Pirates temporarily suspend 401k benefits amid pandemic

National Sports

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pirates are suspending retirement benefits for members of Pittsburgh’s baseball operations staff in an effort to cope with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

General manager Ben Cherington said Tuesday the team has been searching for ways to find savings with the 2020 season on hold. The temporary suspension of retirement benefits is part of an effort to avoid any potential personnel cutbacks.

“We did identify the retirement contributions at least temporarily an area where we might find some savings without too much impact on people, in terms of their every day lives,” Cherington said. “Our full expectation is that the contribution will go back into effect as soon as possible.”

The club announced last week it planned to pay all employees through May. While Cherington is optimistic there will be some semblance of a season, he said the franchise is exploring all options from top to bottom in an effort to mitigate any negative impact on employees.

“I’ve been really inspired not just by the level of kind of thought of collaboration on how to do this in the most thoughtful human way but also the response from our staff on both the business and baseball side has been overwhelmingly aware and willing to participate in some level of sacrifice to preserve our long-term goals,” Cherington said.

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