Pensions a big and contentious piece of Nutter budget puzzle

    One of the largest budgetary problems facing Mayor Michael Nutter is what to do about Philadelphia’s pension system. Payments into the plan continue to consume a large percentage of the city’s budget. In his proposed budget, Nutter outlined changes that could save money in both the short term and the long term.

    One of the largest budgetary problems facing Mayor Michael Nutter is what to do about Philadelphia’s pension system. Payments into the plan continue to consume a large percentage of the city’s budget. In his proposed budget, Nutter outlined changes that could save money in both the short term and the long term.

    Transcript:
    Nutter wants current employees to contribute more to the city’s pension plan. And provide new hires with a hybrid that includes the equivalent of a 401k defined contribution plan.

    The Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority, which oversees the city’s budget, says city employees contributions to the city’s pension system are relatively low while benefit levels are high.

    But the city’s unions are not happy with Nutter’s proposal. Brian McBride is President of the firefighters union.

    McBride: “They got us here. They were in bad shape before the budgetary problems the nation is facing only because the city fails to fund it properly. The employees over the years have funded it properly.”

    The mayor also wants to stretch out the city’s contributions to the fund, which would require state approval.

    Listen:
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    [audio: reports20090323pensions.mp3]

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