Nutter Asks Council For Support To Change Pension System

A day after the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that City Council did not plan to act on Mayor Nutter's legislation to create a cheaper pension plan for new hires, the mayor made a new request of the legislators.

Nutter's Finance Director Rob Dubow today sent a letter to Council President Anna Verna asking that Council instead pass a resolution that the city would set up a lower cost plan for new hires -- but would not contain the exact details of the plan.

Nutter's original legislation, introduced by Councilman Darrell Clarke in June, would have set up a plan for new hires that combined some pension benefits with a 401K. Nutter has now pulled back some of those details. In the communication to Council, the administration asks for a resolution stating that retirement plans for new hires would cost less, but says that the resolution need not contain details of the plan. Any plan would be negotiated with the unions, a fact sheet says.

The fact sheet provided to Council noted that because the city's pension plan has been declared "severely distressed" by the State Public Retirement Commission, under state law the city must implement a cheaper plan.

Contracts for the city's four municipal unions expired June 30, but no new agreements have been made. The contract for police, which is decided by an arbitration panel, is expected to be decided first, perhaps within the next month. Arbitration for firefighters will continue into January. Talks have been limited with the two non-uniform unions.

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