I wonder how many long-time baseball fans are aware that there are 500 or so former MLB players, being hosed out of pensions by the league and the players’ association.
San Pedro, California native Jeff Holly is among these men. A former Minnesota Twins pitcher who spent his entire career with the team, the 64-year-old Holly played for them during parts of the 1977, 1978 and 1979 seasons. He appeared in 39 games, six of which were starts, hurled 90 innings and recorded three lifetime wins. A resident of Tustin, California, Mr. Holly attended Aviation High School in Redondo Beach, CA.
Mr. Holly doesn’t receive a traditional pension because the rules for receiving MLB pensions changed in 1980. Holly and the other men do not get pensions because they didn’t accrue four years of service credit. That was what ballplayers who played between 1947 – 1979 needed to be eligible for the pension plan.
Instead, they all receive nonqualified retirement payments based on a complicated formula that had to have been calculated by an actuary. In brief, for every quarter of service a man had accrued, he’d get $625. Four quarters (one year) totaled $2,500. Sixteen quarters (four years) amounts to the maximum, $10,000. And that payment is before taxes were taken out.
By contrast, the maximum allowable pension a retired MLB player who is vested can make is $210,000.
The union doesn’t have to be the legal advocates for these men, the league doesn’t have to negotiate about this matter and the alumni association is too busy putting on golf outings.
Neither the league nor the union want to retroactively restore these men into pension coverage; instead, taxes are taken out of the non-qualified annuity payment, which cannot be passed on to a surviving spouse or designated beneficiary. They are also not eligible to be covered under the league’s umbrella health insurance plan.
Former pitcher Steve Rogers is a special assistant to Tony Clark, the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association. He is the players’ pension liaison; his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and his telephone number is 646-430-2112.
If you believe that these former big league ballplayers are being treated unfairly please give Steve Rogers a call or send him an e-mail and let him know that this is totally unfair.
This article was submitted by Doug Gladstone, Author
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