When the NFL Players Union decertified on March 11, paving the way for NFL owners to impose a lockout on the players, it effectively ended collective bargaining for the players. The players no longer have a union, but a trade association, according to the NFL. What risks does this pose to players, many of whom are high-profile celebrities, with brands and reputations to protect?
Senior CFP Linda Robertson, of Financial Finesse in El Segundo, Calif., works with the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) on financial education for the Players Association, as “part of their benefits package.”
For one thing, Robertson says, “once owners decided to go with a lockout, owners suspended payments to group insurers. Players have coverage through COBRA, but they have to bear the whole cost.”
For serious players of such a physical sport, is that a very high cost? Robertson points out that the players are “healthy, physically fit, and younger overall than many insured groups, so we needn’t worry on that account. The same goes for other group coverage—dental, life, disability insurance—players can pick up the cost themselves—to keep it going.”
Will players get paid while they’re locked out? Their pay is “consolidated” into the season; players don’t get paychecks after the Super Bowl, so the lockout won’t affect them in that way unless the strike lasts into summer training camps, according to Robertson. But if the strike lasts longer, they would not be paid until the lockout is over.
Financial Finesse is mostly in the education business for retirement plan participants. It also has been providing education to the NFLPA.
So how are they educating NFL players now that the lockout has occurred, and once the lockout ends (hopefully for pro football fans)?
Encouraging Players to Save
Robertson explains that Financial Finesse has been helping players, through the NFLPA, prepare for this lockout possibility for two years. They can use the “online financial education tools” from Financial Finesse. With the NFLPA, Robertson has