NHL's tentative deal would create new DB plan for players
By Rick Baert | January 7, 2013 3:33 pm
The creation of a new defined benefit pension plan for National Hockey League players is included in a tentative collective bargaining agreement reached early Sunday between the league and the NHL Players' Association.
Jonathan Weatherdon, spokesman for the NHL Players' Association, said in an e-mail that both the league and the players are finalizing details of the new pension plan and no further information was available. John Dellapina, league vice president, said in a separate e-mail that NHL officials would not comment on specifics of the new plan “unless and until the new CBA is ratified by both the owners and players.” Efforts to reach the league or the NHLPA for further comment were unsuccessful.
It's unclear what the new DB plan will mean for the players' current defined contribution plans, the National Hockey League Retirement Plan, (United States), New York, and the NHL Club Pension Plan and Trust, Toronto. The U.S. plan, a 401(k), had $22.6 million in assets as of June 30, 2011, according to the league's latest Form 5500 filing. The size of the Canadian plan could not be learned.
Players were locked out by the league in late September when negotiations for a new CBA broke down. Although negotiations before and during the lockout centered on sharing of hockey-related revenue, the pension plan was “the centerpiece of the deal for the players,” Winnipeg Jets defenseman Ron Hainsey, who took part in negotiations throughout the process, was quoted in an interview on the NHLPA's website. However, he stressed that details of the pension issue are “not final.”
The pension proposal “is a very confusing issue with the language they are writing that's way beyond me, that takes time,” Mr. Hainsey said.