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Thread: ESPN.com: MLB owners to remove pension plan?

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbknudson View Post
    I'm guessing the article is a bit imprecise. Most pensions have some benefits which are vested and some which are not vested, usually determined by time in plan. Benefits which are vested would be guaranteed, by the government (funded by pension providers) if not by the company, and the employee would not lose any pension credits already earned. MLB could, however, stop issuing new credits to those already in the plan, i.e. they wouldn't lose the pension they have but the amount of the benefit would not increase any further from this point on, no matter how much longer they worked.
    Even so, thats not what they were promised when they were hired.
    Even if they get to keep what is vested, we all know that most often these pension plans are weighted heavily towards the back end of the vesting period.
    Maybe MLB is different, but the company my brother in law works for, AND the company my wife works for (2 completely different companies) both have pension plans that vest drastically more rapidly in the later years, than the early years.
    The reason you stay at this company for the first 10 or so years is a sacrifice for the next 10 or so years. But to suddenly pull the rug out after those first 10 years and tell an employee, "well, you held up your end of the bargain, but hey,we've voted to not hold up our end of it", seems very wrong and greedy to me.
    If they want to change the policy for any new hires going forward, that is one thing, but they shouldnt be changing or altering what the current employees were promised when they were hired.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbknudson View Post
    I'm guessing the article is a bit imprecise. Most pensions have some benefits which are vested and some which are not vested, usually determined by time in plan. Benefits which are vested would be guaranteed, by the government (funded by pension providers) if not by the company, and the employee would not lose any pension credits already earned. MLB could, however, stop issuing new credits to those already in the plan, i.e. they wouldn't lose the pension they have but the amount of the benefit would not increase any further from this point on, no matter how much longer they worked.
    That's correct. I will still receive $200/mo at some ungodly high retirement age for working at Ford Motor Company for 3.5 yrs (non-union).

    Mr Brooks is right though. The financial IQ of workers in the US is unbelievably low. The workers that could get hurt are those with no significant savings outside of the MLB pension plan and social security. Sadly people don't think ahead.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by kab21 View Post
    That's correct. I will still receive $200/mo at some ungodly high retirement age for working at Ford Motor Company for 3.5 yrs (non-union).

    Mr Brooks is right though. The financial IQ of workers in the US is unbelievably low. The workers that could get hurt are those with no significant savings outside of the MLB pension plan and social security. Sadly people don't think ahead.
    I dont think peoples financial IQ has anything to do with it.
    Even if someone has managed their money well, and has enough saved up to retire on already, it doesnt change the fact one bit that they should get what they were promised when they were hired.
    Its the principle of it.

  4. #24
    Senior Member All-Star Willihammer's Avatar
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    I am short on sympathy for anyone who thinks they have signed up for a 20 year commitment from their employer to never change their wages or benefits, or lay them off. The pension funds accrued to this point will not disappear and that's all you could reasonably expect IMHO.

  5. #25
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    union = mob mentality.

    I worked at ups when i was told i had to strike. management offered more money in exchange for 50% of control of pension as they felt the union was mismanaging the money. I was coerced and some people who chose not to strike had cars vandalized people were threatened. the unions walked more over the freedoms of the employee's then management did. Unions are way outdated. There are laws in place for a safe work environment. If you go to work for the benefit of a pension or a promise of payments 30 years from now ....here's your sign (engvall's sign for stupid) the business may not be around then. you as an individual are responsible for your retirement and well being. If you are offered a pension and the company decides to discontinue it. The you as an individual can exercise your right to leave that company. Its not like the union is going to help an employee who gets downsized 1 year before full pension benefits kick in. (thats not me by the way I left UPS years ago). Individuals should have the right to opt out of paying union dues (that may go to political parties you may not agree with) and being part of a union as a means to employment.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer View Post
    I am short on sympathy for anyone who thinks they have signed up for a 20 year commitment from their employer to never change their wages or benefits, or lay them off. The pension funds accrued to this point will not disappear and that's all you could reasonably expect IMHO.
    Yeah, the wages to pension argument is comparing apples to oranges.
    The only way it would be similar is if your company told you they were going to hire you at minimum wage, but if you stayed and worked for minimum wage for 10 years, they would bump you up to $40/hr for the next ten years, only to pull the rug out after the first 10 years and say, "haha, just kidding. We voted to change that, you just worked 10 years @ minimum wage for nothing!!"

