so when is going to end????

mother fokker

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I have a Question for SWA guys and gals???

I was lucky enough to be employed with SWA in 2000, chose to leave for a legacy. After 9-11 I was promptly kicked to the curb and still reside on furlough street. Yes, hindsight is 20/20.

I'm happy to see SWA is finally getting some well deserved pay raises. I rolled the dice and lost. To be quite honest I'm glad I gave it a shot. The question I have, (I know this thread will soon be lost to whether or not people think G.W. talks to Jesus) is do you think a very profitable company that did not have a pension has caused companies that do to abandon them???

CEO mantra at legacys, "We can't compete with LCC's, they don't have pensions and you won't either." Throw out the anchor. I know that SWA has a great pilot group, why haven't you stood up for some sort of pension? Besides, a Vegas (not a Vegas base) roll the dice 401K. After 9-11 many friends I had at SWA stated that legacy pilots were "overpaid and pensions were not affordable." Now, that you are the industry pay leaders in narrow body. How long do you think your heads will last on the chopping block until "ACME" LCC lowers the bar? Why can't a traditionally profitable company have a pension? I know... it will cut into CEO and stockholder compensation.
 
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wndshr

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mother fokker said:
I have a Question for SWA guys???

I was lucky enough to be employed with SWA in 2000, chose to leave for a legacy. After 9-11 I was promptly kicked to the curb and still reside on furlough street. Yes, hindsight is 20/20.

I'm happy to see SWA is finally getting some well deserved pay raises. I rolled the dice and lost. To be quite honest I'm glad I gave it a shot. The question I have, (I know this thread will soon be lost to whether or not people think G.W. talks to Jesus) is do you think a very profitable company that did not have a pension has caused companies that do to abandon them???

CEO mantra at legacys, "We can't compete with LCC's, they don't have pensions and you won't either." Throw out the anchor. I know that SWA has a great pilot group, why haven't you stood up for some sort of pension? Besides, a Vegas (not a Vegas base) roll the dice 401K. After 9-11 many friends I had at SWA stated that legacy pilots were "overpaid and pensions were not affordable." Now, that you are the industry pay leaders in narrow body. How long do you think your heads will last on the chopping block until "ACME" LCC lowers the bar? Why can't a traditionally profitable company have a pension? I know... it will cut into CEO and stockholder compensation.

"SNAP........."

that is the harsh sound of reality in today's airline industry. no more pensions for pilots carrying pax, try the cargo carriers for pensions.
 

Widow's Son

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Why the heck would you ever want a DB pension? It is a 50 year gamble with your company and industry. You can not only have it yanked away from you while you are working, you can also have it yanked away after you are already retired, or negotiated away with no say in the matter. SWA has great management, but I sure as heck don't want Colleen controlling my retirement money nor creditors or raiders having access to it. I want to control it. I want to know that every match dollar is going in every pay period and nobody outside of my control can touch it.

Besides, when you combine the tax advantages, the match rate, and the profit sharing on top of that, in most years the combined retirement total has been better for SWA pilots than even the most lucrative DB plan of the legacy glory days. Until the IRS maxes were increased (a good thing), most years I got back more in profit sharing overage cash payout than I put in that year in my own 401k contribution. 401k's also have the flexibility of the loan provisions and the ability to retire and take your money whenever you want.

DB plans are dinosaurs. They are ticking time bombs that forever leave your fate in the hands of someone else out of your control. The sooner they are gone the better for employers and employees alike.
 
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TheDogsBollocks

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Widow's Son said:
Why the heck would you ever want a DB pension? It is a 50 year gamble with your company and industry. You can not only have it yanked away from you while you are working, you can also have it yanked away after you are already retired, or negotiated away with no say in the matter. SWA has great management, but I sure as heck don't want Colleen controlling my retirement money nor creditors or raiders having access to it. I want to control it. I want to know that every match dollar is going in every pay period and nobody outside of my control can touch it.

Besides, when you combine the tax advantages, the match rate, and the profit sharing on top of that, in most years the combined retirement total has been better for SWA pilots than even the most lucrative DB plan of the legacy glory days. Until the IRS maxes were increased (a good thing), most years I got back more in profit sharing overage cash payout than I put in that year in my own 401k contribution. 401k's also have the flexibility of the loan provisions and the ability to retire and take your money whenever you want.

DB plans are dinosaurs. They are ticking time bombs that forever leave your fate in the hands of someone else out of your control. The sooner they are gone the better for employers and employees alike.
With the disappearance of pensions for current and retired pilot's at the legacy carriers, the pilot's affected truly have my sympathies.

Widow's son has it right on this one-good response to the opening thread.
 

2EASYPilot

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Big business in general is getting away from DB's...I agree with Widow's Son, I want to more control over my future or at least have the opportunity to walk with the funds at any stage of my career...somthing to show for my years !!!
 

Gulfstream 200

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Seriously, an airline pension (cargo or pax) is a much bigger gamble than your "vegas" 401K.

ask about any DAL pilot still at DAL.

save for yourself, chances are your company wont be there in 20 years - including Southwest.

sad but just reality these days...wallow in it or move on...its our choice.
 

