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The Voice - NFL Retiree Newsletter, Vol 1, Issue 2

The Voice - NFL Retiree Newsletter, Vol 1, Issue 2

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Published by Robert Lee
This is a copy of the Second Update Newsletter from Hausfeld LLP and Zelle Hofmann.
This is a copy of the Second Update Newsletter from Hausfeld LLP and Zelle Hofmann.

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Published by: Robert Lee on Dec 22, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Hausfeld LLP & Zelle Hofmann*
 Volume I, Issue 2December 2011
Legacy Fund, Pen-sion, Disability &Benefits
Retiree Litigation
Concussion Liti-gation
Dryer Litigation
Retiree Sound-off 
 An Independent Publication Concerning NFL Retiree Rights & Benefits
I. Legacy Fund, Pension, Disability & Benefits
The Voice is in- tended to communi-cate to all retired NFLplayers, updates con-cerning key-issueseffecting NFL retireerights and benefits. Itwill provide an objec- tive independent re-port of matters of sig-nificant interest to those already retired.
In regards to what the NFLPA agreed to in the 2011 CBA for already retiredplayers, on August 11, 2011, the NFLPA through its counsel represented that re-tired players…
have been pouring in praise and thanks to the NFLPA for the new benefits that have been agreed to.
 ]Not So.
By: Brian DuncanAt our November, 2011 chap- ter meeting, our non-vestedplayers were very upset andvoiced their negative feelingsabout the decision made by the Players Association todistribute the legacy fund.Many former non-vested play-ers feel betrayed and used by the NFLPA, not only because they are not being included inany monetary distribution of  the fund, but that the PlayersAssociation advocated sostrongly that they would notleave any former player be-hind.The motto “One Team” wascreated and circulated at theconvention last February and throughout the year. We allreceived hats, pens, and othermaterials with the slogan of “One Team”, which we nowfind out only applies to theformer vested players. Thepre 1993, three year playersfelt like they were going to get the same vesting rights as thepost 1993 players, only to findout that the Players Associa- tion never put that option on the table.When the Legacy Fund wascreated, the intent was toinclude
pre- 1993 formerplayers. Only after the PlayersAssociation re-certified as aunion, was the Legacy Fund tied to the Bert Bell Retire-ment Plan. The Players Asso-ciation solely made this deci-sion so that the recents wouldcontinue to receive themoney, even after the currentagreement expires in tenyears. However, one of theproblems by doing this, is thenon-vested players are com-pletely left out of the fund.The Players Associationclearly has an issue with con-flict of interest. Not only does this conflict exist between thecurrent players and the formerplayers, but between the for-mer vested and non-vestedplayers. The former, non-vested, members of theNFLPA in Dallas, feel theirleadership in Washington hasonce again let them down andare looking for ways to get in-cluded in the benefits that areafforded other former players.
Brian DuncanVice President, NFLPA DallasChapter (1976-78 Cleveland Browns,Houston Oilers)
See Retiree Sound-off Sec- tion on page 12 for moreon NFLPA counsel JeffreyKessler’s statement regard-ing the expressions of “praise” by former playersfor the NFLPA concerning  the new 2011 CBA.
 The Voice
Page 2
By: John V. HoganFor the past several years, the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Planhas accepted a favorable Social Security disability determination as proof that aformer player was “totally and permanently” disabled. If the player was otherwisequalified for entitlement to disability benefits under the Plan, (e.g., vested, not al-ready receiving retirement pension) he could be granted either “inactive” or“football degenerative” T&P benefits.Under the terms of the new CBA, for claims filed after September 1, 2011, a playerwill no longer have to prove that his total disability is related to NFL football to ob- tain the higher category of disability benefits, as long as his application is filedwithin 15 years of his last credited season. (“Inactive A” disability effectively re-places “football degenerative”) For players who retired more than 15 years ago, andfound entitled to disability, they will receive a lower paying benefit even if their dis-ability is totally football related.In my experience in the past couple of years, the preferred way of qualifying for T&Pbenefits under the Plan is to first win Social Security disability. While it is never easy to win a Social Security disability case, now that we do not have to be concernedwhether the medical conditions are football related, it makes even more sense togo the Social Security route first. No longer will we have to be concerned about try-ing to down play a former player’s obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, head-aches, depression, etc., in the quest to have his disability granted. (SSA regulationsrequire that they consider the combined effects of all of a person’s medically deter-minable impairments when determining disability.)In my opinion, going the SSA route first is preferable because they have numerouslaws, regulations and rulings which clearly set forth the criteria needed to obtaindisability. I know exactly what needs to be done to obtain a favorable decision.On the other hand, dealing with the “neutral physicians” of the Bell/Rozelle Planhas been nothing more than a roll-of-the dice.The new CBA also called for further improvements to the NFL disability system, butat this point we do not know what those might be. Stay tuned!John V. Hogan Law1-888-259-4249http://www.johnvhogan.com 
 John V. Hogan Law specializes in the areas of Social Security Disability and NFLDisability law. John has helped many retired NFL players receive benefits from theBert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Retirement Plan. John also sits on the Board of Direc-tors of the national player advocacy organization Fourth and Goal, he is an Associ-ate Member of the NFL Alumni, Inc., and a sponsor of the Buffalo Bills Alumni Asso-ciation and the NFL Alumni Atlanta Chapter.
For moreinformation aboutany of the matterscontained in
 The Voice
, or if youhave any questions,please contactHausfeld LLP at(202) 540-7200
I. Legacy Fund, Pension, Disability & Benefits
Page 3
 Volume I, Issue 2
I. Legacy Fund, Pension, Disability & Benefits
By: Robert Dezube, FSAAn important benefit in the agreement with the NFL is the “Legacy Fund”. The owners agreed toprovide $620 Million ($62 Million per year for 10 years) to fund pension benefit for pre-1993 vestedplayers. The Legacy Fund is not a separate fund, but rather is an additional contribution to the Bell/Rozelle Plan. The additional contribution is expected to pay the additional benefits.The NFL considered many proposals on how to allocate the Legacy Fund amoung the eligible play-ers. The proposal they adopted was one that the NFLPA recommended. It provides a floor of $500per month for all players who were vested before 1993. The players will also receive an additional$114 per month for each pre-1993 season played. These additional benefits are payable beginning at age 55, or right away if the player is over age 55.An alternative recommendation was put together by Carl Eller, Ron Mix, Bruce Laird, and WillieLanier at a meeting in New York on September 15, 2011. The alternative plan would have provideda floor of $750 and an additional per-season credit that depended on the time period and seasonsplayed. The per-season credit would have been higher for credited seasons prior to 1960 and wouldhave decreased slightly for later years.See the chart below (
Figure 1
) for a comparison of the two recommendations.
Rober Dezube is a consulting actuary with Milliman
Figure 1Allocation Adopted by League
Alterative Recommendation
Benefit Credit
$500 Floor $750 Floor
Credited Seasons prior to 1960
$114 Per Credited Season $127 Per Credited Season
Credited Seasons 1960 – 1969
$114 Per Credited Season $114 Per Credited Season
Credited Seasons 1970 – 1979
$114 Per Credited Season $108 Per Credited Season
Credited Seasons 1980-1992
$114 Per Credited Season $102 Per Credited Season

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