City workers rush to retire with DROP

    Retirement program that has cost Philadelphia dearly could give the city budget some help in the short term.

    With word that a retirement incentive is on the Mayor of Philadelphia’s hit list, people are signing up to retire in city government. The influx of retirees could help the city with its budget woes.

    Before Mayor Michael Nutter announced his intentions to put an end to the Deferred Retirement Option Program or DROP a few people signed up to end their city careers. The mayor’s spokesman, Doug Oliver says once word went out the program could be eliminated, city workers signed up en masse.

    “Since then on the two days after you saw 106, 119 respectively. if you are looking at just the days prior, you had 16, 18, 33 some days. So jump to 106, 119 we do recognize that is a significant number who are expressing interest in the program.”

    City Controller Alan Butkovitz says a mass exodus of city employees might actually do what the DROP program was created to do, give managers the ability to streamline their operations and cut employees, helping the city budget. But those receiving DROP payments will put a strain on the already underfunded city pension program.

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