November 23, 2005: Headlines: Figures: COS - Paraguay: Politics: City Government: Pittsburgh Post Gazette: Murphy calls his pension planning 'bittersweet'

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Paraguay: Special Report: Paraguay RPCV Tom Murphy, Mayor of Pittsburgh: June 26, 2005: Index: PCOL Exclusive: Tom Murphy (Paraguay) : November 23, 2005: Headlines: Figures: COS - Paraguay: Politics: City Government: Pittsburgh Post Gazette: Murphy calls his pension planning 'bittersweet'

By Admin1 (admin) ( - on Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - 10:29 pm: Edit Post

Murphy calls his pension planning 'bittersweet'

Murphy calls his pension planning 'bittersweet'

Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy said he felt "pretty strange" yesterday walking into the pension office and filling out the forms necessary to collect his retirement benefits. Thomas Murphy, Jr., Mayor of the City of Pittsburgh, PA , served as a Peace Corps Volunteers in Paraguay in the 1970's.

Murphy calls his pension planning 'bittersweet'

Murphy calls his pension planning 'bittersweet'
Will get total $3,400 a month for service as mayor, state rep

Wednesday, November 23, 2005
By Rich Lord, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy said he felt "pretty strange" yesterday walking into the pension office and filling out the forms necessary to collect his retirement benefits.

Mayor Tom Murphy
Like many workers, Mr. Murphy said he had "no idea" what his pension payment would be.

It turns out the man who has personified city government's triumphs and struggles for a dozen years is entitled to a monthly pension payment of around $2,300, based on his age of 60 and his salary of $94,157.

The mayor also is entitled to a state pension for the 14 years he spent in the House. The State Employee Retirement System would not immediately release information on his pension, but based on the formula outlined in its employee handbook, the former representative's payment would be around $1,100 a month.

He also would be eligible for health insurance through the state.

"It's a bittersweet moment," Mr. Murphy said of his application. "I'm happy to be moving forward on something, but what I will miss will be the people here. We had a good team of people, and it feels bad seeing them all scatter."

Mr. Murphy wouldn't say what he intends to do after his term ends with the year.

When he took office in 1994, he inherited three pension funds -- for police, firefighters and other city workers -- that were near insolvency.

he city has issued reports indicating that in 1994 the funds contained only 13 percent of the money needed to pay likely future benefits.

Had the funds run out, pension obligations could have crippled the city's operating budget.

The city borrowed $300 million in the late 1990s to invest in an effort to shore up the funds. As of the end of last year, they contained $376 million -- still far less than the estimated $800 million in future costs.

Mr. Murphy's pension isn't completely guaranteed.

U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan has been investigating whether Mr. Murphy gave the firefighters union a favorable contract in return for that union's endorsement in 2001. If the mayor is ever convicted of a crime related to his official actions, both of his public pensions would cease.

He still would be entitled to the return of money he paid into the funds.

(Rich Lord can be reached at or 412-263-1542.)

When this story was posted in November 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

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Story Source: Pittsburgh Post Gazette

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