So who do you believe?
The plan is called the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan and the latest 5500 fling (all 212 pages) is interesting reading for those who want to know about benefit terms (accountant’s opinion) or salaries of NFL employees being paid out of the plan (Schedule C) but it is these pages that tell the funding story:
- Active Participants: 2,169
- Retirees: 4,087
- Separated: 6,018
- Total Participants: 12,274
- Assets as of 3/31/15: $1,807,975,368
- Contributions for year: $305,538,737
- Payouts for year: $180,901,334
- Assets as of 4/1/14 (AV): $1,606,565,990
- Liabilities at 7.25%: $2,945,728,870
- Official funded percentage: $54.5%
- Assets as of 4/1/14 (MV): $1,617,169,656
- Liabilities as of 4/1/14 (RPA 3.62% rates): $5,541,013,794
- RPA funded percentage: 29.19%
At 29.19% the plan is indeed woefully funded and would be in a distress situation had not the NFL been able to double their contributions for the 3/31/14 and 3/31/15 plan years. This distinguishes the NFL situation from that of the vast majority of other multiemployer plans and ALL public pension plans who cannot afford to double their contributions so they must seek other solutions.
In the case of those other multiemployer plans it’s getting a law passed that allows benefit cuts.
For public pension plans – still waiting.