SHOULD FOOTBALLERS BE ABLE TO ACCESS THEIR PENSIONS EARLIER?

SHOULD FOOTBALLERS BE ABLE TO ACCESS THEIR PENSIONS EARLIER?

The Portuguese football player union SJPF is asking parliament to change national legislation so players can access a tax-efficient savings fund aged 35, when many struggle with a decline in salary. Several FIFPro member unions have set up such funds including those in Finland, Slovenia, Sweden and Zimbabwe. In other countries, such as Portugal and the U.K., legislation prevents footballers accessing a pension in the middle of their working lives.

 

A law change in Portugal would help support players who cannot immediately find a second career, or who have suffered a sudden illness or injury. An estimated seven out of 10 players in Portugal run into financial trouble when their career comes to a sudden halt.

 

Former Celtic striker Amido Balde, for example, was forced to turn to the Portuguese union’s hardship fund for money to live off while he had a serious lung condition last year. He received no income for almost a year because the illness – a blocked artery - was not covered under a sports-injury insurance policy he had at first-division club Maritimo.

 

Footballers like Balde cannot access a pension until the age of 55 in Portugal, in line with workers in other industries. “We were able to help Amido but we can’t help everyone,” SJPF lawyer Joao Oliveira said.

 

Several political parties are open to the plan after hearing how many players on modest wages in Portugal run into difficulties, Oliveira said.

 

Source: www.fifpro.org

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