But is that a valid assumption? The Council members who opposed Nutter in the spring– especially those who have retired and then returned to Council a day later to collect DROP checks, and those who plan to line their pockets in the future even though Council members weren’t DROP’s intended beneficiaries– appear more interested in the ability of a few thousand privileged beneficiaries to raid the pension system in the short-term than in the system’s long-term viability for the benefit of the tens of thousands who have worked for a share of it.
DROP, in effect, allows a person nearing retirement to bet against the future existence of the pension system by taking lots of money up front. That such a cynical bet is allowed is wrong. That some Council members have made such a bet makes them appear interested in no one’s welfare but their own.
An insolvent pension system would cost the city its ability to hire new talent, impose new burdens on taxpayers as the cost of borrowing rose, and make Philadelphia poorer by condemning many of its former municipal employees to old-age poverty. Rather than seeking to prevent that outcome, Council would hasten it by keeping DROP in place. If the Mayor is defeated on this issue, everyone loses.