NFL Postretirement Plans

NFL Postretirement Plans NFL Postretirement Plans - Start

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NFL Postretirement Plans - Description

Jackie . Cullinan. Jennifer Haddad. Andrew Shin. Karen Wang. Discussion Topics. NFL pension plan today as compared to the NBA and MLB. NFL retirement plan history. Issues with the retirement plan. Lack of representation. ID: 735695 Download Presentation

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NFL Postretirement Plans

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Presentations text content in NFL Postretirement Plans


NFL Postretirement Plans



Jennifer Haddad

Andrew Shin

Karen Wang


Discussion TopicsNFL pension plan today as compared to the NBA and MLB

NFL retirement plan historyIssues with the retirement planLack of representation

Conflict of interest


League Stats ComparedNFL brought in $7.1 million in 2007

NBA: $3.6 billionMLB: $4.3 billionAverage NFL career is 3.5 seasonsNBA: 4.82 seasons

MLB: 5.6 years

Average NFL player salary is $1.1 million per year

NBA: $4 million per year

MLB: $2.8 million per year


Pension Plans Compared

Vested in NFL plan in 3 seasonsNBA: 3 seasons MLB:

Retirement Benefits in 43 days

Medical Benefits in 1 day

NRA for NFL pension plan is 55 years old

NBA: 50 years old

MLB: 62 year old, pro-rated

Average NFL pension payout is $12,165 per year

NBA: $19,000 per year

MLB: $36,700 per year


Brief NFL Benefit History

1959 – First NFL pension planChanges result from negotiations between the NFLPA and NFL Management Council Until 1993 CBA, changes were insignificant

Ex – 1982 CBA increased benefit credits by $5 per month, per credited season

The result: Modest salaries and negligible retirement benefits left players with little savings. The nature of football and lack of medical benefits left retirees with medical issues and bills that they had to cover themselves.


NFL Benefit FundingA portion of NFL’s total revenues are allocated to players annually

Active players’ salariesActive and inactive players’ benefitsThus, as league revenues increase, funding can increase

The issue: Former players complain that they made the game what it is today, and today’s players are reaping the benefits


1993 CBA – A Year of ChangeGuarantee of over $1billion in pension, post-career, and health benefits for current and retired players

Retroactive pension increases30% for pre-59ers and 40% post-59ersDecrease in vesting requirements

From four credited seasons to three


1993 CBA (continued)Establishment of new programs

Retiree Medical BenefitsSecond Career Savings Plan – 401(k)Total and Permanent Disability Benefits

Selection of overseers for post-retirement plan

Plan Counsel – Groom Law Group

Plan Actuary – Aon Consulting


1998 CBAExtended 1993 CBA through 2003Established annuity plan

Increased lowest benefit creditFrom $80 to $100 per month, per credited seasonIncreased T&P disability benefit

Changed pension eligibility requirements

From five seasons to four


2002 CBAExtended 1998 CBAIncreased lowest benefit credit

From $100 to $200 per month, per credited season


2006 CBAExtended 2002 CBA through 2012

Tripled widows’ and surviving children’s benefitsEstablished Plan 88 Increased monthly pension amount of those who played 1983-2006 by 10%

Increased portion of revenues to players




2006, 2007





2010, 2011



2006 CBA (continued)Increased lowest benefit credit

Post-retirement, active and inactive players must receive at least the following per month, per credited season

Credited Season

Benefit Credit

Before 1982













Improvements Since 20062007 – Established benefits and programs

Health Reimbursement Account PlanCardiovascular Health ProgramNFL Player Joint Replacement Benefit Plan

Provided assistance with living arrangements


Provided additional medical assistance

Announced changes to T&P and LOD disability benefits


Criticisms of the NFL Pension PlanConflicts of Interest

Actuary Retirement BoardLack of representation


Conflicts of Interest - ActuaryActuaries determine the necessary contributions by

NFL owners to fully fund retirement plans.Actuarial for NFL - Aon Consulting

Aon Consulting founder and Board of Director member are 20%


of the Chicago Bears


Conflicts of Interest Disability Benefits

Only 2% receive disability benefits EligibilityCannot receive retirement benefits before NRA

“Total and Permanently Disabled”


Conflict of Interest – Retirement Board

Is the player “totally and permanently disabled?”Determined by …

Neutral physician,

Appointed by the Retirement Board

Reviewed by two-person Disability Initial Claims Committee.

Appeal process:

Retirement Board

Medical Advisory Physician


Conflict of InterestProblem?

Retirement Board is 6 members3 - NFL Management Council3 – NFLPA

BUT NFLPA delegated positions to Aon Consulting



Conflict of Interest – Retirement Board

Is the player “totally and permanently disabled?”

Determined by …

Neutral physician,

Appointed by the Retirement Board

Reviewed by two-person Disability Initial Claims Committee.

Appeal process:

Retirement Board

Medical Advisory Physician

Problem affects these areas


Lack of RepresentationComparison

NBA gave pre-1965 players an 50% increase in benefits NFL gave pre-1982 a 25% increase in benefits and post-1982 a 10% increase

Executive Director of NBPA, Billy Hunter:

“This is an important gesture and a tangible benefit for the pioneers of our league”

Former NFLPA executive director, Gene Upshaw


different focus

“The bottom line is I don't work for them. They can complain about me all day long … But the active players have the vote. That's who pays my salary.”


Lack of RepresentationGene Upshaw was primarily concerned with helping current players during his tenure despite being a former player

Former players were getting less pensionFewer older players are even eligible

NFL was not the multi-billion dollar industry it is today

Today, the NFL spreads the knowledge of saving and retirement to its rookies

Results in many former players going homeless


What’s Being Done?

Mike Webster, a Hall of Fame center who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers died in 2002 Was homeless at the time

Suffered from mental illnesses attributed from concussions during his playing days

Many players take out their pensions early – meaning they receive even less money

Concussions and a variety of other injuries can cause permanent long-term damage

Many former players rely solely on their pension checks as income – making them below poverty level


What’s Being Done?While pension and other benefits have increased in recent years, it is still not enough

Several former players and organizations have established organizations or websitesDignity after Football, Inc.

Fourth & Goal

Gridiron Greats

Hall of Fame Enshrine Assistance Fund

Hall of Fame Players Association

The John Mackey Fund, Inc.


What’s Being Done?In 2007, Kyle Turley donated his game check to Gridiron Greats

Turley is quoted, in a New York



, as saying: “Are we going to wait until guys die? Are we going to wait

until guys

commit suicide before we make a difference and change this thing


Other players have taken similar steps in helping older, retirees

Additionally, former pro athletes Charles Barkley and John McEnroe have also made sizable contributions


What’s Being Done?Mike Ditka asked each NFL team to donate 100k to help older retirees

Some teams sent in a measly $5,000 checkOlder players are often forgotten despite their efforts into making the league what it is todayBetter playing conditions today for athletes

Injury treatment, etc



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