NFL OWNERS PAY $245 MILLION INTO PLAYER BENEFITS
Here is a copy of the Press Release that was issued by the NFL yesterday.
The NFL clubs will complete their contributions toward 2010 NFL player benefits on Thursday, bringing the total amount funded by owners for the 2010 season to $245 million.
NFL owners deposited $177 million on Thursday with BNY Mellon to complete the funding for the 2010 season. Ownership contributions fund player benefits that include the pension plan, group medical insurance, the disability plan, and the ”88” program for retired players with dementia or related conditions.
“NFL ownership is proud of the outstanding benefits that NFL players have enjoyed in recent years and the improvements that have been made for retired players,” said Carolina Panthers founder and owner Jerry Richardson, a former NFL player who co-chairs the NFL Management Council Executive Committee. “We have more work to do, especially for the retired players, and look forward to further improvements being part of the new NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement.”
In the past 10 years alone, NFL owners have contributed more than $2.7 billion for the funding of the various NFL benefit plans for current and retired players
BNY Mellon is a leading investment management and investment services company based in New York City. It was established in 2007 from the merger of Mellon Financial Corporation and The Bank of New York Company.
I still don’t understand why DeMaurice Smith and several other NFLPA Former Player Chapter members continue to publicly say that the owners contribute nothing to retired player pensions or benefits. Obviously I don’t think they are contributing enough, but to say they are doing nothing is just a bold faced lie! If Mr. Smith and other NFLPA retired players are willing to lie about something like that, then what else have they lied about?
The Press Release that was issued yesterday does not include the $400 million that active players would have received in benefits in 2010 and that’s because the NFLPA allowed the owners to stop contributions to the active players benefits in an uncapped year – per the 2006 CBA. That provision was obviously included as an incentive to get players back to the bargaining table in the event the owners decided to opt out.
Why did the NFLPA agree to an “opt out” provision in the 2006 CBA – a provision that allowed the NFL to stop contributing to active player benefits? The NFLPA now wants retired players to fight for the restoration of $400 Million in annual contributions to active player benefits.
Well, my questions is: When will the NFLPA start fighting for the Pension Plan increase that NFLPA Former Player members voted for at the 2009 convention in Maui? They called for a $2,000 monthly increase in pre-1993 vested player pensions. The last time he spoke about this on the radio the amount was already reduced to $1,000 – and we still don’t know exactly how many players would be covered under the NFLPA proposal. Is it “more than 2,000” players as the owners stated in their final offer to the NFLPA, or will it include the 5,551 vested players that played before 1993?
DeMaurice Smith has continually told retired players that the owners contribute “zero” to the Pension Plan and retired player benefits.
Of the total $245 million owner contribution to benefits, $177 Million is going into the Pension Plan – which also covers active players that are vested. In fact, a majority of that $177 Million Pension Plan contribution is neccessary to cover actuarial costs associated with the post-1993 vested players -player’s that only need three credited seasons to be eligible for a pension. Additionally, a huge amount of the money is only going to post-1993 players that are covered under the 5 free years of medical after retirement. $18,734,549 was paid out for medical, dental and prescription drug insurance claims and administration in 2010.
There has been a concerted effort by some some former players to “scare” players into believing the NFL owners don’t do anything for retired players and that they are a bunch of heartless businessmen that don’t give a rats “behind” about the pioneer players of the NFL.
I can’t speak for other NFLPA Former Player Chapters, but I can tell you that Buffalo Bill’s owner, Ralph Wilson cares about us. In fact, he donates thousands of dollars to our local Chapter for operational expenses. I guess that would make the Buffalo Bills Former Player Chapter a “shill’ of the owner.
In an October 20, 2009 Press Release from the NFLPA, Jean Fugett said “The fact is that the 88 Plan will no longer accept new applicants to the Plan once we get to an uncapped year. If he and Mr. Pash continue to tell the public that the uncapped year doesn’t affect former players, they are not telling the truth.”
Well the truth is, they did accept new applicants in 2010 and they paid out over $10 million to 151 former players with dementia, Alzheimers or ALS.
If we are going to have a civil discussion about the issues that affect retired players, it needs to start by laying out the truth and the facts . If some retired players continue to resort to falsehoods and half-truths, it will only serve to destroy our credibility and could ultimately hurt our push for better pensions and benefits.
Don’t be surprised if the statements that are being made by DeMaurice Smith and the NFLPA are used against them when they get into the courtroom. How will the NFLPA be able to say they are bagaining in good faith?