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Pension ripoff details

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Well-known member
Aug 19, 2002
Congressman George Miller:

I was hired as a pilot in 1979 by UAL after being military trained, flying helicopters in Viet Nam and 10 years of corporate jet flying. I flew as a flight engineer, co-pilot, captain and line check airman both domestic and international. I was contractually promised 3 forms of retirement plans as part of my total compensation. It was inconceivable that all three could be vulnerable to massive losses or termination, but they were. Part of this retirement plan was supposed to compensate us for being forced to retire at age 60.

A few months ago I retired from ULA after 25 1/2 years of service at the FAA mandated age of 60. MY 3 retirement plans were, 1. defined benefit plan (A plan). 2. defined contribution plan (B plan). 3. ESOP stock plan. For 5 1/2 years we took huge pay cuts and loss of contribution to the B fund in exchange for UAL stock. At one point I had over $500,000 of UAL stock but could not sell it until retirement. Chapter 11 took the stock to $1 and the plan custodian sold all our stock which netted me $10,000. During the ESOP contribution years I was prevented from making contributions to my 401k since the esop stock exceeded the government limit for qualified contributions. My B fund took another huge loss with the stock market crash in 2001. Now a pension, A plan, that should have paid me $110,000 a year was cut down to $84,000 with the concessionary contract after Chapter 11. When the pension is terminated and turned over to the PBGC I will not receive the $45,000 talked about in the media. The PBGC applies numerous penalties. First they say I retired 5 years early at age 60 and that takes it down to $28,000 even though the government requires us to retire at age 60. Then they adjust for a % of so called underfunding, then they look back 5 years and adjust for any contractual benefits gained in those years, then they adjust for any partial lump sum taken ,etc. etc. When it is all adjusted I expect ot receive $12,000 a year. That is why we have sold our dream home after 10 years and I am flying for a small charter company in order to save enough money to be able to retire at age 66 when I can receive full Social Security. However when the pension is terminated there will not be enough income to save for retirement since I am making 1/3 the income I was making at UAL and I can't even collect Social Security since I am only 60.

I strongly support your bill H.R. 2327 to prevent this termination and allow time for a plan or legislation change that will allow the $2.85 billion in the pilot's plan to pay our benefits, even reduced benefits, for the rest of our lives and not burden the taxpayers with the ultimate bailout of the PBGC.

Thank you very much for your support in this very unfair, immoral situation. God Bless you.


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