Linda Herman Appointed to State Pension Board

Linda Herman, Executive Director of the Montgomery County Employees’ Retirement System, was appointed by Governor O’Malley last week to the Maryland State Pension System Board of Trustees.  Ms. Herman was among the nominees recommended to the Governor by MACo to fill the newly created role representing the interests of county governments.

The Board of Trustees manages the System’s multi-billion dollar investment portfolio, and is responsible for the management, general administration, and proper operation of the System. Ms. Herman will be filling a new position on the Board, established by legislation passed last year as a result of MACo’s initiative to bring a county voice to the Maryland State Pension System.  The teacher pension shift of 2012 created a new stake for counties in the Maryland Pension System, and now counties will have a new role in its oversight.

MACo Executive Director Michael Sanderson expressed pleasure with the appointment, noting “Linda Herman will bring a great wealth of expertise in both investments and retirement programs to the Board, and I know she will add value to both the system and the county governments who pay into it.”

Each member of the Board has a fiduciary duty for the operation of the retirement and pension plans and making sure that all assets of the System are held exclusively to benefit the members of the System.  As part of their work, the Board adopts the actuarial assumptions necessary to properly fund the System and approves qualified disability retirements.  The Board of Trustees also exercises oversight of the Maryland State Retirement Agency by its authority to appoint the Agency’s Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer.

Ms. Herman has years of experience with both Montgomery County and the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, overseeing both a full set of retirement offerings and their associated investments. From 1999 to her appointment as Executive Director, Ms. Herman served as Senior Investment Officer for the Board. She has been responsible for managing the investment programs for the County’s defined benefit, defined contribution and deferred compensation plans.

Prior to joining Montgomery County, Ms. Herman worked for 26 years for the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) including seven years as Manager of Retirement and Investments. In that position, she was responsible for overseeing the administration and investment programs for the WSSC’s pension plan and its $1.5 billion short-term cash investment portfolio. Ms. Herman holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from the University of Maryland.

For more information on MACo’s initiative, see previous Conduit Street posts:

Difficult Session Yields County Successes

MACo’s Pension Bill Clears Senate Hurdles

House Moving MACo’s Pension Bill

Treasurer Kopp: No Policy Concerns With Pension Board Seat

MACo Urges “Seat At The Table” on Pension Board