Buy-in loophole unfair to taxpayers, police and firefighters

April 7, 2010 – Senator Farnese today announced that he is drafting legislation that would prohibit city employees from using time earned in other jurisdictions to buy into the Philadelphia’s pension system unless they have worked for the City of Philadelphia for at least 5 years.

It was recently disclosed that the outgoing managing director was eligible to buy into the pension system after only two years of service, which entitled her to an annual lifetime benefit of nearly $50,000 per year. Senator Farnese’s legislation would ban this practice. His proposal would prohibit non-union, non-civil service employees from counting time worked in government jobs outside Philadelphia to reach the minimum 5- year vesting period.

“Continuing this practice is unfair to the taxpayers,” said Senator Farnese. “It also highlights a disparity in current pension policies under which police officers and firefighters, who risk their lives daily protecting the citizens of the city, do not receive such generous perks.”

Senator Farnese compared this current pension perk to the DROP perk for elected officials, which he helped to eliminate last year.

“At a time when many families are struggling to make ends meet, it is a matter of good government to reform this policy by closing this loophole,” said Senator Farnese.

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