Xflyer From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 39 posts, RR: 0 Posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 5134 times:
Delta has used the bankrupcy court to terminate only the pilots pension program. Recent Pension reform legislation would enable Delta to continue the pension with a slight correction to the language. Please join us in petitioning Congress for a change.
Subject: Petition to Save Our Pensions
Delta Air Lines has terminated its Pilot Pension Plan.
We ask you assistance in signing the following petition to Congress in an effort to save the pensions of all Delta Air Lines employees including pilots. Although the language is technical, we are just trying to get a date correction to the lump sum provision that Delta Air Lines has said prevents them from continuing the pilot pension plan. Forward this email to all your family and friends to allow them to add their name to the list. The list will be accumulated, sorted by state, and sent/and or hand delivered to members of Congress. The deadline for signing the petition is November 5, 2006. Please follow this link http://184.108.40.206/forms.nsf/petition?OpenForm to a web page that will allow you to add your name to the list. To add a spouse, return to the form and fill in again. To see the current List of Names on the Petition click http://220.127.116.11/forms.nsf/List?OpenPage The petition will be checked for bogus or duplicate entries.
This is no substitute for individually contacting your representatives and please continue to do so.
TO OUR ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES:
We the undersigned respectfully request your assistance in saving the pensions of all Delta employees, including pilots.
On August 4, 2006, Delta Air Lines petitioned the Bankruptcy Court for a Distress Termination of the Pilots Pension Plan. In a one hundred thirty page filing to the court, ninety nine pages are devoted to affidavits from company officials (Bastain, Coleman, McDaniel, and Watson) stating that the plan had to be terminated because of the resumption of lump sum payouts.
Recently passed Pension Reform legislation, HR 4, Public Law 109-280, contains language that requires Delta Air Lines to possibly resume lump sum payments from the Pilot Pension Plan. Section 103, "BENEFIT LIMITATIONS UNDER SINGLE-EMPLOYER PLANS." Per the Bill, the "EFFECTIVE DATES" of Sec 103 (c) (1), which is entitled "IN GENERAL. --" of the Amendments is for "plan years beginning after 31 December, 2007." Further, there is a "COLLECTIVE BARGAINING EXCEPTION. --" in Section 103 (c) (2) that says for CBAs reached prior to 1 January 2008, the section shall not apply until the termination date of the CBA, or 1/1/2010 if later.
A technical correction to the bill that would prohibit lump sum distributions immediately could possibly enable Delta Air Lines to meet their pension obligations. I urge you to join the other members of Congress to make a “Technical Correction” to the Pension Reform Bill and remove this discriminatory exception, or to add the phrase "Except for the Plans of companies that have declared bankruptcy," to the beginning of Section 103 (c) (1) and Section 103 (c) (2), thus making the Lump Sum suspension available immediately. Any suitable language to prevent resumption of lump sum payouts for under funded plans could save the pensions of thousands of Delta pilots.
Your assistance in correcting this provision is essential to the lives of many of your constituents and fellow Americans. Every effort should be made to ensure that Delta Air Lines lives up to their moral and contractual obligations to all employees as intended by Congress and the President.
On behalf of all Delta pilots, retirees, their families and friends, thank you for your efforts.
That is a link to a story on the pilots pension. The guy mentioned in the article walked away with a 1.2 MILLION dollar lump sum PLUS $6500 per month.
All of the other employees have had their pensions frozen. Meaning, nobody is building anything towards retirement except for the 401K. If you happened to be a 10-15 year employee when the plan was frozen, you can expect a big retirement check somewhere in the neighborhood of 800 bucks and that's before the social security offset kicks in.
I really don't think I'll be seeing any retired pilots standing on a street corner holding a cardboard sign.
Xflyer From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 39 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 5039 times:
If you read the story the monthly annuity is now zero. That is just one exaggerated example. I know one retired pilot who after 30+ years got no lump sum and is now getting $1600 a month for his hard earned retirement. Less than SS which he is not eligible for yet. Over 1400 of the retired pilots are getting a zero monthly check and many are getting so little they do not have enough to deduct their medical insurance and have to send money back to Delta. Who is next!!!
Positiverate From United States of America, joined May 2005, 1590 posts, RR: 9 Reply 3, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 5021 times:
Quoting Xflyer (Thread starter): Delta has used the bankrupcy court to terminate only the pilots pension program.