  7. #27
    Senior Member All-Star Willihammer's Avatar
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    Something soemthing world's smallest violin.

    Get it in writing next time!

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer View Post
    Something soemthing world's smallest violin.

    Get it in writing next time!
    You're right, there was probably nothing in writing.
    Most huge companies like the MLB and MLB teams hire people with nothing but a handshake and a smile.
    That's kinda my point about the unions.
    I'm guessing the pension plan was in writing (has anyone here ever heard of a pension plan that was not written down somewhere?), but who do you think is going to be able to win in court, MLB with millions of dollars worth of hot shot lawyers, or a few non union employees pulling 80k a year?

  9. #29
    Senior Member All-Star Willihammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Brooks View Post
    but who do you think is going to be able to win in court?
    MLB because no contract was broken and nobody was screwed out of any guaranteed money

  10. #30
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    I'm sure glad people on the internet have curt and easy answers to all of life's problems.

    After all, it's not like peoples' futures are at stake here or anything. A simple "get it in writing!" will teach those troglodytes their lesson. After that, screw 'em.

  11. #31
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon View Post
    Unions are way outdated. There are laws in place for a safe work environment. If you go to work for the benefit of a pension or a promise of payments 30 years from now ....here's your sign (engvall's sign for stupid) the business may not be around then. you as an individual are responsible for your retirement and well being. If you are offered a pension and the company decides to discontinue it. The you as an individual can exercise your right to leave that company.
    Oy. This line of reasoning makes my head spin.

    So if a company lies to you and intentionally deceives you, baiting you to join a company, work there for years, and then retract promises, you have a right to leave?

    Since when are companies above keeping their promises? If a worker is promised something, they deserve to receive it, no matter how ludicrous the promise. That's how contracts and promises work in a civilized society.

    Unions will have a reason to exist (and should exist) as long as corporations and large employers exist. That should be obvious to anyone and hell, I don't even like most unions (and have never been a member of one). Safe working conditions have nothing to do it with it. Unions exist to push back against the corporation, to levy worker power against corporate power. It's how the free market does and should work. Again, I do not understand modern conservative rhetoric that is anti-government, pro-business, and... anti-union. Without government intervention, unions are the most logical agency to defend the workforce. Actually, they're the only agency left to defend the workforce.

    Oh, wait... Yeah, I do understand why conservatives are anti-union... It's because they vote Democrat. It has nothing to do with free markets, fair policies, or government intervention. It's politicking at its basest and most nauseating level. And people buy into this crap. It's contradictory and nonsensical.

  12. #32
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    I guess to me I see this as natural pushback. Let's face it, corporations and unions both go too far. I think we are cycling in a strong push-back after what has largely been a half century of unions dominating business models. This won't be pretty but we will likely just see a union resurgence in the future. As Brock said - union/corp is a natural free market dynamic. IMO we are a bit overdue for a pushback. (Though it would be better if the pushback came from employees to their union but most large unions essentially act like their own businesses who equally could care less about employees.)

  13. #33
    Senior Member All-Star Willihammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    I'm sure glad people on the internet have curt and easy answers to all of life's problems.

    After all, it's not like peoples' futures are at stake here or anything. A simple "get it in writing!" will teach those troglodytes their lesson. After that, screw 'em.
    Nobody budgets for 20 year commitments to their employees, that was the point I was contesting. No union will be able to bargain for that.

    And to repeat again, nobody's furture's are being compromised here. Heck some employees might stand to benefit from this. We certainly haven't heard any of the same indignation from the employees who will actually be effected by this. So where is the logic that says "they need to start blowing 2 percent of their wages on union dues!" coming from?

