Thursday, December 18, 2014

Early DROP study findings did not make DROP look good

On Tuesday, we noted Ralph Cipriano's quest to get the Nutter administration to release a study it had commissioned on the controversial DROP program. Later that day, the administration announced the study would be released next week. Now, Jeff Shields has found a preliminary version of the report, which was presented by one of the authors at an academic conference in the Netherlands six months ago (side note: A study on Philadelphia's pension system was conducted by researchers in Boston and unveiled at a conference in the Netherlands). Here's the crux:

Early DROP study findings did not make DROP look good

On Tuesday, we noted Ralph Cipriano's quest to get the Nutter administration to release a study it had commissioned on the controversial DROP program. Later that day, the administration announced the study would be released next week. Now, Jeff Shields has found a preliminary version of the report, which was presented by one of the authors at an academic conference in the Netherlands six months ago (side note: A study on Philadelphia's pension system was conducted by researchers in Boston and unveiled at a conference in the Netherlands). Here's the crux:

Citing data provided by the city for 48,029 employees between 1990 and 2008, the draft says DROP both increased the retirement age and was used by employees in a way that "results in a substantial increase in pension cost."

That's not a good deal for taxpayers! Of course it needs to be reiterated that these findings were preliminary, but one hopes that, if the report the administration releases next week is substantially different from this, there will be a (persuasive) accompanying explanation of what changed.

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Every year, city government spends slightly more than $4 billion. Where does all that money come from? More importantly, where does it go? Are we getting the most bang for our tax buck? “It's Our Money” is a joint project between Philadelphia Daily News and WHYY, funded by the William Penn Foundation, designed to answer these questions.

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