Friday, August 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Council Back, Introduces DROP Legislation

It's the first Council session after a three-month summer break today and the issue on everyone's mind is DROP.

Council Back, Introduces DROP Legislation

It's the first Council session after a three-month summer break today and the issue on everyone's mind is DROP.

Councilwoman Marian Tasco just introduced legislation from Mayor Nutter that would eliminate the controversial program. When she announced her plans this morning in the Council caucus room, Tasco said jokingly: "Are you all listening? It's about DROP."

Six weeks ago Mayor Nutter released a study from Boston College researchers showing that the Deferred Retirement Option Plan is costing the city $22 million a year. He has repeatedly argued that the city simply cannot afford the program.

But on Council - six of whose members are enrolled in DROP - many members are holding off until they have more information. Council President Anna Verna has commissioned a review of the study by an outside consultant and requested an opinion from the city solicitor on whether DROP changes must be bargained with the unions.

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Introduced in 1999, DROP allows city workers to set a retirement date up to four years in advance. At that point, their pension benefit is frozen and they start accruing pension payments in an interest-bearing account. Workers receive those payments in a lump sum when they retire, in addition to their full city pension.
 

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Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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