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Old 04-21-2012, 04:55 AM   #1  
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Ottolillienthal's Avatar
Joined APC: Jun 2011
Posts: 467
Default Retirement Issues (again)

A message from your Military Liason Committee Chairman, F/O Mark Duffer:

A service member who has performed military leave, both short-term and long-term, may be affected by miscalculations in “deemed earnings” for retirement accrual purposes, particularly if he had military leave in the early years of his career when pay increases due to longevity or seat position changes are likely. After reviewing service members’ retirement account accruals and contributions history for periods of military leave, the CAL MEC R&I Committee believes the Company’s current methodology for calculating “deemed earnings” for the CPRP, 401(k) and B-Plan for periods of military leave may not comply with USERRA.
If you have performed any length of military service at L-CAL since 2001, you should contact the CAL MEC R&I Committee to review and possibly appeal the calculation of the contributions and accruals made to your retirement accounts for periods of military leave.
NOTE: In order to assist you in claiming additional retirement benefits under USERRA, the CAL MEC R&I Committee will need detailed information from you.
Below is the process to follow to collect the information necessary for the CAL MEC R&I Committee to assist you with a thorough review of your accounts, to ascertain whether or not you are owed additional USERRA benefits, and to prepare a written appeal (if necessary) to the Company’s Retirement Administrative Committee to claim these additional benefits.
  • Determine your periods of military leave and collect the supporting documentation, including copies of all your military orders for your periods of military leave.
  • Request a copy of your Military Leave Verification screen from your current Chief Pilot’s Office base administrator. This screen will provide you with a detailed listing of all periods of MLOA that you’ve requested and performed, AND subsequently provided verification for, with an LES or copy of long-term MLOA orders.
  • Request a historical analysis of your calculated “deemed earnings” for all periods of MLOA from the Company’s Retirement Administrative Committee by emailing[email protected]. The Company should provide you with calculated “deemed earnings” for CPRP, 401(k) (See Pilot’s CBA Section 28 Part 3 R (1)-(3) “Variable Contribution to Pilots 401(k) Plan” for 2007-2009), and B-Plan contributions for each of the periods of military leave you performed.
  • Once you have received the information, please contact the CAL MEC R&I Committee at [email protected] so we may begin a review of the deemed earnings calculation, the CPRP accruals, and the 401(k) and B-Plan contributions to verify compliance with USERRA.
Please include the CAL MEC Military Liaison Committee in the “CC” line at [email protected] when moving forward with your review, so that the Committee is aware of your request and can provide assistance, as necessary.
If the CAL MEC R&I Committee determines there are errors in the “deemed earnings,” your next course of action will be to submit an appeal to the Company’s Retirement Administrative Committee clearly illustrating your claim for additional benefits. The CAL MEC R&I Committee will assist you in drafting the benefits appeal letter and organizing supporting documentation.
Once the appeal has been submitted, the Company’s Retirement Administrative Committee will review your appeal and determine (in its opinion) whether the “deemed earnings” were calculated properly. If the Company’s Retirement Administrative Committee agrees with your appeal, they will correct the errors and will make additional contributions (with interest) or accruals to your retirement accounts. However, if the Company’s Retirement Administrative Committee does not agree with your appeal, then it will deny your claim.
If your claim is denied, you may appeal to the Retirement Board, which reviews any Adverse Benefit Determinations made by the Company’s Retirement Administrative Committee. The Retirement Board is a committee composed of two Company representatives and two ALPA representatives. Should this second appeal be necessary, the CAL MEC R&I Committee will assist you with your appeal letter and supporting documentation to the Retirement Board.
If the Retirement Board deadlocks on your request for review, you may either choose arbitration or litigation to have a final determination of your benefits appeal.
Please review the following:
Pilots’ CBA Section 28, Part 8, D: Resolution of Denied Benefit Claims.
“The Retirement Board (sitting as a System Board of Adjustment) will determine disputes submitted to it concerning denied benefit claims under the A-Plan, Pilots 401(k) Plan and B-Plan. An arbitrator will be selected from a mutually agreed list of ERISA arbitrators to resolve deadlocks. The individual participant must waive the right to litigate in order for the arbitration to commence. Arbitration costs are to be split, with fifty percent (50%) paid by the Company and fifty percent (50%) paid by ALPA. The arbitrator will act as a fiduciary and has full discretion in making a decision. The arbitrator's decision is final and binding, provided the arbitrator did not violate his arbitral authority.”
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