Councilman says Philly pensions need expertise as much as more money

Listen

There’s a lot of talk about how to come up with enough money to refill Philadelphia’s underfunded pension accounts.

One city councilman says reforms need to go further than finding dollars.

Councilman David Oh says the city’s pension problems are mounting and he wants to address the issue head on.

“Right now the unfunded liability is $4.86 billion, that means that’s what we are short on for the people we owe the money to,” Oh said. “It’s a retirement fund for the workers it’s not meant to be a funding source for the city.” 

Oh’s proposed modification to the city charter would require people with more experience in retirement funds to be added to the pension board.

“The reforms include transparency, putting the goals and the minutes on the website and in particular adding four new board members that are appointed by the mayor based on expertise, that’s something that’s missing on the pension board, they are basically appointed by the position that they hold,” he said. 

Oh also wants the funds to use more conservative revenue estimates, even if it will mean the city having to contribute even more to worker pensions.

 

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.