Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    S.B. No. 1324

       S.D. 1




Honorable Donna Mercado Kim

President of the Senate

Twenty-Eighth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2015

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Judiciary and Labor, to which was referred S.B. No. 1324 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to provide statutory authority for the Employees' Retirement System to make direct payment of benefits to a former spouse of a member upon the issuance of a court order.


     Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Commission on the Status of Women; Kleintop, Luria, and Medeiros; and two individuals.  Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Employees' Retirement System.


     Your Committee finds that direct payments of retirement benefits to a former spouse will provide fairness in the enforcement of the property division in a divorce ordered by a court.  Your Committee notes that several other states have already adopted similar laws.


     Your Committee has amended this measure by:


     (1)  Amending its purpose section;


     (2)  Deleting sections 2 through 6;


     (3)  Adding a new section to chapter 88, Hawaii Revised Statutes, that, among other things:


          (A)  Specifies the conditions upon which the court may issue an order to award a former spouse a portion of retirement benefits;


          (B)  Includes safeguards for the Employees' Retirement System;


          (C)  Specifies when payments commence and terminate;


          (D)  Stipulates what court orders will not bind the Employees' Retirement System; and


          (E)  Addresses certain scenarios regarding inadvertent payments to a party;


     (4)  Allowing the Employees' Retirement System to adopt a schedule of fees and charges;


     (5)  Adding a blank appropriation for its implementation;


     (6)  Inserting an effective date of January 7, 2059, to encourage further discussion; and


     (7)  Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary and Labor that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 1324, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 1324, S.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary and Labor,