The compromise that was struck, according to an announcement by the league about the terms of the deal, would keep the pension plan in place for current officials for five years through the 2016 season, at which point it will be frozen. Newly hired officials will be given 401(k) retirement plans, as will all officials beginning in 2017.
The league also sought during the negotiations to make some officials full-time employees and to increase the overall number of officials to enhance its ability to replace those officials that it considers to be underperforming.
The deal, according to the NFL’s announcement, allows the league to make some officials full-time employees beginning in 2013. It also allows the league to hire additional officials for training and development, and gives the NFL the ability to assign those officials to work games. The league’s announcement said it could determine the number of newly hired officials. There currently are 121 officials.