01/24/2008 - Turnpike diplomacy could bring Pittsburgh and Philadelphia closer to rebuilding anemic pension funds, which a report Wednesday rated as two of the nation's worst.
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said he traveled Tuesday to Philadelphia to confer with Mayor Michael Nutter in hopes of establishing "an east-west agenda" that could produce solutions to social and financial problems the cities have in common.
Ravenstahl has suggested a solution could be a statewide pension system that rolls under-funded pension funds from Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and elsewhere into the statewide fund.
That approach worked for cities in at least one state, Rhode Island, said Katherine Barrett, one of two authors of the Pew report on Philadelphia's pension, "Philadelphia's Quiet Crisis: The Rising Costs of Employee Benefits."
The 39-page report is based on 2006 economic figures, and compares Philadelphia's pension to those of Pittsburgh and eight major cities.
Read the full article Ravenstahl, Philly Mayor Confer on Pensions on the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Web site.