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Old 11-04-2006, 11:02 AM   #1  
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Joined APC: Jul 2006
Posts: 73
Default We Can Make A Valiant Effort to Save the DAL Pension Plan

There is something you can do.

There is a chance (abet a small one) that we can restore the old pension plan at Delta. This would not only benefit the retired pilots, it would be a great boon for the active pilots by returning to the old pension plan. (without lump sums but still getting the full retirement benefit). There is a group of retired pilots that have filed an appeal to the termination. In addition, we are asking pilots and others who have an interest to contact their legislators to "fine tune" the 2006 Pension reform Act, known as Public Law 109-280

A quote from a recent e-mail:
"Could you please inform the active pilots that the pension plan HAS NOT been terminated yet? Most seem to think it has and therefore it is gone. It probably will go, but until then the only thing that has happened is the judge has ruled that Delta meets the requirements for a distress termination. The PBGC is the only entity that can terminate the plan, and they have not as of yet. As a matter of fact, they are appealing certain aspects of Delta's filing. This is why many retired pilots are behind Will Buergey's objection to the termination, and we would like to invite any active pilots who want to fight plan termination to join in with us."
You may contact Will Buergey for further information at: [email protected]

There is a petition we are asking people to sign and forward. It is located at: "Save Our Delta Pension Petition Form"

Our legislative effort is designed to close that loophole so that Delta will no longer have the lump sum excuse to terminate our benefits. While some unknown individual in congress inserted language into the bill that phases in the bill's prohibition on lump sum payments until 2010, we are seeking a correction to the bill and we are discovering that most members of congress did not know that the effective date was delayed until 2010. (Many of these elected representatives thought that they were saving all Delta pensions, not just the non-contract and executive pensions.)

Is there precedent for specifically naming one corporations plan in such a "technical correction? Yes, there is. Additionally, the Texas Senate delegation reserved the right, in voting to approve HR 4 "as is" to make a "Technical Correction." If they, especially, can be encouraged to do so, it would further benefit both American and Continental employees, in that if Delta is forced to "own up" to it's Pilots Pension Plan payments over the long term (a 17-year payback period was already approved for Delta as part of HR 4) it would prevent Delta from gaining a "competitive advantage" over these two Texas-based carriers. Without a level playing field (Delta ALSO having to fund it's pension obligations), AMR and CAL could be less competitive, and thus somewhat more at risk for termination of their own plans. (Some of your American Pilot friends may also agree, and thus may be willing to support this effort, as perhaps will your family members and friends.)

Ask that the phrase, "Except for the Plans of Delta Air Lines," be added to the beginning of Section 103 (c) (1) and Section 103 (c) (2).
You may wish to include that this "technical correction" will enable Delta Air Lines to meet its pension obligations to not only its non-contract workers and management, who are NOT under a collectively bargained plan, but to ALL of it's deserving employees.

What this does is to prohibit "lump sum distributions". In it's filings Delta used approximately 99 pages out of 122 to say that the lump sums would take the pension fund out of liquidity, therefore Delta must terminate the plan. Without having to pay lump sums, the fund stays in liquidity.

The PBGC is also taking the stance that the 650 million and the 1.2 billion unsecured note negotiated by ALPA and Delta belongs to the PBGC as it was a part of the agreement to terminate the pension.
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