Opinion: Hundreds of retired Major League players denied pensions because of union error

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Six hundred forty four people who played Major League Baseball are being denied pensions by both the league and the union representing the current players, the Major League Baseball Players’ Association, because of a error the union committed 38 years ago.

In order to avert a threatened 1980 Memorial Day Weekend walkout by the players, MLB made the following sweetheart offer to union representatives: going forward, all a post-1980 player would need to be eligible to buy into the league’s premium health insurance plan was one game day of service; all a post-1980 player would need for a benefit allowance was 43 game days of service. At the time, the threshold was four years to be vested in the pension plan.

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The problem was, the union failed to insist on retroactivity for all those players who had more than 43 game days but less than four years of service.

According to the IRS, a current MLB retiree can receive a pension of up to $220,000.

The league and union partially remedied this situation in April 2011. The pre-1980 players alive at the time were each awarded payments of $625 per quarter, up to 16 quarters, for every 43 game days of service the man had.

The league — which I concede does not have to address this matter unless the union broaches it in collective bargaining negotiations — recently announced that its revenue was up 325 percent from 1992, and that it has made $500 million since 2015. What’s more, the average value…

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