Philadelphia calling for task force to address private-sector retirement security

The Philadelphia City Council unanimously adopted a resolution Thursday calling for the creation of a task force to address retirement security for private-sector city employees.

The task force will be composed of various stakeholders from the private and non-profit sectors, all levels of government and will be co-chaired by Councilwoman Cherelle L. Parker, who introduced the resolution and is also chairwoman of the City Council’s committee on labor and civil service, and Councilman Al Taubenberger, chairman of the committee on aging.

“People are starting to wake up and realize that we have a real retirement crisis on our hands, which is impacting the country as a whole and Philadelphia in particular,” Ms. Parker said at a city council hearing on the matter Wednesday. “While we would love for federal officials to craft a solution, it’s clear that big cities like New York and Philadelphia must take action now.”

A study from the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis at The New School for Social Research found that in Philadelphia, 20% of retirees are poor, compared with 9% nationwide, and 30% have incomes between 100% and 200% of the federal poverty level, compared with 23% nationwide.

Additionally, in Philadelphia, 48% of employees between the ages of 25 and 64 work for an employer that sponsors a plan, compared with 53% nationwide, and 37% of employees actually participate in a plan, compared with 45% nationwide.