Article 53Retirement Plan
Section 1. Maintenance and Definitions
The current terms of the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan (the “Retirement Plan” ), a jointly administered TaftHartley multiemployer pension plan, will be continued and maintained in full force and effect during the term of this Agreement, except as amended below, but no further benefits will accrue except as provided in Section 3 of this Article. The Retirement Plan, and all past and future amendments thereto as adopted in accordance with the terms of that Plan, are incorporated by reference and made a part of this Agreement; provided, however, that the terms used in such Plan and the definitions of such terms are applicable only to such Plan and shall have no applicability to this Agreement unless the context of this Agreement specifically mandates the use of such terms.
Section 2. Contributions
An annual contribution will continue to be made to the Retirement Plan on behalf of each NFL Club as actuarially determined to be necessary to fund the benefits provided in this Article, based on the actuarial assumptions and methods contained in Appendix N. No provision of this Agreement will eliminate or reduce the obligation to provide the benefits described in this Article, or eliminate or reduce the obligations of the NFL Clubs to fund retirement benefits. Contributions will be used exclusively to provide retirement benefits and to pay expenses. Contributions for a Plan Year will be made on or before the end of each Plan Year. Benefit Credits, including Legacy Credits and Special Credits, for future seasons and benefits subject to Retirement Board approval, if any, for Plan Years beginning on and after the League Year ending in 2031 will be determined pursuant to future collective bargaining agreements, if any. If Benefit Credits, Legacy Credits and Special Credits are discontinued after the League Year ending in 2031, the NFL Clubs shall continue to make annual contributions in the amount necessary to satisfy the requirements of ERISA § 302 unless and until the Clubs elect to withdraw under ERISA § 4203. It will be the duty of the Retirement Board of the Retirement Plan to pursue all available legal remedies in an effort to assure timely payment of all contributions due under this Agreement.
Section 3. Pension Enhancements
Effective for payments on and after April 1, 2020, the parties will amend Section 4.1(a), 4.1(b) and 4A.1 of the Retirement Plan to provide the increased Credits described below for the indicated Credited Seasons. For Players eligible for a Legacy Credit for one or more Credited Seasons, the 2020 Credits shall be treated as a Legacy Credit for such Credited Season(s). In all other circumstances, the 2020 Credits shall be treated as Benefit Credits. Notwithstanding the two prior sentences, the 2020 Credits set forth below shall not be included in Disability Credits as defined in the Retirement Plan.Legacy Credit Eligible Players
Credited Season in Plan Year Benefit Credit Legacy Credit Special Credit 2020 Credits Total Credits Before 1975 $250 $124 $0 $176 $550 1975 through 1981 $250 $108 $0 $192 $550 1982 through 1992 $255 $108 $0 $187 $550 1993 through 1994 $265 $0 $98 $187 $550 1995 through 1996 $315 $0 $48 $187 $550 1997 $365 $0 $0 $185 $550 1998 through 2011 $470 $0 $0 $80 $550 2012 through 2014 $560 $0 $0 $56 $616 2015 through 2017 $660 $0 $0 $66 $726 2018 through 2019 $760 $0 $0 $76 $836 2020 through 2030 $836 $0 $0 $0 $836Players Not Eligible for Legacy Credit Credited Season in Plan Year Benefit Credit Legacy Credit Special Credit 2020 Credits Total Credits Before 1982 $250 $0 $0 $300 $550 1982 through 1992 $255 $0 $108 $187 $550 1993 through 1994 $265 $0 $98 $187 $550 1995 through 1996 $315 $0 $48 $187 $550 1997 $365 $0 $0 $185 $550 1998 through 2011 $470 $0 $0 $80 $550 2012 through 2014 $560 $0 $0 $56 $616 2015 through 2017 $660 $0 $0 $66 $726 2018 through 2019 $760 $0 $0 $76 $836 2020 through 2030 $836 $0 $0 $0 $836
Benefits for affected players in pay status shall be proportionately increased based on the new and prior Total Credits.
Section 4. 2025 Increase to Pre-2012 Credited Season Credits
If the annualized increase to the AR is 4% or more over the period beginning on April 1, 2020 and ending on March 31, 2025, then the Retirement Plan shall be amended to increase the 2020 Credits by $50 for each of the pre-2012 Credited Seasons set forth in Section 3 of this Article; or if the annualized increase to the AR is less than 4% over the period beginning on April 1, 2020 and ending on March 31, 2025, the Retirement Plan shall be amended to increase the 2020 Credits by $25 for each of the pre-2012 Credited Seasons set forth in Section 3 of this Article. Benefits for affected players in pay status shall be proportionately increased based on the new and prior Total Credits.
Section 5. Vesting Requirements
Effective for payments commencing on or after April 1, 2020, the parties shall amend Section 1.47 of the Retirement Plan so that all players alive on the effective date of this agreement with three or more Credited Seasons, and who were not previously Vested under the Retirement Plan, shall be a Vested Player under only the Retirement Plan, and only for purposes of Article 4 and Section 7.3 of the Retirement Plan. For the avoidance of doubt, a player vesting under this Section 5 shall not be a Vested Player for purposes of any other employee benefit plan under this Agreement. A Player vested under this Section 5 shall not be eligible for the Life only pension with Social Security adjustment under Section 4.4(b)(4) of the Retirement Plan and the Early Payment Benefit under Section 4.5 of the Retirement Plan. The Retirement Plan shall be further amended such that; (i) a Player who vests under the Retirement Plan solely due to this Section 5 of Article 53 (“Section 5”) of this Agreement shall receive a Benefit Credit of $550 per Credited Season but will not be eligible for either a Legacy Credit, Special Credit or 2020 Credit (except for the increase under Section 4); (ii) the benefit of a Player vested solely due to this Section 5 and who is age 65 or older on April 1, 2020, shall commence as of April 1, 2020, (iii) the benefit of all other players vested solely due to this Section 5 shall commence in accordance with the existing terms of the Retirement Plan; and (iv) a player’s benefit commencing after the later of April 1, 2020 or his Normal Retirement Date shall be actuarially increased.
Section 6. Death Benefits
Effective for payments on or after April 1, 2020, the parties will amend Section 7.2 of the Retirement Plan to; (i) increase the first forty-eight-month period following the player’s death to the first sixty-month period following the player’s death; (ii) increase the amount of the benefit for the first sixty-month-period following the player’s death to $13,000 (to be increased to $15,000 effective April 1, 2025); and (iii) increase the minimum benefit following the first sixty-month-period after the player’s death to $6,000. If such increases to the death benefit affect the Retirement Plan’s qualified status, the increases to this death benefit under this Section 6 shall be paid from another employee benefit plan under this Agreement, to be agreed upon by the parties. The Retirement Plan shall be further amended to add a section 7.7 as follows; “If at the time of his death a player has no surviving spouse or child(ren), his death benefit under Section 7.2, subject to all other terms and requirements under this Article 7, shall be payable for a period of 60 months split equally between his parents (or wholly to one parent if only one living parent), not including step-parents, and if no living parent, split equally among his living sibling or siblings.”