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View Full Version : Early Retirement


PasserOGas
07-08-2018, 04:27 PM
Literally every other airline in our peer set including Hawaiian and Alaska get access to the company's medical insurance when you retire before 65.

What does our sub standard TA have? Nada. Nothing. Zip.

At Jetblue you will work to 65 or Long term disability unless your spouse works else you risk health care will eating up all your savings.

For the junior guys, this means much slower movement as everyone hangs on to the end. Huge huge problem.

Yet another far, far below market rate section of this terrible TA.


seekingblue
07-08-2018, 05:28 PM
It's not a terrible TA. It's a market rate TA. Yes, I wish some pieces were improved, but the TA is very middle of the road with our peerset.

1) scheduling section is industry leading.

2) implementation LOA blows.

3) insurance is codified where it is.

Let's not use hyperbole. This is a decent TA that gets us huge wins in some areas and other areas are codified with what we have now. If you want to vote no, then vote no. But don't call it terrible. Lots of improvement over what we have now. Especially the scheduling section.

Tom a Hawk
07-08-2018, 06:29 PM
It's not a terrible TA. It's a market rate TA. Yes, I wish some pieces were improved, but the TA is very middle of the road with our peerset.

1) scheduling section is industry leading.

2) implementation LOA blows.

3) insurance is codified where it is.

Let's not use hyperbole. This is a decent TA that gets us huge wins in some areas and other areas are codified with what we have now. If you want to vote no, then vote no. But don't call it terrible. Lots of improvement over what we have now. Especially the scheduling section.

And some other areas are decreases from what we have now. PTO system is worth less and less flexible. Forced vacation. Loss of UTS. Loss of 75% of OE trips.

Yes there are some great things in it. But please donít pretend this TA is what we have now and better.


PasserOGas
07-08-2018, 07:18 PM
It's not a terrible TA. It's a market rate TA. Yes, I wish some pieces were improved, but the TA is very middle of the road with our peerset.

1) scheduling section is industry leading.

2) implementation LOA blows.

3) insurance is codified where it is.

Let's not use hyperbole. This is a decent TA that gets us huge wins in some areas and other areas are codified with what we have now. If you want to vote no, then vote no. But don't call it terrible. Lots of improvement over what we have now. Especially the scheduling section.

It is not hyperbole. It is behind our peers in almost every section, and very, very far behind in some such as this one.

1 Scheduling and scope are more or less market rate.

2. Everything else isn't.

3. Insurance is codefied where it is. Well below market rate. Again. Like most of the TA.

jtrain609
07-08-2018, 08:41 PM
This is what VEBA is for. You'd know that if you had done a minimal amount of research.

Softpayman
07-09-2018, 02:04 AM
And some other areas are decreases from what we have now. PTO system is worth less and less flexible. Forced vacation. Loss of UTS. Loss of 75% of OE trips.

Yes there are some great things in it. But please donít pretend this TA is what we have now and better.

Forced vacation which you can work over. And letís not forget why it is that way. Theyíre alloting a massive amount of new vacation weeks that the vast majority of us never had available To us.

The current vacation system benefitted a minority. Thatís not how vacation is supposed to work!

PasserOGas
07-09-2018, 04:41 AM
This is what VEBA is for. You'd know that if you had done a minimal amount of research.

VEBA? You mean the trust worth anywhere from $20-$40k at retirement? The same VEBA that UAL has ON TOP of access to the company medical if retiring early?

How long will that, (being generous) $40k last paying for Obamacare (if it still exists), or private insurance? A year? Two? I hope you or your wife don't have preexisting conditions at age 60. :eek:

The VEBA trust is designed with Medicare in mind. It isn't a replacement for the company plan. That is why our peers with VEBA trusts ALSO get access to the company plan before Medicare kicks in.

You should do your homework. This TA is abysmal.

Bluedriver
07-09-2018, 04:57 AM
VEBA? You mean the trust worth anywhere from $20-$40k at retirement? The same VEBA that UAL has ON TOP of access to the company medical if retiring early?