A termination that ALPA, DP3 (representing the retired pilots), and DP2 (another retired pilot group) agreed to. The evidence regarding the necessity of termination of the Pilot Plan was placed before the Bankruptcy Court, which on September 5, 2006, found and ruled that the Pilot Plan must be terminated for Delta to obtain exit financing, submit a feasible plan of reorganization, and continue in business outside the Chapter 11 process. At paragraph 2 of the Court’s Order (copy attached), the Court ruled:
“But for the termination of the Pilot Plan, [Delta] will be unable to (i) obtain exit financing that would allow them to emerge from bankruptcy, (ii) submit a feasible plan of reorganization that would satisfy the standards of section 1129 of the Bankruptcy Code, (iii) pay all of their debts pursuant to a plan of reorganization and (iv) continue in business outside of the Chapter 11 reorganization process.”
Before issuing its Order, the Court made the following findings:
“[T]he evidence and the arguments…were and are overwhelming that the company had no alternative in the interest of all concerned, probably including retirees, to take the step that they took.”
“[I]t would appear to me, based on the economics, to be a virtual certainty that [a very large] number would have found it in their inescapable economic interest to retire and take the lump sum; which, had it happened, could, and I believe the evidence was [it] almost certainly would, have resulted in economic prejudice to those who didn't get to the window before the window closed.”
ALPA had come to the conclusion that there is no alternative to Plan termination even before Delta did. As a result, ALPA agreed in April 2006 not to oppose the termination of the Pilot Plan. Later, in May 2006, an organization called DP3 which represents over half of Delta’s pilot retirees, also reached an agreement with Delta whereby it did not put in opposition to the termination.
Likewise in July 2006, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation stated its intention not to oppose Delta’s motion to the Court for approval of termination of the Plan. And finally, on September 5, 2006, another organization representing a smaller group of Delta pilot retirees, calling itself DP2, withdrew its opposition to the termination.
Quoting Xflyer (Thread starter): Recent Pension reform legislation would enable Delta to continue the pension with a slight correction to the language.
It's not as simple as that. The lump sum freeze was a general will of Congress provision to encourage companies to get out of the defined benefit world. It had nothing to do with the airline provisions in the bill. Further, the Delta pilot group is not the only collective bargaining unit in America with a lump sum. A change from 2010 to 2007 also effects the lump sums for every other collective bargaining unit (airlines, steel, autos, etc.) in the United States. I am quite sure that politically, no one wants to choose sides between the pilots and the workers in the sectors mentioned above.
As far as whether a change to 2007 could/would save the plan, who knows? Lump sums contributed to the severe underfunding of that Plan, and the imminent and future effects of the lump sum feature on Delta (financially and operationally) were the Pilot Plan to remain in effect. Since the early 90's Delta pilots have had the right to elect to take 50% of their pension benefits in a lump sum payment upon retirement. In many cases those lump sum payments have exceeded $1 million. The Non Pilot Plan does not have an equivalent lump sum feature.
Since 2001, the Pilot Plan has paid out approximately $2.5 billion in lump sums to approximately 3200 pilots who elected early retirement, severely draining the Plan of a substantial portion of its assets. As a result of the payment of past and future lump sums, the cost to Delta of retaining the Pilot Plan would substantially exceed $1 billion in the near term alone, and likely would exceed $2 billion in the next 5 years.
Delta does not have and could not obtain sufficient resources to cover those costs, repay its $2.2 billion debtor in possession financing, obtain new financing necessary to support its operations, and successfully emerge from bankruptcy as a viable company.
Quoting Xflyer (Reply 2): If you read the story the monthly annuity is now zero.
Quoting Xflyer (Reply 2): I know one retired pilot who after 30+ years got no lump sum and is now getting $1600 a month for his hard earned retirement.
This is because the PBGC and Delta havent yet agreed upong the final details of what DL will pay to the PBGC to take over the plan. This will be a combination of cash and stock warrants. Furthermore, the evidence in Court showed that more than 90% of recent pilot retirees have already received 50% of their total retirement benefits in a lump sum payment (which in many cases exceeded $1 million). As a result, even after Plan termination, the average annualized pension benefit for existing pilot retirees, taking into account the value of the lump sums already received, would be approximately $75,000. In contrast, the average retirement benefit of Delta’s existing non-pilot retirees is approximately $16,600.
In addition, should the Pilot Plan not be terminated, and should additional significant numbers of pilots retire and take large lump sums from the Plan (as Delta and the Court were convinced would happen), current pilot retirees could well be substantially worse off if the Plan were then subsequently terminated.
Actuaries have estimated that current pilot retirees will retain, on average, approximately 75% of their total qualified and non qualified pension benefits.
