NFL Players Pension Red Zone

It’s Super Bowl time which, for some of us, means  that the new 5500 for the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan (EIN 13-6043636) is out and we get a better idea of how much Tom Brady really has in common with a Cleveland Iron Worker.

Interestingly enough, the NFL plan meets the objective (less than 40% funding and less than 40% active) criteria under both HR 397 and the Grassley-Alexander proposal and would qualify for a bailout were it to declare itself a red zone plan.

  • Active Participants: 2,247
  • Retirees: 4,381
  • Separated: 6,790
  • Total Participants: 13,418
  • Assets as of 3/31/19: $2,516,864,836
  • Contributions for year: $152,077,512
  • Payouts for year: $154,772,961
  • Assets as of 4/1/18 (AV): $2,449,647,507
  • Liabilities at 7.25%: $2,754,056,219
  • Official funded percentage: $88.95%
  • Assets as of 4/1/18 (MV): $2,461,358,031
  • Liabilities as of 4/1/18 (RPA 2.98% rates): $6,324,079,991
  • RPA funded percentage: 38.92%
  • RPA Unfunded Liability: $3,862,721,960

Now putting ten years of available asset history into a spreadsheet:


At 38.92% the plan is indeed woefully funded and would be in a distress situation had not the NFL been able to double their contributions starting in 2014 (though they cut back substantially in 2019).  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 passing on one.

43 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Tough Love on February 3, 2020 at 5:03 pm

    The Gov’t should never have allowed Multiemployer Plans to use such high interest rates in discounting Plan liabilities …………. short of a bailout, not having captive Taxpayers who can be forced to pay for Plans shortfalls (as do Public Sector Plans).


  2. Maybe the NFL can assist monetarily with the bail out of other such plans. Surely, the NFL has enough money to successfully finance the pensions of their adoring fans. After all, what is the difference between having a few million a year to having a few less?


    • Lol. Yea right. From the corporation who will sue a local church if they make a small profit while hosting a “Big Game” party.
      At least they can use the name Super Bowl, (as long as the admission they charge is simply to pay for the cost of throwing the party. Joe’s Tavern can’t.


      • Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog! 🐶🐶🐶🦴🦴🦴 on February 4, 2020 at 8:24 pm

        The NFL itself is not a corporation. In fact the NFL was a Non-Profit for the last 80+++ years, until a year or two ago when they shed their Non-Profit status. The TEAMS were/are the ones that get taxed, but not the NFL itself, which is the “trade” organization for the team membership. Crazy “business organizations” they teach in law school.


  3. Posted by Tough Love on February 4, 2020 at 9:53 pm

    Been watching the State of the Union Message………..

    Can’t remember when I’ve heard such BS and lies in such a short period.


    P.S. Please give me a ring when my Health Ins is “better” at 60% of the cost.


    • Posted by MJ on February 5, 2020 at 6:29 am

      Ours is way better at no additional cost, they even added dental coverage this year at no additional cost. The most I will ever pay in one year is the 4000.00 deductible and any co-insurance payments count towards the deductible. After that we pay nothing not even a co-pay for the remainder of the year. Thankfully, we are healthy and haven’t really had to use it but still have the premium of about 16K for a family plan a year but that’s why it’s called insurance…it’s there if you need it

      I’m just not understanding how or why health insurance is so expensive for some people. Are they individuals trying to purchase health insurance? Are they really sick people and if so why haven’t they ever had health insurance? If low income, don’t they qualify for NJ Family Care or Medicaid?? If employed, some level of health insurance must be offered at a reasonable cost most of which is paid by the employer.

      TL, instead of focusing on your TDS and your health insurance, the cops pensions, why don’t you try waking up everyday with a grateful heart instead of all the negativity. Be grateful that you have a job, be thankful that you have your health and your family. Be grateful that we live in a country where people died so that you can have the freedom to trash the President, the cops, the politicians……….


      • All I can say is bravo 👏 MJ.
        Thank you for your support.
        I get where TL is coming from. I really do. No one is saying trump is a statesman. But on a whole, the country is in fact better off than we were four years ago. With the notable exception of climate change.
        Trump is dead on accurate when he says that free health care for illegals will be a lure for them to come here to get treated. No thanks!!!
        My kids are in high school now, and I’ll be the first to admit— if I had to leave my young children alone with either trump or sanders for a weekend. Not doubt I would pick sanders. He is genuine.
        However, I simply disagree with the majority of his platform. Trump is right when he says crime is down. But NOT in many cities. NYC is going the same way. Why? Social liberalism. And making the good guys out to be the bad guys.
        Why did I save for 18 years for my kids college? Now I’m gonna also pay for Shaniqua’s social justice degree? So she can tell me what a fascist piece of shit I am? Again, no thanks.
        I read an article where white liberal women were paying $2500 to attend a dinner hosted by a black woman and an Indian woman. The hosts spent the whole time telling them how racist they were etc. Google it. Again, no thanks.
        White liberals are the ONLY “racial group” that does not see themselves in a positive light. I don’t get it. Therefore, I’m voting Trump. (I can live with Mayor a Pete btw)