Jim Smyth

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It sure is a sad state in the industry. You would think that a company should be able to provide you a pention for your many years of service. Herb in his wisdom always knew that pensions were a hugh liability. I remember when I was brand new I was told by many senior guys that SWA would never have a Pension as long as Herb was around. I am glad that is still the case! Herb is a very smart man!

401K plans are the wave of the future. I started funding mine in 1986. I never understood why the legacy carriers never put much effort into getting there respective companies to do a good match on a 401K. I guess it comes down to not having to put your own money in the equation like the 401K verse a traditional pention.

My last airline had a 401K also. After I was there 6 years when they went out of business. By law (I believe it was 60 days after we were out of business) I had a check for my 401K proceeds. That was rolled over into an IRA so there wasnt any penalties etc. The key here is that it was "MY" money and not the failed airlines and it is held seperate and away from your company so they cant get there greedy little hands on it when times get bad!

Anyone having the choice to participate in a 401K even if theres no matching should contribute as much as you can possibly stand since you dont pay tax on it until you retire. Plus with the way Social Security is going you will need to be 100 pretty soon to collect! Time goes by pretty quick and if you dont plan for the future you may be in for a rude turn of events at age 60.
 

FatesPawn

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mother fokker said:
The question I have, is do you think a very profitable company that did not have a pension has caused companies that do to abandon them???
Yes, but only a small part of the greater picture. It's the whole cost structure of the LCC's that hurt the Legacies. The pensions are just an easy target that are partially insured anyway. It's easier to take a broad sword and hack off a pension than it is to re-evaluate your entire operation to figure out how to actually make money.



mother fokker said:
I know that SWA has a great pilot group, why haven't you stood up for some sort of pension?
Simply, because for the old guys, stock has done much better, and for the young guys... we've seen what happens to pensions in today's environment.



mother fokker said:
Vegas roll the dice 401K.
Please. Scared of investing? Try indexing. I have yet to meet a financial advisor that has told me "you're rolling the dice in a 401k."



mother fokker said:
Now, that you are the industry pay leaders in narrow body. How long do you think your heads will last on the chopping block until "ACME" LCC lowers the bar?


A long time. As you stated, we are already above the bar. We made money last quarter (EVEN WITHOUT OUR HEDGES BTW) so I don't see too much of a problem with our current cost structure. Gary Kelly will tell us if we make too much. Right now he doesn't think so. They know how much their labor costs them and have budgeted accordingly. Now can we make money without hedges with $80 oil? Probably not. Things need to change, but I think every employee group (Legacy or LCC) will agree that it needs to change on the revenue side, not on the cost side.

So, will we have to give back our recent raises? I don't think so. Will we take paycuts in the future? I don't think so. Will we keep our current rates for a LONG time? Probably. We'll keep making what we make for the next 10 years and let the next industry cycle pass us by. We'll give the legacies a chance to add back their pay and work rules. Then we'll be the laughing stock again - right up until the next round of cyclical legacy furloughs.

Fate
 

mdf

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mother fokker said:
I have a Question for SWA guys???


CEO mantra at legacys, "We can't compete with LCC's, they don't have pensions and you won't either." Throw out the anchor. I know that SWA has a great pilot group, why haven't you stood up for some sort of pension? Besides, a Vegas (not a Vegas base) roll the dice 401K.
You should really be asking your CEO why he can't be successful on his multi million dollar salary. Those guys come in and pilfer your companies right in front of your eyes. They get money to come in, money while they are there, and money when they leave. Then they get pensions. When they screw up they file for BK, and hire all there lawyer buddies who also make millions. Then they come to the employees and say we have to take from you. Now I don't mean to be a master of the obvious, but you should be crying foul. Southwest's CEO I believe makes in the neighborhood of a half million in salary. He can make extra on his stock if he performs well in his job. It all starts at the top. You need to start holding these people accountable for their actions.
 

CFIse

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You don't want a pension - all a pension does is leave the money with the company and you hope they don't lose it. A hope that any number of US Air, United and soon to be DAL and NWA pilots will tell you isn't a great idea.

You want your retirement money given to you so you can look after it - you'd like the company to offer matching contributions as high as possible, but you want the money under your control after every paycheck - so then when the company goes bust (not if but when, when the fuel hedging at SWA dies out we'll see who's the LCC then) at least you have your retirement money.

Nope - a pension is NOT a good idea.
 

klhoard

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CFIse said:
You don't want a pension - all a pension does is leave the money with the company and you hope they don't lose it. A hope that any number of US Air, United and soon to be DAL and NWA pilots will tell you isn't a great idea.

You want your retirement money given to you so you can look after it - you'd like the company to offer matching contributions as high as possible, but you want the money under your control after every paycheck - so then when the company goes bust (not if but when, when the fuel hedging at SWA dies out we'll see who's the LCC then) at least you have your retirement money.