How long will that, (being generous) $40k last paying for Obamacare (if it still exists), or private insurance? A year? Two? I hope you or your wife don't have preexisting conditions at age 60. :eek:

The VEBA trust is designed with Medicare in mind. It isn't a replacement for the company plan. That is why our peers with VEBA trusts ALSO get access to the company plan before Medicare kicks in.

You should do your homework. This TA is abysmal.

All true regarding healthcare.

jtrain609
07-09-2018, 05:23 AM
VEBA? You mean the trust worth anywhere from $20-$40k at retirement? The same VEBA that UAL has ON TOP of access to the company medical if retiring early?

How long will that, (being generous) $40k last paying for Obamacare (if it still exists), or private insurance? A year? Two? I hope you or your wife don't have preexisting conditions at age 60. :eek:

The VEBA trust is designed with Medicare in mind. It isn't a replacement for the company plan. That is why our peers with VEBA trusts ALSO get access to the company plan before Medicare kicks in.

You should do your homework. This TA is abysmal.

Yes, that's the number of dollars contributed, but it's an investment account. If it doesn't grow it means you've got it tied up in a money market account.

And yes, the purpose is to bridge the gap in to medicare.

Tom a Hawk
07-09-2018, 05:57 AM
Forced vacation which you can work over. And letís not forget why it is that way. Theyíre alloting a massive amount of new vacation weeks that the vast majority of us never had available To us.

The current vacation system benefitted a minority. Thatís not how vacation is supposed to work!

And it still will benefit the minority. Youíre not getting a summer vacation if youíre below 30%. So a few more pilots who are senior enough to bid off what they need each month will now also get summer vacation and everybody else gets a system that does less for them than before. Great.

Blue Dude
07-09-2018, 06:13 AM
Yes, that's the number of dollars contributed, but it's an investment account. If it doesn't grow it means you've got it tied up in a money market account.

And yes, the purpose is to bridge the gap in to medicare.

It means who has it tied up in a money market account? We will have no control over the VEBA. Even if it grows wildly, and we get the company to put in the maximum amount possible, I'll need it in 10 years to bridge to Medicare for 5 years, meaning only 9 years of contributions. If there's a preexisting condition, I won't be able to acquire coverage for anything close to active rates, which is what pretty much every other carrier provides, so I won't be able to afford to retire only because of medical coverage I couldn't afford to drop.

That's not market rate, and it's unacceptable.

Bozo the pilot
07-09-2018, 06:18 AM
It means who has it tied up in a money market account? We will have no control over the VEBA. Even if it grows wildly, and we get the company to put in the maximum amount possible, I'll need it in 10 years to bridge to Medicare for 5 years, meaning only 9 years of contributions. If there's a preexisting condition, I won't be able to acquire coverage for anything close to active rates, which is what pretty much every other carrier provides, so I won't be able to afford to retire only because of medical coverage I couldn't afford to drop.

That's not market rate, and it's unacceptable.

You're right, not every airline has VEBA. So its not market rate...
it's _______ market rate.

todd1200
07-09-2018, 06:19 AM
And it still will benefit the minority. Youíre not getting a summer vacation if youíre below 30%. So a few more pilots who are senior enough to bid off what they need each month will now also get summer vacation and everybody else gets a system that does less for them than before. Great.

30% makes sense if we donít use round bidding and if no one senior wants Christmas or Thanksgiving, but under the TA, they would be allocating a 2, 3, or 4 weekís for each pilot and weíre only bidding 2 weeks per round. Also, since our weeks are worth 35 hours, you only need one week to get half a month off. I think that means summer vacations would go a lot deeper than 30%.

todd1200
07-09-2018, 06:32 AM
You're right, not every airline has VEBA. So its not market rate...
it's _______ market rate.

Exactly. I think you have to ignore a lot of stuff in the TA to actually believe itís not market rate. Weíre behind in some areas, ahead in others. If the areas weíre behind in are more important to someone personally than the areas weíre ahead in, then I guess I understand voting ďnoĒ, but I just donít get the mentality of pretending that any gains we got donít matter and we need to signal our virtue with our righteous indignation.

