Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Will DROP Research Ever Be Completed?

Is something actually going to happen soon on DROP?

Will DROP Research Ever Be Completed?

Is something actually going to happen soon on DROP?

Mayor Nutter today sounded optimistic that he might soon see City Council action on his proposal to end the controversial retirement perk known as the Deferred Retirement Option Plan. Over four months have gone by since Nutter sent DROP-killing legislation to Council, after an administration-commissioned study from Boston College said the program had cost $258 million since 1999.

The issue quickly bogged down when Council sought its own review of the study from Bolton Partners, an actuarial consulting firm based in Baltimore. And now the chief actuary for Bolton says they are waiting on Boston researchers to answer some questions before they can produce a finished product.

So what’s going on at Boston? We couldn’t get a straight answer. When we called Prof. Anthony Webb, of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, a staffer referred us back to Nutter’s press office.

Nutter’s spokesman Mark McDonald said: “Based on some discussion with Bolton folks, the researchers at Boston are doing additional analysis. They understand the importance of getting this done as soon as possible and they are working toward that end.”

McDonald could not say when the work would be complete. Still, Nutter said today he thought it would be soon.

“We’re expecting a final report very, very shortly,” he said.

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 get those payments in a lump sum when they retire, in addition to their full city pension.
 

About this blog
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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