California to consider MMA pension fund on Tuesday

The Professional Boxer’s Pension Fund is the only pension fund for boxers in the world. It was created by California law in 1982, in order to help provide funds for boxers in their later years. Administered by the California State Athletic Commission, the fund now totals some $5.8 million.

Eligibility for boxers is determined by:
•At least 50 years old.
•Fought in at least 10 rounds a year for 4 years in California with no more than a 3-year break.
•Fought in at least 75 scheduled professional rounds in California with no more than a 3-year break; scheduled rounds are not rounds fought, but rather the number of rounds scheduled in the fight, so for example if you get a win (or loss) in Round 1 of a 10 Rounder, that’s 10 rounds, not 1.

Further, if a former boxer wants to go back to school, to earn a trade of a degree, he or she can apply to CSAC for an early distribution (although it won’t be as much as if the boxer waited until 50+).

Only boxers are eligible for the pension money. However, CSAC is now exploring expanding the pension fund into professional mixed martial arts, which it also regulates. Towards that end, a virtual stakeholders meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 at 9:00 p.m. ET (6:00 p.m. local time). The session will consist of:

  1. Chairman’s Opening Remarks.
  2. Discussion regarding expanding the Boxer’s Pension Fund to include MMA athletes.
  3. Discussion regarding preliminary information provided by Benefit Resources regarding a hypothetical MMA Pension Fund.
  4. ADJOURNMENT

Among a number of other topics, potential requirements for an MMA athlete to become “vested” will be presented, but given the differing nature of MMA vs. boxing rounds, it is expected that significantly less than 75 rounds will be required.

In accordance with the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act, all meetings of the Commission are open to the public. Webcast availability cannot, however, be guaranteed due to limited resources, and access may be limited to a finite number of individuals, to be accommodated on a first-come, first served basis. Interested parties are encouraged to reach out to Patrisha.Blackstock@dca.ca.gov.

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