Pension Battle Affecting NFL Games

September 18, 2012 ( – You may have realized during the weekend and Monday night that the National Football League (NFL) was using replacement officials.

By Rebecca Moore | September 18, 2012

Several coaches, players and fans thought these referees were making questionable calls. The problem: pensions. NFL officials are on strike in a protest against the league’s proposal to change their retirement plan.  

A memo obtained by the Los Angeles Times reveals the last negotiations took place September 1, and the NFL offered to add $1 million annually to total compensation over seven years contingent on officials freezing and terminating the existing defined benefit pension plan and moving immediately to a 401(k) plan. The officials countered by offering to reduce their overall compensation by $1 million over five years, if the league would negotiate about the union's retirement-benefits demand and other issues.  

The talks quickly broke down and the sides walked away from the table, the newspaper reported.