SBD/March 20, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Most MLB Owners Reportedly Favor Eliminating Pension Plans For Non-Uniformed Personnel

MLB owners are “moving toward eliminating the pension plans of all personnel not wearing big league uniforms,” according to sources cited by Adam Rubin of ESPN N.Y. The first “attempt to do so, initiated last year by a small-market owner, never came to a vote” after White Sox Chair Jerry Reinsdorf “chastised his brethren for being petty with the lives of ordinary people given the riches produced by the sport.” A vote is now “scheduled to take place at owners meetings” on May 8-9 in N.Y. A source said that a “majority of owners now favor the abolition of the pension plan.” The impact would affect “front-office executives, trainers, minor league staff and scouts.” Twenty-six of MLB's 30 teams “participate in the Non-Uniformed Personnel Pension Plan.” Four teams that opted out -- the Cubs, Brewers, Twins and Blue Jays -- are “required to offer plans comparable to or better than what NUPPP offers.” Those potentially affected by the scheduled May vote “hope the prevote exposure will spur some owners to flip back to support continuing the pension.” Existing pension commitments “should not be affected, so promised money would not disappear.” However, Univ. of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business Pension Research Council Exec Dir Olivia Mitchell said that any promised future contributions “likely could be eliminated immediately” (ESPNNY.com, 3/19).
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