Retirement benefits of professional athletes

Retirement benefits: Major League Baseball
Retirement benefits: Major League Baseball

Baseball was the first U.S. pro sport to have a pension plan, starting in 1947. Today, players become eligible for the minimum pension after just 43 days of service time at the major league level.

Major League Baseball pensions are reputed to be among the most generous in sports. Under the current collective bargaining agreement, which expires on Dec. 1, 2016, players accrue full pension benefits when they achieve 10 years of service time. In 2012, they were eligible to receive $200,000 a year for life at the age of 62. The pension is joint-survivor, meaning surviving spouses are entitled to some pension benefits.

The history of labor relations in baseball goes back to 1885, when a group of nine players formed the Brotherhood of Professional Baseball Players. A collective bargaining agreement between the union and the league would not come until 1968.



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