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer View Post
    Nobody budgets for 20 year commitments to their employees, that was the point I was contesting. No union will be able to bargain for that.

    And to repeat again, nobody's furture's are being compromised here. Heck some employees might stand to benefit from this. We certainly haven't heard any of the same indignation from the employees who will actually be effected by this. So where is the logic that says "they need to start blowing 2 percent of their wages on union dues!" coming from?
    My question for you then:
    Why even bother having the pension plan to begin with?
    If your contention is that both sides should consider something like that as meaningless as the paper its written on during the hiring process, they why even offer it in the first place?

    It seems to me that when you offer a pension plan as one of the benefits of a hiring package, it should be considered some type of commitment, even if it's not legally binding.
    I mean, what ever happened to the integrity of keeping your word, even if you are not required to?

  15. #35
    Senior Member All-Star Willihammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Brooks View Post
    My question for you then:
    Why even bother having the pension plan to begin with?
    If your contention is that both sides should consider something like that as meaningless as the paper its written on during the hiring process, they why even offer it in the first place?
    My contention is that its preposterous to expect an employer to pay into a pension fund until it matures, given they are bearing all the risk of it and the economy has gone to crap. Thats equivalent to saying you expect to be employed by the same employer from the day you sign up, until a few years before you retire, since your length of employment is the multiplier, and nothing less than a fully matured pension payout when you retire equals a corporate screwjob. That is such a hard-line, self-entitled and reckless way of thinking, it is no wonder unions have driven themselves into irrelevancy with it.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer View Post
    My contention is that its preposterous to expect an employer to pay into a pension fund until it matures, given they are bearing all the risk of it and the economy has gone to crap. Thats equivalent to saying you expect to be employed by the same employer from the day you sign up, until a few years before you retire, since your length of employment is the multiplier, and nothing less than a fully matured pension payout when you retire equals a corporate screwjob. That is such a hard-line, self-entitled and reckless way of thinking, it is no wonder unions have driven themselves into irrelevancy with it.
    Okay, but that didnt answer my question.
    If you are saying its preposterous to expect an employer to actually pay into it until its mature, then why offer it in the first place?
    In your argument, the employer is only using the offer of a pension as an enticement for the potential employee to accept the job offer, with the employer knowing they don't actually intend to fulfill it.
    To me that seems deceptive at best.

  17. #37
    Senior Member All-Star Willihammer's Avatar
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    Was the recession part of this deception? The way you are framing this is strangely conspiratorial. Where do you think the MLB does its business? The economy takes a crap, so employers lay people off and/or cut into their wages and/or benefits. Its been known to happen. There are 40 million unemployed Americans willing to work for pennies on the dollar. Labor is a market just like any other. The price has gone down, that's all. No deception.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer View Post
    Was the recession part of this deception? The way you are framing this is strangely conspiratorial. Where do you think the MLB does its business? The economy takes a crap, so employers lay people off and/or cut into their wages and/or benefits. Its been known to happen. There are 40 million unemployed Americans willing to work for pennies on the dollar. Labor is a market just like any other. The price has gone down, that's all. No deception.
    Lets just agree to disagree. I'm not going to change my mind and neither are you. We have philosophical differences of opinion. I'm a believer in keeping your word, no matter what, no matter the consequences. You're a believer in $$$ is the bottom line, no matter what, no matter the consequences. Which is fine.

    I have a hard time believing the recession is hurting the MLB too bad, considering the record contracts they've been giving to players the last 5 years.

  19. #39
    Senior Member All-Star Willihammer's Avatar
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    Yes, MLB should finance a premium pension plan in the same way you or I should finance a $30 thousand new, union-built Chevy instead of an equivalent used Korean car for $5k, "no matter the consequences." MLB doesn't have any higher moral obligation to act irrationally than you or I do just because its rich.

  20. #40
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    I enjoy my pension...

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