NFL Players Pension Red Zone – $4 Billion

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 from the prior legislative session and would qualify for a bailout were it to declare itself a red zone plan.

  • Active Participants: 2,292
  • Retirees: 4,436
  • Separated: 6,997
  • Total Participants: 13,725
  • Assets as of 3/31/20: $2,397,635,581
  • Contributions for year: $136,005,179
  • Payouts for year: $156,622,749
  • Assets as of 4/1/19 (AV): $2,577,751,031
  • Liabilities at 7.25%: $2,858,110,360
  • Official (phony) funded percentage: $90.2%
  • Assets as of 4/1/19 (MV): $2,516,864,836
  • Liabilities as of 4/1/19 (RPA 3.08% rates): $6,408,881,070
  • RPA funded percentage: 39.27%
  • RPA Unfunded Liability: $3,892,016,234

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

At 39.27% 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 the last two 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 passing on one.

34 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by MJF on January 25, 2021 at 6:50 pm

    These people have very short careers but very high earnings. It would be nice if the multi-billion dollar college sports racket would teach them life skills, Even if it’s only an hour a week. My personal and maybe jaded opinion is that college football and basketball should come under severe discipline for the financial well being of the product they turn out and profit massively from. Better yet shut them down altogether. But then hey these kids get screwed in retirement just like the plumbers. Go figure.


  2. Posted by NJ2AZ on January 25, 2021 at 9:11 pm

    granted they could top up that pension at any point since $4B ain’t sheeeeeit to the league so the whole scenario is silly, but i reckon nothing would unite the voting public quite like the backlash that would mount if a bailout was ever even hinted at for them


    • Posted by MJF on January 26, 2021 at 6:10 am

      Well if they get it then EVERYONE gets it. The bailout crowd would be thrilled. It may make for some interesting political kabuki theater.


  3. Posted by Tough Love on January 25, 2021 at 10:44 pm

    E, Check this out ……..

    Article: “Black woman whose family was handcuffed at gunpoint by police sues Aurora, Colorado”

    And note these 2 paragraphs….

    “David Lane, the attorney for Gilliam and the girls, said the suit was the first under Colorado’s new civil rights statute, which eliminates qualified immunity for police officers.”


    “”If the officers are deemed culpable by the department, they are also responsible for a portion of any verdict or settlement,” Lane said.”


    FWIW, I do NOT think that the Officers should be held (financially) personally liable in this case.

    The cases that bug me are where an angry Officer assaults someone w/o just cause..


    • And MJ wants to know why the police in WA and OR aren’t “doing anything”? This in a nutshell is why. In Portland and Seattle they get no support as it is from anyone. Now if you got rid of qualified immunity can you imagine how much further these mutts would go in antagonizing these officers in the hope of getting a payday? We see videos of people “slipping” on purpose outside storefronts, suing for hot coffee Slips and thousands upon thousands of frivolous lawsuits, pain and suffering etc.
      imagine this officer above being judged by 6 of his peers from the black community when it comes to damages. Either officers will need to get private insurance(it’ll be a must), which may result in pay increases for them, or they will stand down. I know personally that if I by taking any preventive action (ie stopping a car that matches the description of a stolen car or a person at our mall accused of shoplifting etc that I will expose my FAMILY to risk, I will never take that action. I don’t care how much crime goes up. Like I always say, you never get in trouble for the stop you don’t make. Horrible attitude to have, necessary to survive in this climate of no qualified immunity. And horrible for the good citizens who pay the officers salary. It’s an unintended consequence of pandering to the left. Trust me, first cops that lose their house because of something like this, it will end preventive policing. Police will hang in headquarters and watch movies and ballgames. Or sit in a parking lot somewhere. Very few motor vehicle stops etc. won’t be worth the exposure to civil liability or getting hurt or even just verbally abused.
      Boy, Am I nuts for staying? I have a good shot at moving up one more rank which will help my pension and when I hit 30 a job will open up that I’m interested in, and I’ll have 2 in college next year but…..good God. Lol. 53 months left. Or I can go today?


