Mayor-Elect Bill Peduto has introduced legislation in City Council that would temporarily amend they city’s pension laws. The measure would allow employees whose combined age and years of service equals or exceeds 70 to retire with a full pension. Currently, age and experience must add up to 80 to qualify.
“The purpose of this legislation is to really give a soft landing for city workers who invest a lot of their time and effort into the city,” said Peduto’s Chief of Staff Kevin Acklin, “with a combined message that we’re intending to change the way city government does business.”
The program is voluntary, and for those who chose to stay Acklin said no job is guaranteed, and added employees should get ready to work under a new system of greater accountability and transparency.
“You’re going to have a mayor that works 15 hour days,” he said, “you’re going to have a chief of staff who’s in the office, unlocking the doors and 5AM and is the last to leave. For those workers that share that vision, of working hard for the residents of this city, we welcome them. For those that don’t, this is a way to take an early retirement.”
The early retirement offer is only open to non-union city employees. According to pension fund numbers 132 employees would qualify. If all were to accept the offer, the cost would be $2 million a year; Acklin said the actual cost will depend on how many employees retire. Under an agreement between the city and pension fund, the city would cover the additional cost of the early pension benefit. Employees would have until January 31, 2014 to take advantage of the early retirement offer.