Blue Dude
07-09-2018, 06:35 AM
You're right, not every airline has VEBA. So its not market rate...
it's _______ market rate.

The VEBA is not a substitute for years of coverage at active rates, period. The math just doesn't work. The VEBA isn't bad as an alternative to getting 401k spillover in cash, but it is insufficient for full pre-Medicare medical insurance. That's why most other airlines provide their pre-Medicare retirees with company insurance at active rates. Which we don't have. Not. Market. Rate.

Mattio
07-09-2018, 07:05 AM
This is what VEBA is for. You'd know that if you had done a minimal amount of research.

What about the guys that are already up there in age? They won't have enough time to earn VEBA in order to retire earlier...

PasserOGas
07-09-2018, 07:15 AM
Yes, that's the number of dollars contributed, but it's an investment account. If it doesn't grow it means you've got it tied up in a money market account.

And yes, the purpose is to bridge the gap in to medicare.


No, it is not. Maybe that is what you will try to use it for, but it is there to assist in Medicare costs. It will not be a large enough account to fund medical expenses (especially for an older couple).

Again, of the airlines that have a VEBA, (including fellow "Tier 2" airline Hawaiian) which one does not have access to the company plan pre Medicare? I will wait.

Below market rate TA and then some.

Softpayman
07-09-2018, 07:19 AM
30% makes sense if we donít use round bidding and if no one senior wants Christmas or Thanksgiving, but under the TA, they would be allocating a 2, 3, or 4 weekís for each pilot and weíre only bidding 2 weeks per round. Also, since our weeks are worth 35 hours, you only need one week to get half a month off. I think that means summer vacations would go a lot deeper than 30%.

Exactly. 35 hours gets you 20 days off for the month and with the rounds you wonít need to be top 30% any more.

Definitely market rate, I like the setup.

Tom a Hawk
07-09-2018, 07:43 AM
30% makes sense if we donít use round bidding and if no one senior wants Christmas or Thanksgiving, but under the TA, they would be allocating a 2, 3, or 4 weekís for each pilot and weíre only bidding 2 weeks per round. Also, since our weeks are worth 35 hours, you only need one week to get half a month off. I think that means summer vacations would go a lot deeper than 30%.

All right, Iíll show my work. JFK E90 FO for example, with 114 pilots and only 10 of them here more than 10 years. So letís say 104 get two weeks allocated and 10 get 3 weeks. 238 total. The company decides 6% per month in June July and December, 7% per month in August and November. That means there are 16 weeks available in both June and July, 20 in August, 5 weeks available over thanksgiving and 4 weeks available over Christmas. 61 total for ďdesirableĒ vacation periods. First round each pilot bids 2 weeks so the top 31 pilots could take all of them. Thatís 27%. And yes a few will pick some other weeks in the year so thatís why I estimate 30%. If someone else would like to run numbers for a bid category with more longevity, feel free.

hyperboy
07-09-2018, 09:04 AM
What about the guys that are already up there in age? They won't have enough time to earn VEBA in order to retire earlier...


What about if I would have joined the Army instead of the Navy?


Nightmare.:)

Std Deviation
07-09-2018, 11:40 AM
What about the guys that are already up there in age? They won't have enough time to earn VEBA in order to retire earlier...

I guess it means people will have to exercise personal fiscal responsibility in planning for their own retirement rather than hoping for the government or a private employer to take care of them?

Blue Dude
07-09-2018, 12:20 PM
I guess it means people will have to exercise personal fiscal responsibility in planning for their own retirement rather than hoping for the government or a private employer to take care of them?

So... bargaining for retiree medical as an employee benefit is out of the question then? I'm curious what your solution to perhaps being uninsurable at age 60 might be, other than simply working or remaining on disability until retirement age. Seems to me that enabling pilots to leave early is in everyone's best interest, including yours.

hilltopflyer
07-09-2018, 12:29 PM
My retirement plan is just to go
On disability at 55 and ride out the golden years. Kidding.