        • Posted by Tough Love on February 5, 2020 at 10:19 am

          You love giving, and Trump loves taking CREDIT for the good economy and rising savings.

          Will Trump accept the BLAME when the inevitable next recession hits with rising unemployment and losses in savings (except for those in DB pensions, where Public Sector Plan losses get picked up by the Taxpayers) ?

          Everything about Trump is just awful, and I believe we’ve seen just the tip of that potential iceberg.
          P.S. Glad I don’t live in Russia….likely would have just disappeared by now.


        • Posted by Anonymous on February 5, 2020 at 10:57 am

          And I agree. Look at all the new jobs. Look at the stock market. Don’t look at the increasing deficit. I could impress my neighbors by bringing home a new car tommorow. Put it on my tab.

          “Yeah, but I won’t be here,” the president bluntly said, according to a source who was in the room when Trump made this comment during discussions on the debt.

          Rhetorical question: If you owned an apartment building, and you discovered your hired manager was consistently abusive and rude to both tennants and contractors, suppliers, etc., routinely violated the law in performing his job, blatantly lied on a regular basis, but your profits were increasing, how long would it take to say…

          YOU’RE FIRED!


          • Posted by NJ2AZ on February 5, 2020 at 11:12 am

            if the alternative is a manager who decides its only fair to fix my tenants’ rents at below market rates or make it impossible for me to kick them out when they don’t pay…i think i could stomach the current guy

          • Yes. That is what I’m talking about. And TL, I will never begrudge you for offering you opinion on Trump or pensions(which of course you had to slide in there 🙄MJ is right.
            I can stomach the guy too rather than stomach the far left socialist agenda that sanders wants. I’m a moderate and don’t mind paying taxes.
            NYC crime is up almost 20% because of bail reform. It has caused issues here in NJ as well. Why can’t people just obey the fucking law?? Why do I have to bend over backwards to accommodate people who really aren’t even being victimized??
            Read the article about the liberal white women. Good God have some pride. Disgusting. As well as their view on white men. Why do white women support Trump? Because they are sick and tired of the other side calling their hard working husbands who they love over privileged pieces of shit. Sorry. I don’t buy into that. 🤷‍♂️
            Also means I DO NOT blame you for NOT supporting a guy who “grabs em by the p***y”.
            Totally get it. Except what is the alternative presented to you that is better….if in fact that alternative turns out to be a socialist

          • Posted by NJ2AZ on February 5, 2020 at 12:21 pm

            Right on, El G. I will not play this game that anything short of a full and blind embrace of Democrats this election cycle somehow means i support Trump.

            as it stands, i’m probably leaving POTUS blank on my ballot in november.

          • Posted by Anonymous on February 5, 2020 at 4:07 pm

            Right now, the alternative isn’t a socialist. The alternative is Pense. And if the manager is lying and cheating everyone else, what makes you think he won’t do the same to you? Or already is, and you just haven’t found out yet.

            “Hopefully he won’t do that again.” (Alexander)

          • Posted by NJ2AZ on February 5, 2020 at 5:00 pm

            i always forget Pence exists. Hes like Rhode Island or the 4th pirates of the Caribbean movie.

      • Posted by PS Drone on February 5, 2020 at 2:38 pm

        I am glad you do not think that $16K per year is expensive. I would guess if you had to live on an annual family income of $40 – $50K you might think otherwise. Insurance is expensive because health care is ridiculously expensive. The whole industry has to be reformed. Pre-Medicare/Medicaid (1965), there was basically only Blue Cross (for hospitalization) and underutilized Blue Shield for Drs. That is because people paid cash for most of their medical care. After the government got involved with health care, prices were fixed for the government programs and the cost-shifting by providers started. That incentivized more and bigger insurance companies to get involved in the patient gouging process and here we are. Providers should only be allowed to have one price for all comers, insured or not and Government price-fixing with Medicare and Medicaid should be stopped. Hospital and Dr. Prices for most would drop precipitously as competition set in. Government programs would have to be rationed, which is ok as both programs are abused to a fare thee well.


