NFL Announces Distribution of $620 Million Legacy Fund

NFL Communications – Posted November 10, 2011

The NFL and NFL Players Association have reached agreement on how to distribute to retired players the $620 million “Legacy Fund” that was established as part of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

“Nothing the league can do can ever fully express our appreciation to the players who helped build our league,” said Commissioner Roger Goodell. “However, the Legacy Fund is a significant step, especially as the benefits apply to the older players.”

The new benefit has three important points:

  • Players will receive these pension increases for their lifetime, not just the duration of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, and that of their eligible beneficiaries.
  • Current benefit payments to retirees and their beneficiaries/former family members will immediately be increased to no less than $600 per month, regardless of the form of benefit. In addition, this $600 per month floor on benefits will apply for players who are not yet receiving pension payments, based on electing a life annuity or joint & survivor benefit.
  • In addition to the floor of $600 per month, the new Legacy Fund benefit credit will be added to players’ current monthly pension checks. If a player is over 55 and already receiving his pension, then he will receive in his monthly check an additional $124 per season for seasons before 1975, and $108 per season for seasons beginning with 1975 and continuing through 1992. If a player is over 55 and not yet receiving his pension, the additional Legacy Fund payments will be slightly higher when he starts his pension. If a player is under 55 and takes his pension early, his Legacy Fund addition will be lower.

After discussions with the leaders of several retired player groups – including MIKE DITKA, CARL ELLER, BRUCE LAIRD, WILLIE LANIER, GEORGE MARTIN and RON MIX – the formula for pension increases was agreed to by the NFL and NFLPA, and was designed to give larger increases to those retirees who played in the league’s earliest years.

This new benefit applies to more than 4,700 players who were vested in the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle Player Pension Plan prior to 1993, regardless of whether they are currently receiving a pension check.

Players currently receiving pensions will receive an immediate increase in their payment for seasons before 1993. For players who are not yet receiving their pension, their pension credits for seasons before 1993 will be increased through the Legacy Fund.

Details of the Legacy Fund benefit were communicated today to retirees.

Below are two examples of how the Legacy Fund benefit will greatly increase monthly pension
payments to many retired players

  • There is a 10-year veteran player who retired in the 1960s who has been receiving a $200 monthly pension. The Legacy Fund benefit will increase his monthly check to $1,840.
  • Another 10-year veteran who retired in the 1970s will see his monthly check increase from $165 to $1,810.

You can read the original article at this link:


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 November 14, 2011, in NFL Alumni News. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Thank you , thank you, thank you!!! I know we just took a big step foward, but has there been any discussion about widows benefits?

  2. nice job guys….sure beats were we were and your efforts are appreciated!

  3. Jeff – Great work! Does the total of the $600 floor + the additional per season Legacy benefit just get added to the Bell/Rozelle Plan at 55 or at 65 or will the Legacy benefit grow if deferring to 65 like the Bell/Rozelle plan does?

    • Rick:

      We have asked the NFL for clarification on the issue of whether or not the Legacy benefit grows at the same rate as the regular pension if we defer the payment until after age 55. I’ll get back to everyone as soon as we have an answer.

      Your Alumni brother,

      Jeff Nixon

  4. It reads “Players will receive these pension increases for their lifetime, not just the duration of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, and that of their eligible beneficiaries.
    focus on “for a lifetie” and then remind yourslf, there is NO COL! what you get in 2011 is the same amount you will get FOR A LIFETIME!!! that, genmtlemen, sucks. Meanwhile, NFL profits will continue to skyrocket, they keep finding new sourses of revenue-eg. a huge contract to allow showing live games on smasrtphones…what new technology will be invvented IN YOUR LIFETIME that the NFL will make a financial killing on and we will get squat. I’m sure our negotiators, all great guys, did their best and were not given any leeway….but you can stand up now and wipe the grease from your rear end, the NFL is done with you now forever!

    Brnt Boyd

  5. Thank You, for the progress and may god bless you all.
    Guys, not to be a sore loser but what happen to ” no player left behind”.
    There were alot guys of 1-2-3 non vested who are now “left behind”. Most of these guys had career ending injuries.
    Pardon me, if I missed prior discussions.
    Larry Bates – northern cal chapter- former players association.
    NFL Alumni – Northern Cal. Chapter

  6. Same question as Rick Moser…Does it increase at a similar rate at 65 vs 55? Also, it states in the news release, that the numbers are based on choosing either Joint and Survivor or Life Annuity, which with the Bert Bell Plan the monthly amount is significantly less than the Life-Only Pension. So my question is, if you choose the Life-Only Pension, will there be a larger payment on the Legacy Funds? My wife and I looked into our options as I near 65, and we have concluded that it is a much better option to go with the Life-Only Pension, but protecting my spouse with a substantial life insurance policy. The premium, we have found, is much less than the hit we would take going with the Survivor Annuity…Just a suggestion to those in a similar situation.

    Don Milan, NFL Alumni

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