By Ryan Velez
Most ex-convicts find themselves struggling on their way out of prison, with little to no earning opportunities on the inside combined with the specter of their jail stay hanging over them on the outside. One ex-convict that news sources can’t stop talking about is O.J. Simpson. Celebrity Net Worth reports that thanks to his NFL pension, Simpson has managed to rack up a comfortable nest egg during his stay in jail. But how much is this exactly? And does Simpson have any plans for it?
Note that the NFL doesn't release pension info on individual players, but its general pension terms are open to the public. ESPN’s Darren Rovell recently took the time to crunch the numbers and approximate exactly how much money he brought in. As a player before 1982, Simpson is entitled to an NFL pension of $250 a month for every season he played in the NFL. Simpson was in the league for 11 seasons between 1969 and 1979, so that comes to $2,750 per month. In 2011, a settlement between retired players and the NFL led to an extra $124 per season played before 1975, and another $108 per season after that. For Simpson, that means an additional $1,284, or $4,034 per month total.
Having spent 108 months in prison, this means a total $435,672 while Simpson was in jail. Or so it would seem. A lot of the confusion regarding his earnings stems from the fact that it’s not certain how old he was when he began collecting. Many pensions work this way. His $4,034 a month pension is a baseline amount rather than a guarantee. For example, had he waited until age 65 to collect, the NFL would have multiplied his pension 2.619 times. Simpson turned 65 in prison, but he wouldn’t have been collecting a pension for the first four years of his sentence in this hypothetical situation. This means he would have had $633,900, to be precise.
“Basically, it boils down to this: If he started collecting at 55, he had $435,672 waiting for him when he got out, and if he waited until 65, it was $633,900,” explains Celebrity Net Worth. Perhaps the most important thing about this money is that due to state laws protecting NFL pensions, this money can’t be taken in the Goldman civil lawsuit. Simpson can’t say the same for other money he may earn in the future.