        • Posted by MJ on February 5, 2020 at 5:12 pm


          Obviously, we don’t pay the whole premium, only about 40% of it as it is employer sponsored and yes we do very well for ourselves and like El G, I am not going to apologize for that. I don’t have any say over the cost of medical care all I can do is go by the system that is currently in place, fully understand what my coverage is and how it works, and use it to the best of our advantage.

          And if one is a family of 4 or 5 with a combined income of 40-50K per year, they would most likely qualify for NJ Family Care, earned income tax credits, gov funded child care, possibly food stamps and who knows what else. If one or more of the children has a medical issue or a learning disability the family can also apply for and receive SSI for each child. It takes a lot more than 50K to live decently in NJ but that is because the cost of everything is so high in NJ and we know the reasons why.

          I don’t believe that I stated that I didn’t think 16K a year was a lot, I was making the point that I thought we had a pretty good plan and that I was thankful we have not had to use it but it is there if needed.


          • You are spot on MJ. $40,000 for a family salary is not nearly enough to live on in NJ and they would qualify for aid.
            You work damn hard and deserve what you can get from your employer. If you didn’t, they wouldn’t give it to you.

          • Posted by Tough Love on February 5, 2020 at 8:18 pm

            Quoting ………….

            “You work damn hard and deserve what you can get from your employer. If you didn’t, they wouldn’t give it to you.”

            UNLESS ………… you are getting such ONLY because you are (or your Union is) returning the favor with re-election support and campaign contributions.

          • 🙄. Proof?

          • Posted by Tough Love on February 5, 2020 at 9:15 pm


            MJ, you pay 40% of $16K total premium = $6,400 and your employer subsidizes your Plan in the amount of 60% of $16K = $9,600

            El gaupo pays about $12,000/yr which is 35% of the total premium of about $34,300.

            Note that El gaupo pays MORE than you, but he gets the MUCH MUCH better deal because his Plan is SOOOOOOO over-the-top-rich that it’s total cost is more than double yours and Taxpayers subsidize his Plan in the amount of $34,300-$12,000= $22,300 while your is only subsidized (by your employer) by $9,600.

            I don’t feel that he is “entitled” to such a great deal …… at Taxpayer expense. Do you ?

          • Again, where is the proof of bribes, campaign contributions, racketeering, that you speak of?
            Just like him, I deserve whatever I can get out of my employer. He is smart enough to not let it bother him as he appears to be doing just fine.
            I thought maybe it was Saturday night again and you were drinking?
            Can’t prove it so….where I come from it is just an accusation. Nothing more.

          • Posted by Tough Love on February 5, 2020 at 10:13 pm

            Seemed like you were going to respond to my comment to MJ pointing out the outrageous TAXPAYER subsidy for your healthcare.

            No answer for that ?????

  4. Posted by MJ on February 5, 2020 at 5:18 pm

    TL, with you being in finance and being the self proclaimed expert on pensions and public salaries, then you should know without a doubt that what goes up must come down….as in economies, recessions, etc.

    Of course there is going to be another downturn or recession. Didn’t your mother train you to save for a rainy day, gather your nuts for the winter when the weather is nice……being in fiancé I would think that you are preparing as we type.

    Again, presidents come and presidents go as will DT. you are way too negative, focus on your blessings and stop hating, begrudging others….worry about your own finances and your own family. Stop comparing yourself to what the cops get, to what the public workers get, who cares

    Like EL G says, make your money her then move somewhere else if that is an option.

    Hey, there is a lot of talk that south Jersey could go red…move down this way and run for office


    • Posted by Tough Love on February 5, 2020 at 8:22 pm

      Quoting ………….

      “Of course there is going to be another downturn or recession. Didn’t your mother train you to save for a rainy day, gather your nuts for the winter when the weather is nice……”

      Do Public Sector DB pensions suffer a “down turn” (in assets) during such ? Of course they do, but the workers covered by such pensions suffer no consequences, only the Taxpayers do.


      • Can’t get enough of me can you.
        Devils advocate:
        I also can’t make more than my contract says….even in these strong economic times. It works both ways. I may have a floor but I also have a ceiling. You have the opportunity to make a fortune if things go right. I don’t. Instead a have a decent pension. MJ is right. He gets it, and usually is right. Stop making this the purpose of your life.


        • Posted by Tough Love on February 5, 2020 at 9:06 pm

          Quoting …………
          ” You have the opportunity to make a fortune if things go right. I don’t. Instead a have a decent pension.”

