When can you expect your Legacy Fund benefit payment?

Many retired players have contacted the NFL Alumni Association with regard to the Legacy Fund benefit and have asked when they can expect to receive the pension increase in their monthly checks.  

Commissioner Roger Goodell asked Joe Browne, the league’s executive vice president of communications and government affairs, to respond to retired player concerns regarding this issue and Mr. Browne has asked the NFL Alumni Association to share the following information with former players.

In a recent email from Mr. Browne to a former player he says:

Commissioner Goodell asked that I respond to you regarding the December 2 email that you sent him and several others regarding the Legacy Fund increase to your pension.

You asked when you will start receiving the increase; it is a legitimate question.

In the November 11 letter to you that was signed by the Commissioner and the six leaders of retired player groups, they stated that the increase would be reflected in checks that you would receive in December or January.

The Benefits office in Baltimore now tells us that you should begin receiving the additional money (retroactive to August 4, 2011) in mid to late January.

The primary reason for the delay is that the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle Player Pension Plan is required by Federal law to contact you. That office needs  to give you and the other retirees an opportunity to elect how -and to whom – the increased pension checks with the Legacy Benefit will be paid and for retirees to make any changes in their status, e.g. marital status.

We expect this form will be mailed to you this week.

When you return the completed form, the Benefits office in Baltimore will then offer you your individual choices for pension payment. As soon you make that final decision, the checks which contain the Legacy Fund increases should begin being mailed in mid to late January.

Somewhat complicated? Yes, but necessary.

We appreciate your patience and your anticipated cooperation in returning the form.

Best Wishes,

Joe Browne 


I should note that the letters and forms were went out on Wednesday, December 7th so hopefully, you will start to see them arriving in your mailboxes very soon.  The letters are only being sent to former players that are in “pay status” or currently receiving a pension payment. 

Make sure you are fully aware of all of the options that are available to you. You can elect to defer your Legacy Benefit. The NFL benefits office gave me the following example: If you are 60 years of age and your Legacy benefit would be $1,000 a month, but you defer the payment for five years until age 65, the payment would be $1,665 a month. Under this example, it would take approximately 7 ½ years to recoup the $60,000 you would have received over the 5 year period from age 60 to 65. 

We are still waiting to find out if the Legacy Benefit can be accessed separately from the regular Pension benefit. In other words, can a player that has deferred his regular pension file for the Legacy benefit and start receiving that payment now? This would allow former players to let their regular pension continue to grow and still receive money via the Legacy benefit. 

The NFL Alumni Association will be working to answer these and other questions regarding the Legacy Fund benefit as more information becomes available.

 

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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 December 9, 2011, in NFL Alumni News. Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. Mike Augustyniak

    Hello Jeff,
    My Legacy Benefit comes out to $432 a month. I am 55 years old and don’t plan to access my Bert Bell pension until 65-67.
    How can I figure out what my $432 Legacy benefit will grow to if I wait to take it 10-12 years from now???
    Is there a formula or something?
    The Bert Bell Pension gives me a projection of $1015 per month if I take pension now or $2658 if I take at 65 years old.
    Do you think the Legacy Benefit will be a similar percentage.
    Thanks,
    Mike

  2. Jeff,

    Thank you for providing such a wealth of communication during the entire collective bargaining ordeal. In every game it seems that one player really steps up and makes the difference for success. In this game, you were and are that guy.

    Thanks!
    Doug English

  3. Charles M Davis

    Thanks Jeff. I recieved the Forms in the mail today. I also had a conversation with the Bert Bell folks last week and they confirmed the January dates as the most likely time for checks to be mailed out.
    Thank for all you do and keep up the good work!

    Charlie Davis-NFL ALUMNI/PA HOUSTON

  4. Tom Beer- Denver-NE 1967-1973

    Jeff-

    Thanks again for the update on the distribution of the Legacy Fund revenue. Like many of my retired brothers, I still am baffled at the final monthly dollars allocated to vested pre 93′ retirees of $124 per season when we all received letters during CBA negotiations from the NFL Management team saying they made an offer to the NFLPA brain trust that would allocate a Legacy Fund amount of $2000 per month to us. As we all know, DeMaurice Smith rejected this proposal and now we will soon be receiving funds far less than the NFL’s very fair offer. Can somebody please explain to me why our union chief decided to settle on a monetary figure for pre 93′ retirees far less than the NFL proposal. Borrowing a line from the classic Broadway musical The King and I: It’s a puzzlement!

  5. John P. Skorupan

    Jeff,
    I am 60 years old with 8 years of NFL credits but not yet recieving my pension. In order to plan my future retirement I need information on how the Legacy Fund effects the final payout. Can a table of values be provided so proper planning can be made with these new figures from the Legacy Fund?
    Thank you

    • John:

      We are currently in the process of clarifying all of the options that are available to you. You can elect to defer your Legacy Benefit. The NFL benefits office gave me the following example: If you are 60 years of age and your Legacy benefit would be $1,000 a month, but you defer the payment for five years until age 65, the payment would be $1,665 a month. Under this example, it would take approximately 7 ½ years to recoup the $60,000 you would have received over the 5 year period from age 60 to 65.

