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.
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.