Prior to 1980, players were vested in baseball’s pension plan after completing at least four years of service time. Since the 1980 season, all players are vested after just one day of service in the majors (as your service time increases, you get greater benefits).
Baseball and the MLBPA announced today that players who retired during the earlier period but had fewer than four years of service time will be getting retroactive benefits:
Players who retired between January 1, 1947 and January 1, 1980 with no retirement benefits for their Major League Service will receive an annual payment of up to $10,000, jointly funded by the Commissioner’s Office and the MLBPA. The collective bargaining parties have committed to these payments for an initial period of two years. Payments beyond the initial period will be discussed in collective bargaining.
That’s not a ton of money, but for the most part, guys who fell into that less-than-four-year hole didn’t make a lot of money either.
Regardless, it’s good to see Major League Baseball at least trying to take care of its own.