The NFL Disability Plan Spares No Expense

Posted November 9th, 2007 by RetiredPlayers

Christophine Smith is the assistant director of the NFLPA benefits department and the NFLPA’s representative on the Disability Initial Claims Committee for the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan.  Disability claims are decided at the first level by the Disability Initial Claims Committee.  Every disability application is reviewed and voted on by Christophine Smith, a union employee.  With only 317 of over 13,000 retired players receiving disability benefits, it seems the Disability Initial Claims Committee and the Retirement Board are very concerned about expenditures of the plan’s assets.

They must not be too concerned.  During a Retirement Board meeting on February 23 and 24, 2004, Christophine Smith had the following expenditures:

2/23/2004           $39            Breakfast
2/23/2004           $58            Lunch
2/24/2004           $1,049       Hotel Room – Loew’s Hotel Miami, Florida
2/24/2004           $39            Breakfast
2/24/2004           $64            Lunch
TOTAL                  $1,249

Christophine Smith spent $1,249 in slightly over a 24 hour period.  Her expenses were paid directly from the NFL Players Retirement and Disability Fund.  Money which could have been used to pay pension or disability benefits to former NFL players.

It should be noted that during the same year Christophine Smith spent $1,249 of the retirement plan’s assets for an overnight stay; twelve year NFL veteran and Hall of Fame player, Herb Adderley, who played in four Super Bowls and five Pro Bowls, received a pension of $1,522.20 for the entire year.  Adderley received $126.85 per month for his twelve years of NFL service.

A copy of Ms. Smith’s 2004 Department of Labor filing can be viewed by clicking HERE.  See the third page for the list of her expenditures.  Smith did not list any expenses for her travel to and from Miami.

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