NFL referees demand annuitiesBlog added by Joe Simonds on October 4, 2012
Joe Simonds

Joe Simonds

Atlanta, GA

Joined: January 24, 2011

After a much publicized NFL referee lock out, football fans have learned two things: 1) that the job of an NFL ref is actually pretty tough, and they aren’t as easily replaceable as many thought they would be; and 2) that referees are much smarter than many give them credit for, as they risked their current paychecks to get an annuity (pension).

After having to watch three weeks of blown calls, bad call, no calls and reversed calls, we can get back to some form of consistency with the refs in the NFL. Although many people across the country are excited, gamblers and Vegas sports books are among those most happy with the change.

After the botched Green Bay call, I saw that an estimated $150 million had shifted hands in that game alone. One hundred and fifty million! So this goes much further than just a couple of ticked off fans who have to drive home in a sour mood because their team didn’t win. We are talking about millions of dollars per game, just in just gambling. Not to mention, it's nice for players, coaches and team owners to know that they will have a fairly called game.

Speaking of millions of dollars, let’s take the discussion back to why all of this happened in the first place. The ever-so-wise NFL refs wanted pensions, also known as a form of an annuity. And get this, they were fighting to preserve their current pensions for the next five years, before their attractive retirement plans will turn into 401(k)s (once the five-year period is up).

The NFL was battling the referee labor union over $3.3 million per year in pension payouts, which is only $103,000 per team (in a $9 billion industry). After three weeks of holding out, the refs ended up getting the pensions they demanded, and the fans, players, gamblers and owners all got their refs back.

To summarize, most of the country witnessed firsthand how the gentleman in zebra stripes have a gift for smart calls, razor-sharp instincts, and unbiased decisions that we desperately missed for three weeks. Moreover, these same wise mediators have let the country know that a 401(k) is not only inferior to a pension annuity, but it is even worth risking your full time job for. Talk about the power of annuities!
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