      We are still waiting to find out if the Legacy Benefit can be accessed separately from the regular Pension benefit. In other words, can a player that has deferred his regular pension file for the Legacy benefit and start receiving that payment now? This would allow former players to let their regular pension continue to grow and still receive money via the Legacy benefit.

      The NFL Alumni Association will be working to answer these and other questions regarding the Legacy Fund benefit as more information becomes available.

  6. Jeff,
    I have the same question as Tom Beer. How can the NFLPA have rejected the $2000 per month offer by the NFL to pre 1993 players? Is there anyway we can fight this lousy settlement?
    Bob Davis
    Oilers 67-69
    Jets 70-73
    Saints 74

  7. Thron Riggs Yanks '44

    There are still a few nongenarians who played in the 40’s for oone year and then went to th e military caeme back unable to play because of disability and therefore ineligible for vesting. How about giving tham ticvkets to games at least. Then maybe some of the 70 year old youngsters could se that we get there. Just a lousy thought.

  8. Jeff,
    I am the widow of the late Dee Mackey. I have not received any information about The Legacy Fund. Can you update me on my status?

    Barbara Mackey

    Dee Mackey
    1960 San Francisco
    1961-62 Baltimore
    1963-66 New York Jets

    • Barbara:

      I received your question about the Legacy Benefit where you asked “I am the widow of the late Dee Mackey. I have not received any information about The Legacy Fund. Can you update me on my status?”

      Did you receive the letter from the NFL yet? If you didn’t get this letter, call the Retirement Plan office at 1-800-638-3186.

      It is my understanding that you should receive an increase in your monthly benefit based on the election your husband took while he was still living.

      See the the following Nov. 10 NFL Communication:

      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.

  9. The bottom line seems to be that each of us will find out what our individual share of the Legacy Fund will be when we get the second form. I am guessing that the Legacy fund will be distributed using the established format of the Bert Bell scheme as that seems to pass the common sense test; play more years and get more pay. We’ll just have to wait and see.

    Lee Folkins
    Green Bay 1961
    Dallas 1962-64
    Pittsburgh 1965

  10. Jeff
    I have not received the first form but am currently receiving disability. How does that affect the increase and if I have not received yet does that mean it just hasn’t come yet
    Or will I not receive an increase. I have 3 credited years pre 93 and 10 total

  11. What kind of form ? from Who? I have 4 credited years, 1949-1953 What is the increase I’m supposed to get? and starting When ?

  12. Just recieved the same check I’ve been getting all these years…. It buys less as prices rise !!

  13. I spoke with someone (who knows what’s going on) at NFL this morning. Here’s the “scoop”…….

    NO checks have gone out yet. A form defining the benefit amount an individual retiree will get (with the survivor benefit amount/option as well if it was requested) will be mailed to every eligible retiree over the next 10 days. Once the form has been returned it will take approximately two weeks for the retroactive money to be sent. It will be in the form other benefits are delivered, either by electronic deposit or paper check. It will continue in that form as a separate payment….so those who are Pre 59’ers will be getting three checks/deposits, everyone else will get two, the regular pension and the legacy separately.

    Best case….you will get your letter shortly, get it out IMMEDIATELY and you may see your retroactive check in two or three weeks. If you’re at the tail end of the mailing from the benefits office and get in back to them IMMEDIATELY, you should see a check in approximately four weeks. Bottom line is, get the form back ASAP in order to get your money ASAP. This shouldn’t take any more than another four weeks IF you move quickly.

    Jane Arnett

  14. Another update…

    If you choose to defer your Legacy Benefit, the result is exactly the same as waiting to take your pension (just like any other saving or pension benefit) the amount you will receive every month will increase. When you receive your election form in the next two weeks siimply do not return it. The benefits office will understand that you are waiting.

    To get an idea of what your increased amount might be should you choose not to begin payments now, the benefits office will process the numbers for you and you will be able to make the choice that works best for you. As a courtesy to them and to those anxious to have their requests for immediate payment processed, please wait a month or so before requesting the info. Once you have the numbers you are free to file to begin receiving a check whenever you choose. Again, the longer you wait the larger your monthly benefit.

    If you choose to defer/wait the retroactive amount of money (the money that is “yours” since the CBA settlement in August) will be added to the total amount being defered and calculated into the payments you will receive in the future. There will be no “bulk” check for those who defer.

    Remember, if you believe you’re going to wait, please hold on to your election form and contact the Benefits office in a month or two for “numbers”. If you need or want the checks to begin now, the sooner you get your election form back to the NFL benefits office the sooner your will receive your first check.
    Jane

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