Mattio
07-09-2018, 12:38 PM
So... bargaining for retiree medical as an employee benefit is out of the question then? I'm curious what your solution to perhaps being uninsurable at age 60 might be, other than simply working or remaining on disability until retirement age. Seems to me that enabling pilots to leave early is in everyone's best interest, including yours.

Well said, Blue Dude

Std Deviation
07-09-2018, 01:37 PM
So... bargaining for retiree medical as an employee benefit is out of the question then? I'm curious what your solution to perhaps being uninsurable at age 60 might be, other than simply working or remaining on disability until retirement age. Seems to me that enabling pilots to leave early is in everyone's best interest, including yours.

Look across the board at Fortune 500 retiree medical benefits. They donít exist anymore. As an aside, before the 65 rule kicked in, the 60 yr old retired airline pilot pulled his oxygen tank into the simulator at FlightSafety and fell asleep for 5 yrs until Medicare kicked in at 65(true story, I was a program manager there.) So they retired a millionaire but went back to work for medical benefits then?? Really? Couldnít get that in the budget between the boats huh?

Hereís a novel concept - YOU save for your own early retirement and buy supplemental insurance before youíre ďuninsurable.Ē So what youíre saying is you want to tap out early and have your former employer pay for it until you can get on government assistance at 65? You can try and negotiate for whatever you want but thatís not a benefit companies are willing to pay for anymore. I also say this as a business owner that signs the front of the check and not the back. Thereís a great book that explains how corporations raided retirement accounts: The Retirement Heist.

Weíd be better served negotiating other benefits outside of retiree healthcare.

Blue Dude
07-09-2018, 01:52 PM
Look across the board at Fortune 500 retiree medical benefits. They donít exist anymore. As an aside, before the 65 rule kicked in, the 60 yr old retired airline pilot pulled his oxygen tank into the simulator at FlightSafety and fell asleep for 5 yrs until Medicare kicked in at 65(true story, I was a program manager there.) So they retired a millionaire but went back to work for medical benefits then?? Really? Couldnít get that in the budget between the boats huh?

Hereís a novel concept - YOU save for your own early retirement and buy supplemental insurance before youíre ďuninsurable.Ē So what youíre saying is you want to tap out early and have your former employer pay for it until you can get on government assistance at 65? You can try and negotiate for whatever you want but thatís not a benefit companies are willing to pay for anymore. I also say this as a business owner that signs the front of the check and not the back. Thereís a great book that explains how corporations raided retirement accounts: The Retirement Heist.

Weíd be better served negotiating other benefits outside of retiree healthcare.

I'm looking across the board at all other major airlines, not Fortune 500 companies. This is a standard benefit across the industry. It's actually in the company's best interest to encourage their most expensive employees to leave early, and for only the cost of remaining in the active insurance pool until age 65. I don't want them to fund a pension that could be raided, nor is it reasonable for me to buy insurance early that I don't actually need, just in case I won't be insurable later. I simply want a standard benefit. Of all the airlines in the contract comparison guide, only JetBlue and Spirit don't offer it. That's not acceptable.

kingzing
07-10-2018, 06:16 PM
VEBA? You mean the trust worth anywhere from $20-$40k at retirement?

This seems wrong. If my assumptions are correct- If you max out your contribution of 18500 to your 401k and you make around 245k ish that the TA gives you 15% on you're at the 55k max contribution limit. Any amount over that will spill over into your veba. So if you make 300k and max out your personal contribution you'll get approx $8250 into your VEBA that year.

Am I missing something? Do this over 15-20 years and that's pretty decent money in a tax advantaged account.

PasserOGas
07-10-2018, 06:41 PM
This seems wrong. If my assumptions are correct- If you max out your contribution of 18500 to your 401k and you make around 245k ish that the TA gives you 15% on you're at the 55k max contribution limit. Any amount over that will spill over into your veba. So if you make 300k and max out your personal contribution you'll get approx $8250 into your VEBA that year.

Am I missing something? Do this over 15-20 years and that's pretty decent money in a tax advantaged account.

The "spill over" amount is YOUR MONEY. It's money that, but for the VEBA would have been returned to you, albeit taxed. Everyone with a high enough income to max out the 401k limits receives it. So putting into the VEBA, while perhaps smart because of tax advantages actually hurts your take home pay.

