DROP not headed for bucket

Armed with a report that claims the controversial DROP retirement program wasn’t as financially damaging as the study commissioned by the mayor’s office, City Council President Anna Verna said yesterday that they’re examining ways to keep it in effect.

“It was unfortunate that the [other] study included some basic mistakes, and all the more so because of the rush to judgment that followed its release,” Verna said in a press release. “We now know that the cost of DROP is much less than first reported.”

The study released yesterday, conducted by actuarial consultant Bolton Partners, Inc., found initial estimates that DROP cost the city $258 million over a decade “overstated the cost by nearly $160 million.”

The results were forwarded to the Pension Board’s actuary for analysis, which is expected to be complete in April. Then Council will hold hearings on bills to eliminate the program, enable employees to withdraw and a yet-introduced push to “revise DROP to make it cost-neutral.”

Despite the report, Mayor Michael Nutter, who called on Council to drop DROP in August, said yesterday that, “It costs too much. We can’t afford it. It has to end.”

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