Pension Contention Stalling End to NHL Lockout

January 3, 2013 ( – It is believed that the issue of pensions is holding up an agreement between the National Hockey League (NHL) and the players’ association.

According to the Associated Press, the NHL proposed in its first offer that pension contributions come out of the players’ share of revenues, and $50 million of the league’s make-whole payment of $300 million will be allocated and set aside to fund potential underfunding liabilities of the plan at the end of the collective bargaining agreement.  

The AP noted that last month, the NHL agreed to raise its make-whole offer of deferred payments from $211 million to $300 million as part of a proposed package that required the union to agree on three nonnegotiable points. Instead, the players’ association accepted the raise in funds, but then made counterproposals on the issues the league said were nonnegotiable.  

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has said a deal must be reached by January 11 for a season to be played.