The only company money is the $1/hr of credit.

Blue Dude
07-10-2018, 06:58 PM
Not to mention that you'd need 15 to 20 years of build before early retirement for the VEBA to make much of a difference. This means that when the big retirement wave hits (2030 to 2036), it'll be too soon to enable most to retire earlier than a year or two. With retiree medical, they could start leaving from 2025 to 2031 and fund their existing medical insurance with the VEBA. Instead, they will dependent on their personal situation and the vagarities of the medical insurance marketplace, whatever that looks like by then. If they're able to get adequate insurance at all, there's no telling whether the VEBA will be enough to cover it. It would almost certainly cover at least the premiums at active rates for a few years, and there would be no concern with preexisting conditions, or changing doctors and existing treatments.

Tom a Hawk
07-11-2018, 04:43 AM
Not to mention that you'd need 15 to 20 years of build before early retirement for the VEBA to make much of a difference. This means that when the big retirement wave hits (2030 to 2036), it'll be too soon to enable most to retire earlier than a year or two. With retiree medical, they could start leaving from 2025 to 2031 and fund their existing medical insurance with the VEBA. Instead, they will dependent on their personal situation and the vagarities of the medical insurance marketplace, whatever that looks like by then. If they're able to get adequate insurance at all, there's no telling whether the VEBA will be enough to cover it. It would almost certainly cover at least the premiums at active rates for a few years, and there would be no concern with preexisting conditions, or changing doctors and existing treatments.

Look dude, if you want to retire earlier than everybody else you have to do MORE than everybody else. Thereís plenty between the 15% 401k, veba, and high income potential to max your savings and peace out at 59 1/2 IF youíre willing to do the work. That includes figuring out stuff like healthcare, paying off your mortgage, kids college, etc.
This isnít the only mountain you have to climb to retire early. If it were easy, everybody would do it

PasserOGas
07-11-2018, 05:51 AM
Look dude, if you want to retire earlier than everybody else you have to do MORE than everybody else. Thereís plenty between the 15% 401k, veba, and high income potential to max your savings and peace out at 59 1/2 IF youíre willing to do the work. That includes figuring out stuff like healthcare, paying off your mortgage, kids college, etc.
This isnít the only mountain you have to climb to retire early. If it were easy, everybody would do it

It is the only mountain that all of our peers don't have to climb, but we do.

*Edit Actually the are many of these mountains in the TA, but you get my point.

kingzing
07-11-2018, 06:56 AM
The "spill over" amount is YOUR MONEY. It's money that, but for the VEBA would have been returned to you, albeit taxed.

My opinion only...but thereís no reason that almost all captains here should not be maxing out their retirement contributions. Saving YOUR money now in a tax advantaged account with the VEBA is an excellent way to start preparing for retirement. The alternative is you getting that money backlight 33percent less and maybe reinvesting it in the same **** and getting taxed again when you pull it out. If you plan on living past 75 you need to fund these costs anyway so why not prepare?

Blue Dude
07-11-2018, 08:04 AM
Look dude, if you want to retire earlier than everybody else you have to do MORE than everybody else. Thereís plenty between the 15% 401k, veba, and high income potential to max your savings and peace out at 59 1/2 IF youíre willing to do the work. That includes figuring out stuff like healthcare, paying off your mortgage, kids college, etc.
This isnít the only mountain you have to climb to retire early. If it were easy, everybody would do it

POG said it already, but it's the only mountain we have to climb that all of our peers don't have to. The rest can be planned for. Healthcare insurance is such a mess that there's no way to plan for it this far out, only pile up a bunch of money and hope for the best. That's not much of a plan.

