NEWS PROVIDED BY: Pro Football Retired Players Association
Pro Football Retired Players Association (PFRPA), a national organization that develops programs and benefits for retired NFL players, is encouraged by the NFL's decision to increase pension benefits for retirees. The enhancement is in the new collective bargaining agreement (CBA), which the NFL and NFL Players Association (NFLPA) recently agreed on after months of negotiation. The new CBA increases the pension benefit to $550 per month for all pre-2012 vested players and expands pension eligibility for former players with three credited seasons.
"Today is momentous for several generations of players," said Dave Robinson, vice-chairman of the PFRPA board. "Not only have former and current players, as well as supporters, banded together, but everyone involved achieved something that will change so many lives. Thank you to the NFLPA and current players for giving back to retired players who gave their all on the gridiron."
PFRPA also credits Fairness for Athletes in Retirement (FAIR) and the organization's president, Lisa Marie Riggins. "FAIR has given a voice to pre-1993 retired players and has been an unwavering advocate of increased pensions," said Bob Schmidt, executive director and CEO of PFRPA. "I'm confident that FAIR's efforts to get the issue in front of NFL owners and the NFLPA played a significant role in the final decision." PFRPA has engaged at all levels to support retired players, including financial support to FAIR.
The change in the new CBA pension offerings underscores the longstanding push to improve pensions for retired players, especially for those who finished before the 1993 CBA granted players free agency and other benefits.
"The inclusion of better pension benefits in the CBA is welcome news for retired players, whose dedication built the foundation of football in America. They've helped the League become what it is today," said Mike Haynes, PFRPA board member. "For so long, there have been disparities, and aging players have especially experienced collateral effects on their health and well-being. The enhanced pension benefits outlined in the new CBA will make a great difference for the retired players we support. The PFRPA commends the NFL, NFLPA and all those who were deeply involved in taking action to acknowledge and respect retired players' contributions."