Fewsolarge From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 409 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 4983 times:
That's the risk of collective bargaining. It can work to your advantage sometimes ... to your disadvantage sometimes. Market forces will keep Delta's total pilot compensation from getting too far away from the competition on the high or the low end.
Xflyer From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 39 posts, RR: 0 Reply 6, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4835 times:
I will be my entire retirement annunity check that before it is over the rest of the employees will lose their retirement also. Delta did not go to bankruptcy just to come out with a pension liability. By the way the check is zero.
Xflyer From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 39 posts, RR: 0 Reply 7, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4783 times:
If Delta needs to terminate the retirement plans of pilots, why not the special bankruptcy proof packages of 33 executives, $65M. If the PBGC can look back 3 years to determine benefits why can't Delta. Why only the retired pilots, DALPA negotiated a package for active pilots. Management even highly compensated management retains their packages. Maybe only the retired pilots have no voice.
FlyingHippo From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 660 posts, RR: 1 Reply 8, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4762 times:
I just don't understand this pension thing... Maybe I'm relatively young and did not grow up in the world of pension plans... but do pilots save a part of their income towards their retirement? (401K, IRA, Municipal Bonds, etc etc...)
I'm 31 years old, been working for 8 years. My first company had a great pension plan, but later on they cancelled it (IBM). My current company just froze their pension plans as well... however, from Day 1 of my professional career, I've been contributing to my 401K, and my wife and I save a certain amount each pay check towards our retirement.
Pilots are very smart people... in order to become a pilot, one must go through the training as rigorous as training to become a doctor... Perhapse airlines should also have a financial planning advisor to help their employees on how to SAVE THEIR MONEY...
Perhapse that's why I do not have a lot of sympathy of those who do not have pensions anymore...
DALMD88 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 2442 posts, RR: 15 Reply 11, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 4698 times:
True, all accrued non-pilot pensions are safe. The problem is anyone with less than 15 years doesn't have much accrued. Sure we have our 401k without any of the matching funds from pre Chpt 11. They were all DL stock so are pretty worthless.
As for the pilot's 401k, due to IRS rules they were limited to the amount they could contribute each year. I'm not sure of the figure, but is lower than the 20 some percent rank and file can contribute.
FlyingHippo From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 660 posts, RR: 1 Reply 12, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 4685 times:
Quoting DALMD88 (Reply 11): As for the pilot's 401k, due to IRS rules they were limited to the amount they could contribute each year. I'm not sure of the figure, but is lower than the 20 some percent rank and file can contribute.
Yes, that is very true.... just like 99% of the companies in America. Some companies don't even have 401K programs.
Xflyer From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 39 posts, RR: 0 Reply 13, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 4658 times:
Pension is deferred compensation that is negotiated in lieu of pay. It was to be put in a fund for retirement. Unfortunately Delta did not contribute the required amount to the fund.
Sort of like you contribute for 30+ years to your savings account. At retirement you go to withdraw it and the bank says, "We can't afford it we are going to keep half of what we owe you." You call for the police (courts) and they say "well the bank cannot get financing to remain in business if they have to pay you so we are sorry." Oops, they didn't even say sorry. By the way the bank president and officers not only keep your savings but give themselves large bonuses and options. Aka United and US Air. That's business nowdays and unfortunately Delta is no different. No morals or integrity.
ArtieFufkin From United States of America, joined May 2006, 704 posts, RR: 0 Reply 14, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4639 times:
Hey pensions should have first priority in a bankruptcy. As you say it's a promise made by Mgt (indirectly by the owners) .
But that's just me. I'm a Democrat. Now proceed to the FEC website and search under "Delta Air" for campaign contributions. Wow! All those Delta pilots giving to the RNC. Because I guess the RNC is all about protecting workers?
Gigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16306 posts, RR: 87 Reply 15, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 4602 times:
Quoting DALMD88 (Reply 11):
As for the pilot's 401k, due to IRS rules they were limited to the amount they could contribute each year. I'm not sure of the figure, but is lower than the 20 some percent rank and file can contribute.
The IRS allows a certain amount. Historically, $13,000. Recently $14,000. Will go up to $15,000.
Likely, pilots need to be capped below 20 percent because they would overshoot that figure.
