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Pension Fund

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NEWS
August 8, 2010 | By Miriam Hill, Inquirer Staff Writer
When they introduced it in 1999, Philadelphia officials called it "the Winnebago plan. " That nickname for the retirement program known as DROP symbolized what it was supposed to do - give longtime city workers a retirement check big enough that they could buy a Winnebago or fulfill some other small dream, paid for with their own pension money. And, everyone agreed at the time, officials would end the Deferred Option Retirement Program, or DROP, if, after three years, it turned out that it cost the city money.
NEWS
February 18, 1990 | By Paul Krieger, Special to The Inquirer
Last year was a very good year for Chester County's pension fund. For the first time, the fund cracked the $50 million level, buoyed by stock holdings that appreciated 36 percent in the general rebound on Wall Street during 1989. Investment performance last year capped a six-year trend that has seen a doubling in the county's pension investments that are set aside for future retirees. But, the growth in the Chester County Retirement Fund to $53.19 million by year's end will have little impact on the pension benefits for county employees.
BUSINESS
October 26, 1987 | By MARC MELTZER, Daily News Staff Writer
As the aftershocks of last week's market crash unfold in coming months, the pain felt so deeply by individual investors could spread to others. Many people may believe that, because they didn't own any stock directly, the swift and sharp decline in stock prices can't possibly affect them. However, virtually everyone who is covered by a pension plan has a stake in how well the stock market performs. Pension plans are significant institutional players in the stock market.
NEWS
February 20, 1986 | By JUAN GONZALEZ, Daily News Staff Writer
A dramatic growth in investment returns from the city's employee pension fund during 1985 will save at least $5 million in next year's city budget, officials estimate. The fund achieved a 29.7 percent return on investments last year, nearly a three-fold increase over the 10.7 percent return of 1984, boosting assets from $932 million to a record $1.2 billion, according to Deputy Director of Finance Curtis O. Townsend. Townsend, who is also the city's pension fund assets manager, and City Controller Joseph Vignola, a member of the Board of Pensions and Retirement, attributed the good return to a boom year on Wall Street and to the city's hiring last year of 10 private pension-fund consultants to diversify and manage fund investments.
NEWS
October 4, 1987 | By Nancy Scott, Special to The Inquirer
Yeadon property owners will have to contribute fewer of their tax dollars to the police pension fund next year. Councilman Aris Karalis announced Thursday that this year's actuarial study of the pension showed that the council could slash the borough's contribution by more than half - from $78,000 to $31,000. The study is done every other year, as required by state law. The council has been working for five years to improve the status of the pension fund, which was found to be underfunded.
NEWS
October 12, 1990 | By Bob Warner, Daily News Staff Writer Staff writers Dave Davies and Anthony S. Twyman contributed to this report
City Councilman David Cohen reportedly is interested in using the $1.7 billion city pension fund to bail out the cash-short city operating budget - but the idea appears to have little support. Mayor Goode told reporters yesterday that Cohen had raised the possibility Wednesday afternoon at a meeting between Council members and the mayor. Goode said he didn't know enough about the idea to discuss it, and Cohen declined comment yesterday on any aspect of the city's financial problems.
NEWS
October 20, 1987 | By JUAN GONZALEZ and HOWARD SCHNEIDER, Daily News Staff Writers
The record-shattering plunge of Wall Street stocks yesterday had city finance officials scurrying to the phones to ask the professionals who manage the city's pension fund about its financial health. But the prognosis won't be in until at least today. Some $730 million - nearly half of the pension fund's value - was in stocks as of the end of September, and the rest was invested in municipal bonds and real estate, said Peter Crescitelli, acting director of the city's Board of Pensions and Retirement.
NEWS
November 20, 1990 | By Anthony S. Twyman and Joseph R. Daughen, Daily News Staff Writers Staff writers Bob Warner and Dave Davies contributed to this report
A last-ditch lobbying effort by pensioners and the city's fire and police unions may spell death for a measure deemed crucial to the city's short-term financial future. Council members have been inundated with phone calls from angry union members and city employees opposing a plan for the city to borrow money from their pension fund. It appears enough Council members have abandoned their support of the bill that would permit the municipal pension fund to make the loan to place the legislation in danger.
NEWS
January 4, 1992 | By Amy S. Rosenberg, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Common Pleas Court judge approved a settlement yesterday deferring $19 million in payments by Philadelphia to its pension board. City officials say this will free about $30 million to pay overdue bills from health and human service providers. The agreement, signed by Judge Abraham J. Gafni, requires the city to pay $10 million to the pension fund on Feb. 3, and roughly $9.3 million on Feb. 16, plus 11 percent interest. A $10 million payment was made Thursday. City Solicitor Charisse R. Lillie said the delay in payment would boost the city's weekly cash balance to an average of about $62 million, about twice the cushion that the city would have been left with had it been forced to pay all of the $29.3 million on Thursday.
