Philly’s hybrid pension plan not getting any takers

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The tentative contract agreement between Philadelphia and its white-collar workers includes a hybrid pension offering for new hires.

Not a single firefighter has enrolled in a similar hybrid pension plan.

Firefighters union head Joe Schulle said his members don’t want to touch “Plan 10.” Instead, they’re paying more money to go into a traditional city pension plan.

“It’s not a particularly good plan, especially for firefighters and paramedics. You max out after 20 years, so you contribute 5.5 percent of your salary for 20 years and that’s your maxed-out pension,” he said. “What that comes out to is about 35 percent of your base pay.”

When the District Council 47 deal was signed, Mayor Michael Nutter said the plan will save the city about 2.5 half percent on its pension costs, which is why the deal requires those opting for a traditional plan to pay an extra 2 percent.

“The new pension provisions in this agreement with District Council 47, coupled with earlier agreements with police, fire and other unions, puts us on course to strengthen our pension fund,” Nutter said. “Something that employees and citizens should applaud.”

The city is seeking a similar plan for the blue-collar workers who are still negotiating their contract.

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