Money

Here’s how OJ Simpson made $600,000 when he was in prison

O.J. Simpson attends his parole hearing at Lovelock Correctional Center July 20, 2017 in Lovelock, Nevada.
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O.J. Simpson attends his parole hearing at Lovelock Correctional Center July 20, 2017 in Lovelock, Nevada.

It's possible that O.J. Simpson, who is to be released on parole as early as October, has been making $10,565 a month since he turned 65, ESPN reported this week.

That's because the now 70-year old is drawing an NFL pension that, under a complicated formula, has granted him more than $600,000 over his past 57 months in prison. This week, USA Today reported that Simpson's lawyer said the former Gridiron and movie star has money from a pension plan in which he invested $5 million years ago.

The NFL calculates pensions based on the number of seasons played and at what age a player decides to start collecting. Simpson played for 11 seasons from 1969 to 1979, and likely waited until he was 65, not 55, to start accruing that income.

O.J.'s monthly allocation is, by any measure, a great retirement package. But for most NFL players, the number won't be so high. The average player only last 3.5 seasons in the league, and many probably need their pension as soon as they can access it. One out of six NFL retirees declare bankruptcy.

The league now offers a generous 401(k) plan to motivate players to save. They match up to $18,000 a season twice, such that a player's pre-tax investment is tripled.

Though Simpson's pension looks great compared to other NFL retirees, he's in some serious debt. Despite his acquittal during his infamous 1995 murder trial, a civil court ordered him in 1997 to pay a sizable fee to the families of his late ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ronald L. Goldman, in compensatory and punitive damages.

With accrued interest, he owes them $52 million. But, fortunately for Simpson, according to the law, he's not legally obliged to use his pension to pay that off.

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