NEWS
November 21, 1987 | By Russell Cooke, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia's municipal pension fund suffered a $151.6 million paper loss as a result of the Oct. 19 stock market crash, but pension officials this week said the drop would have no affect on either taxpayers' contributions to the fund or on municipal retirees. The drop in value represented about 10 percent of the $1.5 billion fund, which provides benefits for about 25,000 retirees and their beneficiaries. Between Sept. 30 and Oct. 30, the market value of stocks owned by the fund declined from $732.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
May 14, 2015 | Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
When the Rendell administration created the Philadelphia pension perk known as DROP in 1999, it was out of a simple notion - that some employees who were about to retire were so essential that the city had to find a way to keep them working while a replacement was found. Almost right away, however, the Deferred Retirement Option Plan became a way for city workers with at least 10 years on the job to get a nice little pay bump (sometimes not so little) upon retiring. That send-off check has cost the beleaguered pension fund millions it cannot afford.
NEWS
May 8, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON - The Christie administration on Wednesday told the New Jersey Supreme Court that granting public workers a contractual right to pension funding would violate the state constitution and place a "fiscal stranglehold on the state in perpetuity. " Hearing oral arguments in Gov. Christie's appeal of a ruling that he violated his own pension law, the justices wrestled with questions over the separation of powers and budget priorities. The case revolves around how to interpret a 2011 law that Christie and others said was designed to shore up New Jersey's chronically underfunded pension system by requiring both the state and public workers to contribute more money.
NEWS
April 27, 2015 | Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
With less than a month before the May 19 primary, the six Democrats running for mayor have yet to talk about the $5.7 billion dark cloud that threatens to snuff out their campaign promises of universal prekindergarten, cuts in the wage tax, and other costly pledges. That cloud looming over the candidates' plans, the city's unfunded pension liability, has been there for decades, and it grows with every passing year. "The municipal pension crisis - and it is a crisis - is the No. 1 issue for the future of the city," said Comcast executive vice president David L. Cohen, who served as chief of staff to Ed Rendell when Rendell was mayor.
NEWS
April 23, 2015 | Inquirer Editorial Board
Philadelphia's ravenous pension fund will be the next mayor's greatest financial challenge. It eats an increasing portion of the city budget, leaving less money for police, parks, libraries, and other services. The troubled pension fund is expected to consume 15.5 percent of the budget this year. The government's contribution has grown more than 160 percent since 2004, according to the city's financial plan, even as the share of obligations covered has dropped below 50 percent. Mayor Nutter offered a partial solution when he proposed selling the Philadelphia Gas Works, which would have yielded a substantial infusion of cash and significantly reduced the burden of contributions.
NEWS
April 23, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON - Gov. Christie is pushing back against the Legislature's Democratic leadership in a dispute over funding of the pension system, arguing that their support of unions seeking bigger pension contributions amounts to an endorsement of raising taxes. In response to a decision by Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D., Gloucester) and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D., Hudson) to file an amicus brief in support of the unions' lawsuit, Christie's office on Tuesday accused the Democrats of using "fairy tale rhetoric" in calling for bigger payments.
NEWS
April 18, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, N.J. - After spending two days telling New Hampshire voters about a need to reform federal entitlement programs and bashing President Obama's foreign policy, Gov. Christie resumed the town-hall circuit at home Thursday by returning to his bread-and-butter state issues: public worker benefits and education. The governor, a prospective candidate for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, wants public workers to contribute more toward their health benefits to align New Jersey's plans with those in the private sector.
NEWS
April 8, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
New Jersey's highest court will hear the Christie administration's appeal in a case over funding of the state's pension system. The New Jersey Supreme Court on Monday issued an order that set oral arguments in the case for May 6. The order comes as Gov. Christie seeks to reverse a judge's February decision that said the governor broke the law in June when he slashed the state's payment to the pension system for public employees by $1.6 billion for...
NEWS
March 27, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON - The new chairman of the board that oversees New Jersey's $77 billion pension fund for public employees warned Wednesday against a bill passed by the Legislature that would expand pay-to-play restrictions on the state's investments, saying it would force New Jersey to sell top-performing assets at "disadvantageous prices. " Those remarks came as the state moved ahead with a $100 million investment in a fund controlled by a private-equity firm whose cofounder donated $2.5 million in the last two years to a Republican committee with close ties to Gov. Christie.
NEWS
March 19, 2015 | Chris Hepp and Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writers
Democratic mayoral candidate Nelson A. Diaz is staking his campaign on city schools. Abolish the School Reform Commission, Diaz says. Establish a local school board and universal prekindergarten. Connect needy students with social services. "I want to be responsible for the school system," Diaz said in an interview Tuesday with the Inquirer Editorial Board. Diaz fleshed out his ideas with a new education policy paper that described a plan for raising an additional $215 million for the Philadelphia School District short-term, and up to $500 million long term.
NEWS
February 28, 2015
ISSUE | PENSIONS Clarke had a plan Farah Jimenez and Phil Goldsmith criticized City Council for failing to address the city's more than $5 billion unfunded pension liability but missed a strong effort by Council President Darrell L. Clarke to do just that ("The pension problem," Feb. 22). No one was a more aggressive advocate than Clarke for an effective option developed by a working group convened by Temple University's Center on Regional Politics. That option, one of many identified in a report titled "What to Do About Public Pensions: Options for Funding and Reform" (temple.edu/corp)
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