Over 3,100 Philadelphia employees could “DROP”

    Only a small percentage have rushed to sign up for a program that could be eliminated soon.

    On Monday, the spokesman for Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said it would take weeks to find out how many city employees qualify for the DROP early retirement incentive program. Philadelphia’s City Controller got them quicker.

    City Controller Alan Butkovitz says working with the pension board he found out there are just over 3,100 employees eligible for the Deferred Retirement Option Program or DROP as of August third. So far about 400 have applied for the benefit since Mayor Michael Nutter announced he wants to end the incentive.

    Philadelphia City Council still has to debate the issue and they aren’t in a rush to do so. The hearings on the matter won’t come until council returns from their summer recess in September, and approval is not guaranteed.

    Even if the measure is approved, it could include a 30 day window for workers to file their papers, which would mean many more than have already applied to retire would be expected to do so. Individual employees have collected lump sums as large as a $500,000 through the program–while still maintaining eligibility for a regular pension.

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