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Retirement Planning > Saving for Retirement

15 Best 401(k) Plans in Pro Sports

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In 2009, Sports Illustrated estimated that 78% of NFL players were bankrupt or faced serious financial stress within two years of ending their careers. It also estimated that 60% of professional basketball players were broke within five years of retiring from the NBA. Athletes including Dorothy Hamill, John Daly, Lenny Dykstra, Scottie Pippen and, more recently, Mike Tyson (who is currently suing his financial advisor for fraud) have experienced headline-making money management difficulties.

But it’s not for lack of trying. Believe it or not (although we rarely see them this way) professional athletes are employees of corporations.

Now the research firm BrightScope has listed the top organizations in the sports industry with the highest ranked 401(k) plans containing more than $25 million in assets.

“It’s easy to see our favorite athletes and sports teams on television and not relate to them as employees of their respective organizations with retirement plans, just like you and me,” said Brooks Herman, head of data and research for BrightScope. “However, saving for the future is still very important even for members of public and popular organizations like these.”

Key statistics found on the list of the organizations with the best 401(k) plans:

  • Average account balance for plans listed is $91,933
  • 88.89% is the average participation rate for plans on the list
  • Average company generosity for plans listed is $8,343; the median is $1,910
  • Average salary deferral for plans listed is $6,784; the median is $5,467

Keep reading for the sports organizations with the highest ranked 401(k) plans (Company Name — Plan Name — BrightScope Rating):

Car driven by Kyle Busch, an employee of Joe Gibbs Racing. (Photo: AP, LA Times)15. New York Racing Association — The 401(k) Plan of the New York Racing Association —  59.72

14. Anschutz Entertainment Group — Anschutz Entertainment Group, Inc. 401(k) Plan — 61.91

(Anschutz has ownership interests in the Los Angeles Kings, the Los Angeles Galaxy, the Los Angeles Lakers, and owns the Staples Center.)

13. Penske Racing South — Performance Group 401(k) Retirement Savings Plan — 63.59

12. Speedway Motorsports — Speedway Motorsports 401(k) Plan and Trust — 64.55

11. Joe Gibbs Racing — Joe Gibbs Racing 401(k) Savings Plan — 69.60 Brett Favre as a Green Bay Packer. (Photo: AP)10. National Football League — The National Football League Capital Accumulation Plan — 71.75

9. National Hockey League — National Hockey League Savings Plan for National Hockey League/NHL Enterprises Employees — 76.47

8. National Football League — NFL Pension Plan — 76.48

7. Major League Baseball Office of the Commissioner — Major League Baseball 401(k) Plan and Trust — 80.91

6. National Basketball Association — NBA Retirement Plan — 81.52 Jeremy Lin as a New York Knick (Photo: AP)5. Savings Board of the NFL Player Second Career Savings Plan — NFL Player Second Career Savings Plan — 83.36

4. Board of Trustees of the National Hockey League Players’ Pension Plan — National Hockey League Players’ Pension Plan — 87.25

3. Pension Committee of MLB Players Benefit Plan — Major League Baseball Players Investment Plan — 90.00

2. U.S. Member Clubs of the National Hockey League — National Hockey League Pension Plan for Players of United States Member Clubs — 90.46

1. National Basketball Association — NBA-NBPA 401K Savings Plan — 91.91

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