Slowing the rush to DROP

City Council on Thursday passed a resolution that aims to end employees' rush to enroll in the DROP pension program by ensuring that those already eligible will have time to enroll if changes are made to the program.

Majority Leader Marian B. Tasco, who introduced the resolution, said she wanted to slow down the flood of employee applications to the program because it could be costly to the city and because people should take time to consider whether DROP makes sense for them.

"What we want to say is, 'Look, don't rush,' " Tasco said.

In August, Mayor Nutter called on Council to kill the Deferred Option Retirement Program, or DROP, citing a study he commissioned that said it had cost the city $258 million over the last 10 years. Since then, nearly 1,200 employees have applied, roughly half of them police. Employees have 90 days after they apply to decided whether to enroll officially.

DROP allows employees of retirement age who have worked for the city for at least 10 years to collect a lump sum payment when they leave the city in exchange for accepting a lower pension payment during retirement. Council has hired its own actuary to evaluate the cost of DROP and plans to start debating the program later this fall. - Miriam Hill

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