          If you had an equal upside and downside from APPROPRIATE compensation, that would be fine. But you don’t. You are VASTLY overcompensated (every day) by any and every reasonable metric.


          • Your opinion. We agree to disagree. Stop being so personal and nasty all the time and lighten up.
            It shouldn’t be the biggest problem you have. If my employer agrees to pay me something than yeah I deserve it and not a penny more.

          • And you wonder why after every day telling me what a moocher I am and that I don’t deserve what I earn, that I am eventually forced to say “f you pay me.” And are insulted when I do. 🙄
            Guess it is beneath you to be civil and friendly to me.

          • Posted by Tough Love on February 6, 2020 at 7:16 am

            El gaupo,

            You DON’T deserve what you get today …. near $250K in total annual compensation (excluding OT and those ridiculous construction-site gigs) for a bedroom community Police Officer.

            It’s patently absurd and a gross abuse of your town’s Taxpayers.

          • That’s your opinion. You’re certainly entitled to it. And your numbers are a little high to boot.
            You don’t think its personal towards me?
            You often post links with misdeeds that other officers from no where near here do. As if I’m supposed to be collectively punished for the actions of another human being?
            And your relentlessness on issues such as the Correction officer thing and even comparing the Iranian athlete to me? You don’t think you are obsessed with this issue?
            You let things get away from you. In general, I think that you are a somewhat caring individual but you have a really hard time with jealousy issues and letting this go. No one says you have to like seeing me get a pension anymore than Giancarlo getting his $20M while a female softball player gets a minuscule sliver of that. Fair? Probably not. But it is what he got his employer to pay. No different for me. Doesn’t matter what you think I deserve or not. You’re not a factor in it at all. When I negotiate with my employer what you think means absolutely nothing to me.

          • Posted by Tough Love on February 6, 2020 at 9:24 am

            Quoting ……………

            “And your relentlessness on issues such as the Correction officer thing and even comparing the Iranian athlete to me? ”

            What are you talking about ????

          • Now your playing games….
            The looooooong discussion that you would NOT let go about the fed removing prisoners from the state prisons and the need to immediately lay off officers As well as the comment about the Iranian female defector who said she felt beleaguered. You somehow drew a comparison between that and taxpayers. 🤷‍♂️
            A stretch because you were out of ideas and probably were loaded at the tine. Lol.
            You just can’t let things go.

            It is not just that, that is a lot of it. What is worse is the “grinning ear to ear” and “I can’t stand being wrong and would never apologize to a public sector worker”
            Serious issues TL. All kidding aside. You have something going on in that head of yours. 🤔
            Don’t you think you obsess about this to much? Are you involved in any other issues?
            You’re going to pay anyway? Either accept it or run for office/move. There is literally nothing you can do as “a concerned citizen” that will change things.

          • Posted by Tough Love on February 6, 2020 at 9:56 am

            El gaupo,

            Ok I remember my comments about NJ prisons no longer housing ICE detainees………. and YES, if we (long term) will house far few detainees THEN WE NEED FAR FEWER CORRECTIONS OFFICERS.

            Thank them for their services and terminate them ………. just as any Private Sector company (who isn’t looking to become insolvent) would do.

            I still have no idea what you are talking about wrt an Iranian defector.

            And speaking of something going one in one’s head …………..

            YOU sure do if you really believe you DESERVE your ludicrous excessive (by every and any reasonable metric) compensation.

          • How could you forget? You only made 100 or so comments about it. Even tho the fed detainees were 4% of the total🙄
            So it was certainly not far fewer.
            Again, we agree to disagree. You can do so without being insulting or seeing me as “the enemy”. If my employer says she will pay me X, who are you to say what I deserve?
            You rag on me and then act all uppity when I say “fuck you pay me”. What else should I say? If I disagree with you, I disagree with you.
            You’re free to earn what you can. As am I. You really should try to be more pleasant on here. I only give it back after you’re nasty. Try to be nice. I’ve never done anything to harm you or your family. In fact, quite the opposite, if you needed help and would help without hesitation. 🤷‍♂️
            You and PS should be more like MJ. Be thankful for what you have. As am I. I know the compensation is very good. Why does that make me your enemy? What have I done to make your life substantially harder? Have I personally caused the Tough Love family hardship? Beyond you thinking I don’t deserve what I earn?
            You however, how stated that you would grin ear to ear at my financial demise. Quite honestly, I ask you “what would you do or say, if you were me and all I did all day every day was rag on you?”
            Collectively, you and PS Drone are the ones who are cancers on society. MJ gets it. You don’t.

