As much of the world speculates on whether and why Michael Jordan might return to the Chicago Bulls, Pensions & Investments can, at least, tell you why not.
"MJ" won't come out of retirement to boost his pension.
Indeed, his qualified retirement plan benefits wouldn't change much.
A spokesman for the National Basketball Association, New York, said the only effect Mr. Jordan's short retirement and flirtation with professional baseball would have on his pension would be lost time of service.
In addition, his tax-exempted retirement benefits are a very small part of his total compensation. Like other highly compensated executives, NBA players make more money than the Internal Revenue Service allows for qualified retirement plans. Because of that, the NBA's $67 million qualified defined benefit plan is limited in the amount it can pay even its most celebrated players. And given the league's minimum salary is equal to the IRS limit of $150,000, the NBA probably uses a flat dollar amount adjusted for years of service to figure benefits. (The NBA declined to comment on specifics).
Plus, the Bulls, like all NBA teams, aren't allowed to offer supplemental non-qualified plans as a result of labor negotiations, said Irwin Mandel, financial and legal vice president for the team in Chicago.
Meanwhile, Mr. Jordan is probably covered by a qualified pre-retirement plan sponsored by the NBA Players Association.