombudsman
  • Senate
  • State Ethics Commission
  • County of Hawaii Water District

IMPORTANT: Active employees employed by any departments NOT listed above MUST change their address through their Departmental Personnel Office.

First, you should know that after you separate from service, you do not have to take a distribution. You can leave your entire account balance in the Plan and allow it to continue growing tax-deferred (except for required minimum distributions if you are age 72 or older). If you do want to withdraw some money, you have the following distribution methods or options:

  • Full or partial lump sum payment
  • Systematic monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, or annual payments
  • Purchase of an annuity
  • Rollover of account balance into another plan or IRA

In order to join the Island $avings Plan, you need to fill out Enrollment and Beneficiary Designation forms. Enrollment and Beneficiary Designation forms are available either in the Forms & Documents section of this site or by calling the Island $avings Plan toll-free Information Line at 888-71-ALOHA (888-712-5642). To talk to an Island $avings Plan Retirement Education Counselor at the local Empower office in Honolulu, please select option “2”. Retirement Education Counselors are available Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. HST, and on Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. HST. You may also obtain an Enrollment form and Beneficiary Designation form from the Empower Honolulu office at: 1100 Alakea Street, Suite 1550, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96813. Please return both forms to the Empower office at the address above.

The 3-Year Catch-Up provision allows you to contribute more than the normal maximum annual deferral amount to the Plan to "catch-up" for earlier years when you did not contribute the maximum amounts allowed. You should call to schedule a meeting with your tax or legal advisor four (4) to five (5) years prior to your retirement to discuss using the 3-Year Catch-Up provision and to ensure proper planning.

The potential advantages of using the 3-Year Catch-Up provision are current tax savings, and greater accumulation of your retirement "nest-egg".

Using the catch-up provision takes advanced planning. The window of opportunity is up to three (3) consecutive calendar years prior to the year in which you will reach normal retirement age. The 3-Year Catch-Up is a “once in a lifetime” opportunity which may be elected one (1) time only.

Please call the Island $avings Plan toll-free Information Line at 888-71-ALOHA (888-712-5642), press option “2” for the Honolulu office and speak with a Retirement Education Counselor for more information on using the 3-Year Catch-Up provision. Catch-Up Provision worksheets are available by request through a participant service representative, or by accessing the Forms section of this website. The 3-Year Catch-Up form and worksheet must be submitted to the Empower Honolulu office for a Retirement Education Counselor to review.

For information on the investment options, go to the Plan Investments section of this website

Yes, you can elect to rollover your ERS contributions into the Island $avings Plan. Also, if you inherit ERS funds, you can also rollover the inherited funds through a spousal rollover.

Since the ERS funds are already taxed on a State level, a special ERS Rollover/Transfer In Form is required to retain the state exemption. This form can be obtained through the forms section of the I$P website.

Detailed instructions are on the form. If you have any questions or require any assistance, please contact a Retirement Education Counselor at 888-71-ALOHA (888-712-5642), then select option “2.”

You may be allowed four different types of in-service withdrawals:

  • A qualified unforeseeable emergency as defined by the IRS
  • A qualified de minimis withdrawal
  • Funds rolled into the plan may be withdrawn at anytime
  • All or some funds may be withdrawn once you obtain 70½

Yes; provided that:

  1. You elect to defer your vacation pay into the Plan while you are employed with the State or counties
  2. Your accumulated vacation leave is paid while you are employed with the State or counties for early vacation payout and for post separation payout, you are paid out by the later of 2½ months after termination of employment or the Plan year end
  3. You comply with the vacation payout process and timeframes established by the State and counties
    To obtain more information on this process and time frames, as well as the necessary forms to initiate the process, please contact your department’s Personnel Officer.
    For more information on the deferral of vacation pay into the Plan, please contact Empower’s local office in Honolulu by dialing 888-71-ALOHA (888-712-5642), and pressing “2.”

Participants using the Retirement Income Calculator should consider other assets, income and investments (e.g. equity in a home, Social Security benefits, individual retirement plan investments, etc.) when assessing the adequacy of the estimated income stream as provided by this tool. The Retirement Income Calculator is hypothetical and for illustrative purposes only and is not intended to represent performance of any specific investment, which may fluctuate. There is no assurance that retirement income objectives will be met. You can lose money by investing in securities.

Amounts withdrawn are subject to income taxes and plan restrictions. Neither Empower nor any of its affiliates provide tax or legal advice for which you should consult your qualified professional.

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The State of Hawaii Board of Trustees and the State Deferred Compensation Plan are not responsible for and do not have oversight over the content or materials on this website.

Retirement counselors are registered with Empower Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRAopens in new window/SIPCopens in new window. EFSI is an affiliate of Empower Retirement, LLC; Empower Funds, Inc.; and registered investment adviser Empower Advisory Group, LLC.

This material is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide investment, legal or tax recommendations or advice.

Retirement products and services are provided by Empower Annuity Insurance Company, Hartford, CT, or its affiliates.

"EMPOWER" and all associated logos, and product names are trademarks of Empower Annuity Insurance Company of America.

©2023 Empower Retirement, LLC. All rights reserved.

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