Now it's up to the Pennsylvania Employees Retirement Commission (PERC)whether to sign off on a bailout plan approved by Pittsburgh Council Friday in an attempt to avert a state takeover of the city pension fund. State officials said they would take over control of the pension fund unless it was at least at 50% of its $990 million obligation to retirees and current workers. Prior to passage of this legislation, the value stood at 29.3%. Council beat the deadline of the threatened takeover by several hours by approving a plan to invest an additional $45 million toward the fund and dedicate nearly $736 million over 31 years from parking revenues.
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, who preferred his own plan to lease parking assets for 50 years but definitely wanted to avert a state takeover, quickly vetoed Council's plan. Council within the hour then overrode the veto shortly before 4 p.m. thereby enacting the bailout measure.
Councilman Bill Peduto called it the best plan of all the proposals that have been put forward.....
"There was no way to not have to put money in there. We were being told we have to get to 50%. So, we tried to find the least impact way of doing that. We also provided the funding for that which is the parking rate increases."
PERC will now examine the bailout plan but might not approve it for several months.