Retired Player’s Scorecard

Many former players have heard about the programs and benefits that are available to us, but now, for the first time, the NFL will report on a quarterly basis, exactly how many retired players are receiving benefits and how much money is being spent on those benefits.  This reporting on the benefits will be known as the Retired Player’s Scorecard. 

Here are some of the highlights from the first scorecard:

  • 3,134 retired Players receive a pension for a total annual distribution of $63,774,329
  • 176 widows and surviving children of deceased Players receive a total annual distribution of $9,809,661
  • 289 out of 464 eligible Players who applied for NFL disability in 2010 were approved for a 62% approval rate
  • 836 retired Players receive NFL disability for a total annual distribution of $43,195,441
  • 5 years of post-career medical coverage for post-1993 retired Players for a total distribution of $18,734,549
  • 167  out of 173 applications to the Joint Replacement Program (established in October 2007) were approved for a  97% approval rate.  $309,968 in total has been reimbursed for Players’ out-of-pocket expenses associated with joint replacement surgery
  • 401 retired Players currently receive a $100 per month subsidy through the Medicare Supplement Program with an annual NFL contribution of $450,000
  • 40,094 prescriptions have been filled by using the NFL’s Discount Prescription Drug Program
  • NFL Player Care Foundation (formerly known as the Dire Need Fund) approved 247 out 307 applications for a total of $2,340,000
  • $25,000 maximum life insurance benefit through Vested Inactive Life Insurance
  • The 88 Plan has approved 151 out of 162 player applications since its inception and has distributed $10,582,765
  • 247 out 307 applications processed by the Player Care Foundation have been approved.  $2,340,000 in total has been distributed to distressed or disadvantaged former NFL Players
  • $560,000 in total savings to 10 Players who received pro bono or discounted medical services secured through the Player Care Foundation
  • 808 Players have participated in cardiovascular screenings provided by the Living Heart Foundation and Boone Heart Institute, made possible through a grant by the Player Care Foundation
  • 558 Players have participated in prostate screenings provided by the AUA Foundation
  • $2,092,000 in total has been distributed to assist in research geared towards retired Players, including grants to the University of Michigan, as well as to the Boone Heart Institute, Living Heart Foundation and AUA Foundation

If you would like a copy of the Retired Players Scorecard, please go to the following link: Retired Player Scorecard.  These statistics reflect information reported by the NFL Player Benefits Department as of December 2010.

If you have any questions on how to access these benefits, please go to this link:  Retired Player Benefit Contacts 

Also, feel free to post a comment regarding the Score Card here at the Jeff Nixon Report.  


About Jeff Nixon

Jeff was a first team consensus All-American from the University of Richmond in 1978. He is 7th in NCAA history with 23 career interceptions. Played for the Buffalo Bills 1979-1984. Led the team with 6 interceptions in Rookie Year. Holds Bills record for 4 takeaways in a single game - 3 interceptions and a fumble recovery. Tied Bills record with four consecutive games with an interception. After 5 knee surgeries Jeff retired from pro football in 1985. He worked for 13 years (1988-2000) as the Youth Bureau Director for Buffalo and Erie County. He has worked for the past 11 years as the Youth Employment Director for Buffalo. Plays guitar and was voted best R&B guitar player by Buffalo Nightlife Magazine in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

Posted on March 7, 2011, in NFL Alumni News and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. At $2000.00 more per month per retired player receiving a pension,(3,134)would add another $ 11,441,671. to the total annual distribution.
    Perhaps we are asking too little!!!

    • Keep in mind, we are also asking that vested players that have at least one credited season before 1993 also receive the pension increase. The entire amount can only be amortized over a 7 year period due to new IRS rules.

      The total number of players that would be receiving the increase would be 5,510 based on the numer of players that have at least one credited season before 1993.