VV701 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 7039 posts, RR: 17 Reply 16, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 4575 times:
Quoting Positiverate (Reply 3): At paragraph 2 of the Court's Order (copy attached), the Court ruled:
"But for the termination of the Pilot Plan, [Delta] will be unable to (i) obtain exit financing that would allow them to emerge from bankruptcy, (ii) submit a feasible plan of reorganization that would satisfy the standards of section 1129 of the Bankruptcy Code, (iii) pay all of their debts pursuant to a plan of reorganization and (iv) continue in business outside of the Chapter 11 reorganization process."
To a European it is clear that DL should not emerge from Chapter 11 protection if, after reorganization, it cannot meet all its obligations or negotiate an alternative agreed solution with, in this case, its pilots. The US Courts ordering DL not to meet its financial obligations to its staff is one of the reasons that North American Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection is seen as creating a very unlevel playing field for European airlines.
Consider, for example, BA. It has a contributory pension plan for its staff. Originally BA was contributing around twice as much as their staff to the scheme - a fairly standard situation in the UK. However with a significant growth in life expectancy and decreasing investment returns, in recent years BA's pension contributions have been increased to five times that of their employees.
Despite this increase in contributions the actuarial deficit in the BA Pension Plan has been growing more and more rapidly. It is now calculated at £2.1 billion (US $ 3.9 billion). To meet the pension plan's current and forecast future obligations it is estimated that BA will have to further increase its contributions by a factor of 2.5 to around 12 times their employees contributions. Simplistically they have two other alternatives. One is to negotiate a change in the plan with current employees (such as an increase in retirement age or an increase in employee contributions). The other is to declare bankruptcy and go out of business.
While the current situation persists, however, Willie Walsh, BA CEO, has said that there will be no new BA aircraft orders.
So DL has the protection of the US Courts because it has lost an absolute fortune. And the court has said they can ditch their pension responsibilities because, as the Judge points out, they cannot otherwise emerge from bankruptcy. On the other hand BA, who last year were the world's most profitable passenger airline, cannot ditch their pension scheme under any circumstances not willingly agreed by their staff. And the current deficit in the BA pension plan is preventing them from ordering new aircraft.
So as I see it today DL pilots are being ordered by the Court to subsidise DL's management. This subsidy will enable them to expand the airline's international operations. This is preferable to even maintaining their domestic operations as their domestic competition can seek the same protection from the US Courts while their international competition cannot obtain any bankruptcy protection. This gives them a significant and totally unjustifiable competitive advantage.
The US court is also favouring the bankrupt DL over the non-bankrupt Boeing. Making the order will increase competition by lowering DL's cost base. So any BA 748 or 787 order may be further postponed or perhaps cancelled to the detriment of Boeing employees.
The 20% figure is likely due to the specific plan at DL, not the more general IRS rule. The IRS requires plans to meet some standard of fairness, such that highly-paid employees don't use the plan to avoid taxes while employees making small wages see little benefit.
A couple of examples:
(1) A prior employer capped all of us at 12%. I asked them to remove the percentage so that I could contribute the maximum dollar value permitted by law, but they refused to resubmit the plan.
(2) A buddy of mine works for a $200MM/year restaurant chain based in Columbus. You are not eligible for 401(k) enrollment until a full year after employment. Why? The vast majority of their employees are waitstaff, for which the turnover value is well over 50% annually. Transient employees don't tend to use the plan anyway, so in order to meet the fairness standards, the restaurant requires the waiting period. The reasoning is that if you stick around a year, you're a real employee, but even then only some of the more stable waitstaff actually use the plan.
If it's true that the pilots are 87% covered, then only those pilots who aren't on retirement's threshold have a chance to take care of themselves, right?
Christianity. Islam. Hinduism. Anthropogenic Global Warming. All are matters of faith!
AirCanada014 From Canada, joined Oct 2005, 1501 posts, RR: 0 Reply 18, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 4490 times:
Thats one airline you don't want to apply for a job if they can't offer pension plan Good thing AC haven't terminate their pension plan. I think CO is the other airline still have pension plans for their employees?.
Xflyer From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 39 posts, RR: 0 Reply 19, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 4465 times:
Many lost 50% of their retirement including the lump sum. Most will lose between 30-50% of their retirement. Many who retired early are in the 55-60 age range, pay all their medical expenses, and have difficultly getting rehired despite vast experience. Coupons were sent out to pay medical and other deductions to many because the remaining pay is insufficient to cover those items. ONLY RETIRED PILOTS LOST THEIR PENSION, no one else in the company.
DL1011 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 386 posts, RR: 2 Reply 20, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 4431 times:
"ONLY RETIRED PILOTS LOST THEIR PENSION, no one else in the company."
