PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — City Council still has yet to schedule a hearing on the mayor’s call to eliminate the controversial DROP pension perk. But one lawmaker on Thursday said that debate should look at the larger financial problems facing that pension plan.
In a speech on the floor of City Council, 10th District Councilman Brian O’Neill said what’s getting overlooked in the furor over DROP are the massive financial shortfalls facing the city worker pension fund as a whole:
“DROP is a drop in the bucket when it comes to our pension. Our pension fund is underfunded by each administration.”
And O’Neill, who is the ranking Republican on Council, said solving that may prove far more difficult.
Meantime Council passed a resolution to reign in the rush of city workers applying for DROP. The resolution promises workers that if, in the end, DROP is eliminated, they will have a chance to sign up for the pension perk before it goes away.
Majority leader Marion Tasco says ever August, when the mayor announced that he wants DROP abolished, hundreds have rushed to enroll:
“We have over 12-hundred applicants who have sought information from the pension board, and about 500 of them are police officers. We don’t want them making those decisions without having all the information. So what we want to say is look — don’t rush.”
A spokesman for Mayor Nutter says the mayor appreciates the message of Council’s DROP resolution, but that he “continues to await a prompt hearing on the matter.” Nutter says DROP costs the city too much and he wants it abolished.
Reported by: Mike Dunn, KYW Newsradio