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New executive director tapped for state pension plan

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Thomas Williams, former executive director of the Wyoming Retirement System, has been chosen to oversee Hawaii’s $14.4 billion pension plan. 

Williams, who will receive a salary of $225,000, will take over as executive director of the state Employees’ Retirement System on Nov. 2. The largest public pension plan in Hawaii provides retirement, disability and survivor benefits to 118,466 active, retired and inactive state and county employees. 

“We are confident that Mr. Williams will serve our state and county members, retirees and beneficiaries well,” Pilialoha Lee Loy, chair of the ERS board of trustees, said in a statement Thursday. “His broad experience and strong background in public service will help us navigate the ongoing and complex challenges facing the ERS in today’s pension fund environment.” 

The ERS has been without a permanent executive director since December 27, 2014, when Wes Machida was appointed by Gov. David Ige to be the state’s director of finance. Kanoe Margol has served as interim executive director during the past year. 

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