I guess I was a little naive, or maybe it’s just that my national sports leagues don’t have it, but after reading this article it makes sense [Pensions in Pro Sports].
Most jobs have a retirement savings plan, whether it be Superannuation, 401k etc. so why shouldn’t professional sports?
An athletes career can be short lived, so it’s comforting to know that some protocols are in place to protect them through retirement.
Reading through the article, you can see that the compensation is minimal for major leagues such as the NFL and NBA. The PGA Tour clearly stands out as the most lucrative, as it rewards players based on how well they actually do on the tour.
Australian Leagues, such as the AFL do not offer financial compensation to retired players, instead using the money to help athletes find a new career after sport.
Is this a better option?
You know the ancient proverb: “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.”
Another question is the age that these monetary funds are paid.
Is it too late in an athletes life?
I don’t think there are many 45 year old athletes (apart from golfers) still plying their trade. Maybe less compensation should be paid out per year over a longer course of time?
Still, it is better than some sports that don’t pay at all, like NASCAR and Horse Racing. Judging by this, one could assume there is an inverse relationship between retirement compensation and risk!
Finally, and probably the most concerning question to arise:
Are Sports Agents entitled to a percentage of the pension?
Initially, one would say a definitive no. Ethically, it is wrong.
However, it is income derived from their contracts whilst they were represented, so an argument could be made that Sports Agents are entitled to a share of this income stream.
- Chris Lesley