Bluedriver
07-11-2018, 08:18 AM
Look dude, if you want to retire earlier than everybody else you have to do MORE than everybody else. Thereís plenty between the 15% 401k, veba, and high income potential to max your savings and peace out at 59 1/2 IF youíre willing to do the work. That includes figuring out stuff like healthcare, paying off your mortgage, kids college, etc.
This isnít the only mountain you have to climb to retire early. If it were easy, everybody would do it

I have to agree with the others. While you are correct that if you want to retire early, you should save more in preparation, the other side of the argument is that OUR PEERS, specifically MAJOR AIRLINE pilots normally have access to the company's group Healthcare plan at active rates when they retire early. We are an outlier. So, JB pilots have to do a lot more "personal responsibility" CULTure than our DIRECT peers.

Negotiating EVERYTHING at once, from scratch, is a heavy lift, especially when you have a ruthless "caring" employer as we do. So this will probably have to be addressed in the next contract cycle, along with OE pairings and Gate Agent Profit Sharing and Gate Agent Healthcare, and pathetic COLA and the rest.

Tom a Hawk
07-11-2018, 12:18 PM
Literally every other airline in our peer set including Hawaiian and Alaska get access to the company's medical insurance when you retire before 65.

What does our sub standard TA have? Nada. Nothing. Zip.

At Jetblue you will work to 65 or Long term disability unless your spouse works else you risk health care will eating up all your savings.

For the junior guys, this means much slower movement as everyone hangs on to the end. Huge huge problem.

Yet another far, far below market rate section of this terrible TA.


All right, Iíll retract and join yallís club if somebody can help me out with some documentation. Iím having trouble finding this in the contract comparison, because if ďliterally allĒ of our peers get something we donít, alpa obviously isnít going to highlight it.

Iíve always had the goal to be ABLE to retire at 55 because 30 years in this industry is plenty. If itís still working for me, and I can make it close to part time I might continue longer. My mom is out at 59 and 11/12ths next month and dad is 60 and working because he WANTS to. They didnít do it through reliance on company benefits. They did it through admittedly high income but living well below that and figuring out these hurdles. Iím not interested in relying on company programs to secure my future in every area. Thatís why 401k and Veba are so appealing.

Blue Dude
07-11-2018, 01:08 PM
Latest contract comparison, pages 69 and 70, "RETIREE MEDICAL". Benefit, Pre-Med: Same plan as actives.

It's all there.

expectholding
07-11-2018, 01:38 PM
I also asked about this issue, and its not active HC rates.

Pilots that pay 100% of the cost of medical when retiring early:
American
Southwest
Spirit
Delta (unless in the DPMP - which less than 10% of their pilots are - they pay 51%. 51% of the cost of that plan is almost as much as the full cost of the other plans)

Pilots that pay a portion of the cost of medical when retiring early:
Alaska: 50% of the cost
United: 40-80% of the cost depending on years of service.

Pilots that pay active healthcare rates:
Hawaiian

But I'm guessing you don't want Hawaiian pay rates. :)

Blue Dude
07-11-2018, 01:57 PM
Good info! At least these pilots have the option, which may be preferable to shopping on the open market. I'm just as concerned with insurability as I am with the premium. You can always plan to allocate more funds. It's difficult to plan if you can't be sure you'll have any coverage at all.

PasserOGas
07-11-2018, 08:03 PM
I also asked about this issue, and its not active HC rates.

Pilots that pay 100% of the cost of medical when retiring early:
American
Southwest
Spirit
Delta (unless in the DPMP - which less than 10% of their pilots are - they pay 51%. 51% of the cost of that plan is almost as much as the full cost of the other plans)

Pilots that pay a portion of the cost of medical when retiring early:
Alaska: 50% of the cost
United: 40-80% of the cost depending on years of service.

Pilots that pay active healthcare rates:
Hawaiian

But I'm guessing you don't want Hawaiian pay rates. :)


OK, you need to explain what you mean by 100%. True that some of the early retiree plans differ from the active pilot plan, but none of them are literally no health insurance.

I for one would love more details.

Bluedriver
07-12-2018, 10:13 PM
OK, you need to explain what you mean by 100%. True that some of the early retiree plans differ from the active pilot plan, but none of them are literally no health insurance.

I for one would love more details.

Paying 100% of the airlines GROUP PLAN when 60-64 years of age is still MUCH better than going onto the open market and buying an individual plan for an AARP eligible couple....