All players retire eventually. Even the legendary Tom Brady knew he didn’t have a handful of years left in the NFL and retired this year.
Yet despite earning millions and having a successful career, retirement is often hard for players, with one study finding that nearly 4 out of 5 former NFL players either go bankrupt or suffer severe financial distress within two years of retirement.
This is why the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) has several resources that were designed to help retired and retiring players. Here are 3 of them.
Created by NFLPA senior player manager Dior Ginyard, AthleteAnd allows players to explore their passions off the field and past retirement.
The company provides players with internship opportunities in their chosen field and is aimed at players who, though successful, are not as set financially as top players like Tom Brady.
Alongside the counseling services, the company has its own podcast series that provide insights from current and former players who have been successful in business and able to take advantage of their brand off the field.
According to the NFLPA site, workshops are planned for 2024 during the offseason.
Launched in 2013, The Trust is powered by the NFLPA and “offers an extensive array of services and resources to former players through its three pillars: personal and business development, health and wellness resources, and community and connection opportunities”.
This allows former players to “take ownership” of their retirement and transition into new careers by providing expert advice, programs, and feedback.
One way The Trust supports players is through implementing wellness programs. As per their 2020 Annual Report, The Trust partnered with WeightWatchers to help their players and spouses, or domestic partners, achieve their wellness goals.
The members have free access to the WeightWatchers app and website, around-the-clock live coaching, and supportive virtual workshops with dedicated WeightWatchers coaches.
WeightWatchers has been steadily increasing its reach in recent years through partnerships and acquisitions, with the company getting into the prescription weight loss business by acquiring telehealth provider Sequence.
This allows the company to provide FDA-approved medical weight loss plans to all their clients. Through The Trust’s WeightWatchers partnership, retired NFL players have access to one of the most comprehensive wellness and weight management services in the country.
NFL Pension Plan and Second Career Savings Plan
In order to support players financially after they retire, the NFLPA has provided a pension plan for players who have been on an active roster for a minimum of 3 years.
Depending on when they retire, players are eligible for different amounts. Players who retired in the 1980s or 1990s can receive between $3,000 to $5,640 per month, while those who retired after 1998 can receive $5,640 per month.
While players must be 55 years and over to receive the full amount, they can access the funds as early as 35. The NFLPA’s Second Career Savings Plan is a 401(k) plan that is available to players who have played for a minimum of 2 seasons.
In this plan, the employer matches the inputted money two-for-one. The money is invested in index funds as well as multi-manager and specialty funds. Players can then access the money after reaching the age of 45.
With many great players retiring soon or have already retired, these programs by the NFLPA are ensuring that less than 4 out of 5 players suffer severe financial distress.