      • Posted by MJF on January 26, 2021 at 9:22 am

        I’m not sure but a possibility is that the insurance industry would treat LEO’s as military equivalent, sorry we don’t insure that. You are voluntarily engaged in an armed confrontation environment.


        • They peddle personal liability insurance in COPS magazine and other police rags. No one I know has ever gotten it. But some must or they would t be advertising it I guess. It’s cheap….$200 or so a year even (that was 20 years ago when I looked into it) but with QI in jeopardy, costs will skyrocket. As will the number of bullshit lawsuits.
          And there really is nothing voluntary about an armed engagement in terms of it is the job description and well within your rights to use deadly force in the proper scenario and are in fact expected to. Voluntary in terms of yes we can quit, but certainly not in terms of properly doing your job, which someone has to do.



    The guy who got pepper sprayed? He HAD IT COMING!!! Maybe if Wheeler had stopped this shit back in June, we wouldn’t have these issues cropping up. I would’ve done the same damn thing. No different than the phone lady. These people can’t just scream in your face or grab your phone without consequences. Imagine if this was an on duty cop with no qualified immunity. How would any of you deal with this guy? An unmasked man screaming in your face. You mess with the bull, you should get the horns. Maybe that stupid asshole will think twice before putting her goddamn hands on a security guard or any person and try to rob them of their phone. And hopefully this piece of shit won’t scream in anyone’s face for a while. You wanna argue w the mayor do it in a council meeting. Not on the street. Since is when is this Ok? Since the communist council women in Seattle led a March of “mostly peaceful protesters” to the mayors house. You know the former prosecutor whose address was supposed to be secret. You come to my house to protest, you’ll find me standing outside with my loaded AR 15. Chant and yell all you want. Come on my property, I’ll remove you. Come after me or my family and you will wish you hadn’t.


    • Posted by Tough Love on January 26, 2021 at 9:48 am

      I would have done the SAME thing as the mayor …….. WITH the warning that the pepper spray was coming if you don’t back off.


  5. Posted by MJF on January 26, 2021 at 10:12 am

    C’mon actuaries etc. chime in here. The insurance industry would need to look back at all prior police misconduct complaints, the judgements for and against etc. The taxpayers have always paid whatever costs were adjudicated. I recall reading a story about a Chicago cop that had $75 million in damages against him paid off by the city. He retired at full pension. So what are the financial ramifications here?


    • It all depends on if civil juries wish to punish the cops. Plain and simple. Almost all but the most frivolous and egregious will be settled out of court. The rest? The side with the heavy edge will want to roll the dice. Just saying, it’ll be a cost of doing business like a doctor. But they pay sometimes $200,000 a year if they are a surgeon. Why? Cause everyday people are swayed by good attorneys and see the lifelong consequences of a doctors error or misdiagnoses.
      Case in point. When my daughter was 8, she fell off her bike. Wearing a helmet. Nonetheless she had a concussion. Stupidly, I listened to my sister who after a couple days was like “you gotta take her to the ER” etc. so I did.
      Doctor did a CT scan. Found nothing etc.
      after speaking to my sis in law doctor she was so fucking mad at me and the doctor. CT scans expose a child to SOOOO much radiation. It is like a hundred x rays. They should not have done that. So why did they? Cause the dr was covering his ass to make sure their was no brain bleeding etc. cancer from the CT scan takes decades to Devolopb
      Long after the dr had retired and no link ever established. My sis in law was beside herself and I feel guilty to this day about it. One test probably would no nothing but 4 or 5? Bad bad news.


      • Btw. Full recovery after a week or so. Followed by the 1580 sat 8 years later. Lol. But I would never do that again. She no symptoms of anything other than a concussion. She was fine a few days of darkness and vomiting later.