        • John:

          Pre-59’s are eligible to receive a Pension if they are “vested” – 4 credited seasons. They are also eligible for the Joint Replacement Plan. Unfortunately, the Player Care Foundation has set a policy that a player must be “vested” in order to be eligible for reimursement for joint replacement. There is also a time limit for requesting reimbursement. If you apply for Joint Replacement Benefits after your surgery, the Benefits Administrator must receive the certification and completed application no later than 365 days after the date of the surgery.

  2. The numbers sound impressive, but as they say,”The Devil is in the details.” Do the number of players receiving disability benefits include those who are receiving line of duty? What is the breakdown of players receiving “inactive” T&P because their total disability was not football related, or their total football disability did not commence until after 15 years? How many retired players have taken their early retirment benefit which will make them ineligible to file for disability?

  3. how many pre 93 players with 3 credited years are not vested? why doesn t anyone mention this group?

    • Mike:

      Lowering the “vesting” requirement to 3 years for all players should be something that the NFL Players Association is advocating for……but they are not! The Major League Baseball Association – in their last CBA Agreement lowered the vesting requirement to less than 1 year for all players from 1982 and forward! All a MLB player needs to have are 43 games in any year to get a credirted season.

      It’s hard to believe that the NFL and the NFLPA have not even put this issue on the radar.

  4. Will vested years of service have any impact on the amount of the benefit that a Retired NFL Player will get. Also will a Retired NFL Player age 70 get a greater amount than a age 60 year Retired NFL Player because the 60 year old will potentially receive the benefit for 10 more years based on Mortality Tables.

    • Larry:

      Yes! The more credited seasons you have the more your monthly benefit will be. Also, if you wait to take your pension after the normal retirement age of 55, the amount of your monthly benefit goes up each year. It more than doubles if you wait until age 65. If you want to know more about what your specific benefit will be, please contact the Retirement Plan administrators at the toll free number 1-(800) 638-3186. If you would like to see the entire Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Retirement Plan, click on this link:

  5. William "Red" Mack

    I had my right shoulder dislocated twice as a member of the Pgh Steelers. It got so bad in 2010 that I had to have joint replacement surgery on Dec. 3, 2010, in South Bend, In. I wasn’t aware that the NFL paid anything. Is it to late to apply, and if not where to do I go from here.
    Thanks for the information, and ths is my fourth joint replacement surgery due to playing in NFL. My primary e-mail is Thanks again
    William “Red” Mack

  6. Mike Richardson

    Jeff, you mention that the NFL and NFLPA do not have the 3 year vested players on the radar. What about the NFL Alumni?
    Post-93 players are vested with only 3 seasons. Why not push for equality in the vesting requirements? This issue has been raised before, but fades when all those pushing for an increase in their pension speak out. The discrepency in the monthly pension for pre-93 vs. post-93 players makes little sense. The discrepency in the 3 vs. 4 year vesting requirement makes even less sense.
    I would be interested in hearing your comments and those of the NFL Alumni.

    • Mike:

      I will bring this to the attention of George Martin and see if we can start putting pressure on the NFL and the Union to reduce the vesting requirement to 3 years. I agree that it makes no sense and it should be reduced to 3 years for all NFL Alumni.

  7. eugene morris

    Jeff, can you tell me how many players pre 1993 took the early payment benefit,and how many players took the early retirement benefit.the retirement board NFLPA members in the language of the Bert Bell plan, are the one’s who were responsible for granting this benefit.Read section 4.6 it says that it was their”sole and absolute discretion”to grant the same benefit that they said ”It was the poor choices of the retired players back then that caused the players take the two benefit options offered to players that took 80% of a players benefit under Bert Bell. I am looking for any players who took those benefits. We may be able to recover that money from the owners. Let me know if you have access to those numbers

    • Mercury:

      1,372 players took the Early Reirement Benefit at age 45. (It probably shouldn’t be called a benfit) I’m not sure if that includes the players that took the 25% lump sum.

      It should be noted that the 1,372 players who took early retirement are not allowed to file for disability if they took the payment before filing a claim.

      I don’t think the NFL is allowed to release the names of the players that took the Early Retirement, but if a class action were initiated, that information would probably come out in the discovery phase of the trial.

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