Dear Retired NFL Players,
This is to inform you that Tom Lowman, Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA) has posted on his company website (http://www.boltonpartners.com/NFL%20Retirees%20Q%20and%20As%20092606.pdf) his report on the July 25th Goucher College meeting. Tom was retained by the DC and Baltimore Chapters, at a cost of $1000. He was to provide an actuarial overview and insight for the Retired Players on the NFL Pension Plan, as well as presentations made by other participants at the July 25th meeting. Tom participated along with Bob Williams of AON, a pension consultant, representing the NFL, and Doug Allen and his staff for the NFLPA. We owe a debt of gratitude to Tom for this report. He wanted to do an extensive review for us following the meeting. However, we could not come up with additional monies for his fee. Tom agreed to do a condensed version of the report without charging a fee, but it had to be worked in with his commitments to paying clients. Consequently, that is the reason for the delay in our receiving his report.
I did not feel it was appropriate to give my overview or respond to the commentaries made about this meeting until Tom’s report was complete. I had hoped by now, that Doug Allen and Bob Williams would have also filed theirs as they had agreed. My objective in actively participating and helping to coordinate the events of the evening was to provide a stage whereby we as retired players would be given factual information about our Pension Plan. With that information, we could then determine what was or was not achievable. I believe that goal was met. Tom’s report will help us as we try to determine the best course moving forward. I think we all agree our Pension should be dramatically increased. While I think we all appreciate the increases we recently received, I believe that all retired players benefits should be increased to the active players level which is currently $467.50 per month per credited season @ age 55. Based on Tom’s evaluation the cost to move everyone to that level is an additional $760 million or $134 million over 7 years or $80 million over 15 years. This practice by the NFLPA of parceling out pension increases and spreading them out only pits one generation against another and in our case we will never get caught up.
Whatever our goal is, we need to determine the best course of action in order to be ready for the next CBA. Will we work under the current structure provided to us by the NFLPA or will we create a new one? There is clearly a trust issue with the NFLPA that has to be overcome. We should give them the time and commitment to see if they can sufficiently address this issue. If not we should consider creating a new one. Our major problem is the NFLPA has both the money and the power. Would they agree to transfer money and influence to a third party, independent of them and would more often than not have an adversarial relationship? Probably not, but it is something to consider. While our group is blessed with successful, smart individuals we will need qualified professional help. They cost money, lots of money which we do not have. How to overcome this issue is something we all need to think about.
As we go forward, I would encourage everyone to be respectful of one another. While I am sure we will disagree with one another over ideas and strategies, please try to support your comments when ever possible with factual information. We should all recognize that some of the late additional Pension increases and new benefits under the latest CBA were achieved because of the enormous pressure brought on by us the Retired Players.
Dallas Cowboys 1963-65
Washington Redskins 1966-75