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Council Committee Limits Pension Changes

A City Council committee today pushed back against the Nutter administration's attempts to reign in the city's ballooning pension expenses through the creation of a new lower-cost retirement plan.

The city's police union late last year reached a contract deal that would offer new hires the option of entering a "hybrid" retirement plan that would combine a 401k and a pension, or they could stay in the traditional pension program at a higher cost. Nutter said the hybrid would provide long-term cost savings for the cash-poor city.

But the Nutter administration wanted to also give newly hired non-unionized workers the option of going into the hybrid plan. The city's other unions, who have not yet reached contracts, opposed that idea.

So Council today gave preliminary approval for the new plan, but just for new police hires. Councilman Bill Green said that if the other unions reach contracts that include a hybrid plan option, Council will revisit the issue for non-union workers.

"I just think we are putting the cart before the horse," Green said.