Once again, the pilots union AGREED to not fight the pension termination. Go bitch to your union.
None of the employee's are accruing pension benefits right now. The defined benefit pension is dead. The cash balance plan is dead. The 401K match is gone. Everybody lost except Leo and Burns and the other thieves.
Once again, while the non-pilot pensions have not been turned over to the PBGC (yet), the plans are frozen and nobody is accruing any more towards retirement.
I hate to sound uncaring but I really don't care if the pilots lost their retirements. They had the lump sum option and years of big paychecks. There is no reason at all why they didn't take 10% of their paycheck and invest it for retirement JUST IN CASE something happened to DL. It's not like the industry has never screwed over their employee's.
Gigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16306 posts, RR: 87 Reply 21, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 4426 times:
Quoting ContnlEliteCMH (Reply 17): The IRS requires plans to meet some standard of fairness, such that highly-paid employees don't use the plan to avoid taxes while employees making small wages see little benefit.
This is also generally more true of plans that provide matching, since higher dollar value employees would then benefit more from the match.
My company lets us contribute up to 100% of our salary, even though our company-wide median salary is $93,000. For people with dual incomes that can live the first few months of the year with one paycheck, or single folks that can skip a few due to budgeting or savings, you get your money in the market and earning much more quickly.
Positiverate From United States of America, joined May 2005, 1590 posts, RR: 9 Reply 22, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 4417 times:
Quoting Xflyer (Reply 19): ONLY RETIRED PILOTS LOST THEIR PENSION, no one else in the company.
And, again, this is a point you keep making. And, again, people keep telling you that ALPA, acting on the active pilots behalf, and DP2 and DP3 acting on the retired pilots behalf, negotiated this termination and signed off on it. What are you missing here?
Xflyer From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 39 posts, RR: 0 Reply 23, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 4398 times:
ALPA has said they do not and will not represent retired pilots. DP3 represented 2800 of 5800 pilots and the bankruptcy court decided to make it binding on all. 3000 pilots were never given the time to object or make their voices heard. DP2 was supported by 68 pilots and did not have the resources to fight. Maybe I should not have supported the legislation that saved the pensions of all the other employees.
Surfdog75 From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 319 posts, RR: 0 Reply 24, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 4389 times:
There's no doubt that the pilots provided the lion's share of the funding to keep this operation afloat. It's unfortunate and unethical that someone's retirement should ever be in question once they have stopped working. A freeze of current assets is the worst that should happen to any active employee. Employee obligations should be non-negotiable.
25 Supa7E7: Why should retired employees have a voice in a company? Management may be greedy. Maybe they did not deserve $65M in pensions, but they negotiated wi
26 VV701: They should not. But they clearly should have a voice in any pension plan of which they are a member.
27 Positiverate: Again, DP3 represented you. You should complain to them, not the company or to an internet board. AH, the old "if I can't have ny retirement then nob
28 Xflyer: DP3 did not represent anyone except their self interest and line the pockets of their incompetent lawyers. DP3 did not represent 3000 pilots. All we a
29 ScarletHarlot: No sir, this is not correct. For most of its lifetime Delta's pension plans were very well funded. In fact, Delta had a seven year (if I remember cor
30 Xflyer: [/quote] Did you know, sir, that for years Delta's pilots and pilots' union refused to obey plan requirements? In the contract it was stated that the
31 ScarletHarlot: Here is something to understand. Delta's pilots' pension benefits were large enough that they exceeded regulatory limits. Only the amount up to the l
32 Bucky707: If it was a part of the contract, tell me then, how did pilots manage to retire with less than 30 days notice? You think the company just decided to
33 Positiverate: But that is NOT what you're asking for. You're asking for the lump sum freezes in the bill to kick in on date of enactment. That's a non-starter beca
34 Xflyer: That is exactly what we are asking for. Wording could be for lump sum freeze for any company in bankruptcy. Wording could be specific to Delta if nec
35 ScarletHarlot: It was a combination of union stubbornness, Delta's leniency, and a bad precedent set. When times were good, it wasn't a big deal and Delta allowed t
36 Bucky707: You claim to be involved so I won't argue too much. But, I looked through every contract and or side letter we have had since 2000. I cannot find one
37 ScarletHarlot: Thanks. It is my understanding from my Delta friends that it was in the pilots' contract but it is certainly possible that I misunderstood. This is t
38 Xflyer: Glad the facts did not keep you from expressing your opinions.
39 ScarletHarlot: You are correct, I spoke too soon and too strongly on this item. I apologize.