        • Posted by MJF on January 26, 2021 at 10:57 am

          I had a big goose egg concussion when I was 5, they told my parents to go home and keep me awake as long as possible. I still have a little bump 60 years later. I’ve had 2 other nasty ones since but never went to the hospital.


      • Posted by NJ2AZ on January 26, 2021 at 1:52 pm

        hah better that my folks. I got hit in the temple with an errant baseball when i was a kid and when i came home with a terrible headache mom said ‘sleep it off’ lol

        ahhh the 80s


  6. E, don’t the towns and municipalities carry insurance for public employees, cops, teachers, etc. who are sued? and then they can’t be fired and if it doesn’t go their way they get to keep their pensions and benefits.

    Was just chatting with a cop friend of mine who recently divorced his cop wife. Wife was a cop for about 10 years before finally being fired for drugs and other infractions. She was able to “retire” at 40% of her pension and keep life time health benefits bc drug addiction considered medical issue…….not a bad deal, I wonder if private sector employees get those kinds of termination deals

    Gee, I thought that suing a public entity over even a small infraction was the new American retirement plan. Plaintiff usually always wins something right or wrong.


    • Posted by Tough Love on January 26, 2021 at 11:49 am

      Quoting …………. “…….not a bad deal, I wonder if private sector employees get those kinds of termination deals”

      You can’t be serious (asking that).


      • Yes. Drug use, and or a positive test, depending on whether illicit or not, will immediately cost you your job. So will refusing to take a test. However, now that they consider drug addiction a disease, everywhere including the private sector, she would have qualified for a ordinary disability pension of 40% of her salary. Which I think is BS but cmon bro.
        Let’s say her salary was $100,000 after ten years. $40,000 with No cola (for now) AND the draconian restriction that she will lose $ for $ from her pension if she works (legally at least). I.e she gets NO pension at all if she gets a job making $40,000!!! She is encouraged to stay home. That’s bull shit. The same guy who while off duty accidentally cuts off a few fingers with a skill saw also gets the same 40% and the same restriction. NOT GOOD!! If the guy can work an office job he should be able to supplement the pension. But yea, we got it so good over on the public employee side. Lol. Cmon over. TL makes it seem like I’m a gazillionaire while you guys in Bread lines. Not saying she deserves it for drug use—I didn’t classify it as a disease, maybe your friend pushed her into it. Very few folks are on that one. It’s the accidental disability (2/3) pension that needs reform and is abused by some.


      • And honestly unless it is really bad, plaintiffs almost always walk away empty handed. Because most of them are complete BS to begin with


  7. Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog!🐶🐶🐶🐾🐾🐾 on January 26, 2021 at 11:24 am

    I was friends with a MLB Pitcher named Jerry Johnson back in the late 1980’s, was working with him in construction work (which I did in summer of my college years) after he retired from Major League Baseball. He made good money in MLB, maybe not the kind of money pro MLB players make today, but still far above average. Long story short he was still in great shape then physically while in his mid-40’s (he used to run down at the beach all the time back then), but he needed his MLB pension, but MLB had problems with their pension system BACK THEN! I remember this vividly because I wondered how in the f*&k can MLB have pension problems? How can a guy who was in MLB for 15 years be, partially at least, dependent on the MLB pension system? Shameful IMO. If pro athletes can get screwed over by pension systems then anyone can…….


  8. Posted by MJF on January 26, 2021 at 11:41 am

    PD’s best bet is to self insure, the employer manages the plan cutting out the insurance companies. The puzzle is that when this translates to an individual that cop is bankrupted immediately upon receipt of the first legal bill. Maybe it’s a clever ruse by the defund the police crowd. It would reduce most PD’s to rubble.


    • Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog!🐶🐶🐶🐾🐾🐾 on January 26, 2021 at 12:22 pm

      ALL major metro Muni’s self insure their police, they don’t have a choice, they have to because the cost to provide insurance would be astronomical. It would bankrupt them….. I did some research about 8 or 9 years ago on the LAPD, and the Los Angeles Police Department paid out $110 MILLION over an 8 year time span (# not exact, going off memory). That is an astronomical amount….BTW Cops are always, as in 100% of the time, indemnified by the Muni/employer, regardless of fault or liability….


    • Maybe. But currently the entire county here is enrolled in a self insured Joint insurance Fund. Or JIF for short.
      I’m just saying that if an officer is always basing in his decision to handle a situation, that he may personally be liable for any and all mistakes, you will see an ineffective officer afraid to make a decision. I love y’all on here, but I would never put my family’s financial health at risk by taking ANY additional risk on my job to help you. It’s just that simple. If I’m covered yes. If not, no. Would TL do something for me that will expose her to civil liability?
      The QI issue is huge for the defund the police movement. Huge.


      • Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog!🐶🐶🐶🐾🐾🐾 on January 26, 2021 at 2:38 pm

        Qualified Immunity is JUDGE made doctrine, it is not found anywhere, or derived from, the Constitution. I was PAWSITIVE that the SCOTUS was going to either strike it down or severely limit it’s application during this last term when they took up 13 different QI cases. Boy did I miss the boat on that one, SCOTUS didn’t do jack shit….


  9. Posted by MJ on January 26, 2021 at 5:20 pm

    TL….was I serious? IDK, what do you think?

    E, cops don’t really do anything to prevent a crime unless they happen onto it by accident. They arrive after the break in, assault, murder armed robbery or whatever crime has been committed. Now if you are talking about traffic stops, well that’s a different story. If a cop sees someone driving drunk and doesn’t pull them over and that drunk kills somebody else on the road, that’s on the hands of that cop…….petty shit I wouldn’t bother with but preventing an severe accident or a death that’s on that cop IMO


    • Crime prevention worked damn good for Giuliani. We may not prevent the crime, but especially with cell phones we are always a few minutes at most away from any emergency. And often arresting the assholes is dangerous to say the least. Traffic stops get a lot of bad people off the streets. And how on earth would you ever prove that a cop didn’t pull someone over and it led to a death? I stand by my statement. With no qualified immunity officers are going to think twice before getting involved. Like it or not that’s what will happen. The pendulum has swung way to the left.
      Seattle wants to fire officers because they are white for Gods sake. And TL wonders why I voted Trump??
      If you are going to take a cops house cause he arrested the wrong guy by mistake, he and all of us just won’t make arrests. See how that works out on the left coast? It doesn’t. And it won’t here. Stop fucking witb cops. And let them do their goddamn jobs and pay them what the are owed and stop bitching about them. Or join the fucking force.


      • Posted by Tough Love on January 26, 2021 at 8:06 pm

        Rather than paying cops “what they are owed”, going forward (for ALL currently working Officer ….. except perhaps E Gaupo :)), pay them (in Total Compensation) what a Private Sector worker in a job requiring reasonably comparable education, experience, skills, and knowledge would get ….. plus a SMALL premium for the unique risks associated with Police work (noting that LOWER-paying MANY Private Sector jobs entail MUCH greater risk).


  10. […] January 27, 2021 Mary Pat Campbell NFL Players Pension Red Zone – $4 Billion […]


  11. […] How much of a single lump sum? Would this be a forgiven loan? Would it be a reward for the worst funders? Could NFL players share in the bailout if they rejigger some assumptions? […]


  12. […] How much of a single lump sum? Would this be a forgiven loan? Would it be a reward for the worst funders? Could NFL players share in the bailout if they rejigger some assumptions? […]


  13. […] At 39.27% the plan is indeed woefully funded and could be lining up for a Hail Mary. […]


  14. […] 25.53% funding (a massive decrease from last year) are the actuaries setting up the next play for this plan to be a Hail […]


  15. […] 25.53% funding (a massive decrease from last year) are the actuaries setting up the next play for this plan to be a Hail […]


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