          • Posted by Tough Love on February 6, 2020 at 10:16 pm

            El gaupo,

            Are you having a reading comprehension problem ?

            I acknowledged (above) recalling our discussion re the Ice detainees …. and (as I responded above) my opinion hasn’t changed……… a reduction in Corrections Officers proportional to the reduced detainee population DOES seem appropriate. NJ’s Taxpayers aren’t here to keep the no-longer-needed employed.

            As to something about an Iranian defector, I still have no idea what you are referring to.

            Quoting ………….

            ” I know the compensation is very good. Why does that make me your enemy? What have I done to make your life substantially harder? Have I personally caused the Tough Love family hardship?”

            Stop making everything I say personal and thinking that you are the center of the universe. In more comments than I can count I have made it very clear that I do NOT consider any individual Public Sector worker to blame for the pension/benefit mess NJ is in ……… CLEARLY placing the primary “blame” on our Elected Officials (who willingly granted such ludicrously excessive pensions & benefits), and secondarily on The Public Sector Unions. While I understand that it’s their roll to advocate for the members, the level of greed and disdain for NJ’s Taxpayers is inexcusable.

  5. Posted by MJ on February 5, 2020 at 5:24 pm

    E……..I hear what you are saying. Did you by any chance read about that piece of shit BOE woman who trashed the Abbington, PA cops? She did apologize but of course did not step down. I heard that the school was packed with residents expressing outrage at what she did. COMPLY with the police and all problems will be eliminated !! What is it that people don’t get about this. Should somebody get a pass bc they are not white?
    COMPLY during traffic stops, COMPLY when asked to move along, COMPLY when asked to disperse.

    The Abbington Police Chief addressed it today on some radio show and he sounded like the most professional, nicest guy, runs a tight department……I just don’t get it.

    Angry, bitter, negative people who think that the world owes them something


    • Yes. Somehow the laws don’t apply to them.
      Comply and then sue later if you feel wronged. Entitlement is rampant in some circles when it comes to being accountable. Crime is up almost 20% in the city. That’s what happens. 🤷‍♂️


  6. Posted by MJ on February 6, 2020 at 6:41 am

    TL, first off, we chose the health plan that we thought would work best for us. Operative word being “chose” there were cheaper plans and more expensive ones and we picked our current plan. As far as El G paying more for his health care, again what can I say??

    It may be that way now and it could all change again somewhere down the road. In regard to downturns and pensions, who knows? We have saved for downturns and rainy days so I’m not really concerned. It will all be fine TL!

    Of course, the Dems have failed at every turn to get DT out of the White House so their next attack could well be on the economy?? and no I’m not a fan, nor do I agree with his behaviors or some of his policies, but I don’t see a much better choice at this time. And I truly have to give the guy kudos to have the balls to stand up to that crowd.

    So we will have to agree to disagree. In the meantime, I’m grateful for another day to live, learn, work and be productive and I hope that you have a blessed day.



    • “But but but….how can you be happy??!?
      Look at El Gaupo!!! He doesn’t deserve it. MJ how can you focus on Trump when El Gaupo is mooching….why aren’t you comparing him to a similarly skilled private sector worker… God MJ why don’t you hate his kind like I do….why isn’t he your true enemy like Drone says….yes, I’m doing well too, and it’s a beautiful day but El Gaupo!!!!! I mean cmon MJ”
      Sincerely, TL.


      • Posted by Tough Love on February 6, 2020 at 7:19 am

        lol ……….. At least you seem to understand the many ways in which you are over-compensated.

        If you get it, someone has to pay for it, and abusing the Taxpayers to do so it just plain WRONG.


        • I am abusing no one and to insinuate otherwise is beyond the pale. They advertised for a job 25 years ago. I took it. I’ve done it well and have been compensated well. I’ve abused no one in the process. No one at all. Financially or otherwise. You and I will never budge TL. The least you can do is accept it and be nice once and a while.


          • Posted by Tough Love on February 6, 2020 at 10:21 pm

            As I just responded above (time-stamped February 6, 2020 at 10:16 pm) to another of your comments …………. stop taking all this so personally. It’s not you or any other PS workers who are the problem. It’s NJ self-serving, contribution-soliciting, vote-selling, taxpayer-betraying Elected Officials who are to blame for the pension/benefit driven mess in NJ.

            They didn’t HAVE to give away the store to you guys. They CHOSE to.

  7. Posted by Tough Love on February 6, 2020 at 9:34 am

    Off Topic …………..

    My takeaway………..

    “However, the problem with giving this award to Limbaugh isn’t the fact that he’s a conservative; it’s the fact that he’s a bigot. “


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