Agreement Reached To Hike NFL Player Benefits

July 28, 2006 ( - The NFL and NFL Players Association finally broke a stalemate by reaching an agreement on benefits for retired and current players.

The revamped package that the NFL and NFLPA jointly announced Thursday includes an increase in the pension benefits of retired players by 25% for seasons played before 1982 and a 10% hike for 1982 and after.

“The current players have great respect for the heritage of the NFL and the former players that have contributed to the league’s success,” NFLPA Executive Director Gene Upshaw said in a news release.

Other components of the increased benefits include:

  • A tripling of benefits for widows and surviving children of players who die before their retirement benefits begin.
  • Current players with at least five credited seasons who retire after this season will be eligible to up to $15,000 annual tuition assistance for up to three years.
  • A health reimbursement account for current players.

One former Miami Dolphin sued the league in July 2005 for refusing to pay his disability benefits for the injuries he sustained while playing. Eugene “Mercury” Morris claimed that his disabilities qualified him for more retirement benefits. He claimed that of the 3,500 members in the Players’ Association, 232 receive disability benefits(See Mercury Morris Sues NFL for Disability Benefits).