Nope - a pension is NOT a good idea.
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Kinda like privatizing Social Security??? . . .
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.
 

ivauir

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I am pi$$ed about what is going on right now. The judge for US Air said theat the 12 million payout to the top 11 execs there is "in line with industry average" ... I guess gutting the pensions and multiple pay concessions is "in line with industry average" too.

The manegment at the legacies has lobbied to be allowed to underfund your pensions, then they shop for a judge to declare BK with. Judge declares that the pilots must take a pay cut while mgt gets a raise and that the pensions are too onerous. Next another legacy goes Chapt 11 and the judge there uses the first judge's rulling for a precident. It is bogus (not my word of choice) that they can terminate pensions that have been earned and use that money to run a failed business plan for another six months. At the very least the money that was in the pensions (underfunded as they were) should have gone to the employees.

I know some or maybe most legacy guys blame us (SWA), but wouldn't we just be where you are now if we'd copied you? Over the years there have been calls for a DB plan here, just like there have been calls for all hard pay (no profitability raise or options). In the end we negotitate what we can with an eye on the future viability of the company. We've been very lucky and our manegment team has dealt with us in good faith. I agree that Herb saw a DB plan as unsupportable over the lifetime of the company and was unwilling to promise what he couldn't deliver. IMHO that is the way it should be.
 

Ty Webb

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CFIse said:
you'd like the company to offer matching contributions as high as possible, but you want the money under your control after every paycheck - .
I agree, but want to point out that it doesn't have to be company "matching", per se. At my carrier, for example, the company makes a contribution to your retirement account that equals 10.5% of your pay. It doesn't matter how much you contribute. So, technically, it's not a match, they are just contributing.

It sounds obvious, but I still get people saying that AirTran doesn't match. That's right, they don't, it's better than matching, because I can only contribute $13,000 a year, while their contribution is unlimited.
 

bafanguy

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mdf said:
It all starts at the top. You need to start holding these people accountable for their actions.
mdf,

Agreed, but the problem comes in how this is accomplished. For example, at the last DL stockholder meeting here in ATL, several motions ( by employee stockholders ) to hold mgmt accountable and tie their pay to performance, or limit their compensation were put up for vote only to be voted down by stockholders.

How do you overcome that ?
 

mdf

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bafanguy said:
mdf,

Agreed, but the problem comes in how this is accomplished. For example, at the last DL stockholder meeting here in ATL, several motions ( by employee stockholders ) to hold mgmt accountable and tie their pay to performance, or limit their compensation were put up for vote only to be voted down by stockholders.

How do you overcome that ?
I knew someone would ask, and I have no easy answer. I will say this. I am tired of listening to the media talk about the airline bloodbath, and all the problems with the industry. In my opinion they should be talking about The UAL/NWA/Delta story. About how long these airlines have been in business, how they helped build the air transportation industry, and how they got where they are sans high energy prices and overcapacity. IMHO these companies should be hurting because of the business enivironment, but not to the extent they are in now. Legacy mgt. operates like mutual fund mgt. They all do the same thing so when the crap hits the fan they point to the guy next door, and say he's in the same situation. Then they point to LCC's, and say it is there fault. Then they go after labor while lining their pockets. After all of that they probably go to the club and giggle over brandy and cigars.
 

bafanguy

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mdf said:
I knew someone would ask, and I have no easy answer. I will say this. I am tired of listening to the media talk about the airline bloodbath, and all the problems with the industry. In my opinion they should be talking about The UAL/NWA/Delta story. About how long these airlines have been in business, how they helped build the air transportation industry, and how they got where they are sans high energy prices and overcapacity. IMHO these companies should be hurting because of the business enivironment, but not to the extent they are in now. Legacy mgt. operates like mutual fund mgt. They all do the same thing so when the crap hits the fan they point to the guy next door, and say he's in the same situation. Then they point to LCC's, and say it is there fault. Then they go after labor while lining their pockets. After all of that they probably go to the club and giggle over brandy and cigars.
mdf,

I hear ya. But this comes down to the same thing that has driven business as long as there has been such a thing as "business", the Golden Rule: He with the most gold...rules. I'm sure that will never change and maybe it shouldn't. That call would be way beyond me. Maybe it's just inherent in capitalism, which I would not vote to change.
 

CFIse

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klhoard said:
.
Kinda like privatizing Social Security??? . . .
Well in theory - and it's just a theory - the government doesn't go away. So weird as it may seem I'm against SS privatization because I don't think, in the long term, the government, which is far more concerned about re-election than fiscal responsibility will let SS die, while I think we've seen that private companies don't really give a rat's rear end and will shoot DB pensions at the drop of a hat.

But that's just me :)
 

CFIse

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Ty Webb said:
I agree, but want to point out that it doesn't have to be company "matching", per se. At my carrier, for example, the company makes a contribution to your retirement account that equals 10.5% of your pay. It doesn't matter how much you contribute. So, technically, it's not a match, they are just contributing.
Well that rocks - I've never run into such a plan - but I wish I had :D
 
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