Montgomery County Employee Retirement Plans (MCERP or Retirement Plans), located in Rockville, MD, is searching for an experienced executive with an in-depth knowledge of investments and an understanding of retirement plan administration to lead this highly respected public retirement system with assets of over $8.0 billion.
The Retirement Plans are offered to County employees, as well as participating agencies, and provide retirement, disability, and death benefits to eligible participants. The Retirement Plans include Employees’ Retirement System, a defined benefit pension plan; Guaranteed Retirement Income Plan, a cash balance plan that is part of the ERS; Retirement Savings Plan, a defined contribution plan; Deferred Compensation Plan, a section 457 plan; and Deferred Retirement Options Plans.
MCERP oversees the administration of the benefits, investment programs, and financial reporting for all of the retirement plans listed above as well as the investment program for the Consolidated Retiree Health Benefits Trust.
The County’s Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) appoints the Executive Director. The Board of Investment Trustees (Retirement Board) is responsible for investment management of the Retirement Plans’ assets.
The Health Benefits Trust, $1.6 billion in net assets at June 30, 2021, provides funding for health benefits for retirees and their dependents. The CRHBT Board of Trustees oversees the investment of the assets. The plan covers retirees from the Montgomery County Government, Montgomery County Public Schools, and Montgomery College. All members of the Retirement Board are members of the Trust Board.
The Executive Director reports to the CAO and also interacts with the two Boards, which provide direction on investment related matters. The Executive Director provides staff support to the Boards. In addition, the Boards have delegated the hiring and firing of investment managers to the Executive Director. More information can be found in the FY2021 Annual Comprehensive Financial Report.
The assets under management in the trust funds totaled $8.0 billion at June 30, 2021, an increase of $1.7 billion from June 30, 2020. The Defined Benefit Plan is financially and actuarially sound with an actuarial funded ratio of 103.2%. The actuarial assumed rate of return is 7.5%. ERS’ funding ratio has increased every year since 2017, reaching 103% at June 30, 2021.
The Boards overseeing the trust funds approve the asset allocation and investment policies and oversee performance and evaluate attribution. NEPC, the general investment consultant, Franklin Park, the private equity consultant, and Albourne, the private real assets consultant, work for the Boards and with the Executive Director and investment staff. Northern Trust Company is the custodian.
The Boards have adopted asset allocations within the buckets of Growth, Risk Mitigation, and Real Assets/Inflation Protection. For additional information on the allocation to specific asset classes, please refer to the FY2021 ACFR.
The Boards continue to build upon the previous strong record of incorporating Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) considerations into the investment program. The Boards also continue to engage with investment managers on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) considerations within their organizations. At the end of FY2021, the portfolio had approximately one-fifth of the portfolio allocated to diverse firms.
The Executive Director is the central point of responsibility and accountability for the Plans leading a team of 22 comprising investment, financial, and benefit administration professionals. A significant portion of the Executive Director’s time is allocated to investment matters.