NEW YORK -- Major League Baseball and the players' union have agreed to a benefit plan that will pay players who retired before 1980 but did not have enough service time to qualify for a pension.
Since the 1980 season, all major league players have vested as members of the benefit plan after just one day of service in the Major Leagues. Prior to 1980, players secured a pension benefit only after completing at least four years of major league service.
Under this new agreement, players who retired between Jan. 1, 1947 and Jan. 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.
"Very simply, we felt that this was the right thing to do for these former players who contributed to our game's unparalleled history," said commissioner Bud Selig in a statement. "I am very pleased that we have partnered with the Players Association to take this step."
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.