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.

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.