Delta Elects Airline Relief To Maintain Its Pension Plan Covering Flight Attendants, Ground Employees
Delta Air Lines has announced that it had filed its election to obtain the benefit of the pension funding relief provided in the Pension Protection Act for its defined benefit retirement plan which covers its active and retired ground employees and flight attendants. Delta employees and retirees fought hard to persuade Congress to include the alternative funding option in the pension reform legislation signed by the president last year.
“Delta employees and retirees were instrumental in championing and fighting for pension legislation reform on Capitol Hill, making it possible for us to preserve benefits earned by our ground employees and flight attendants,” said Edward Bastian, Delta’s executive vice president and chief financial officer. “Our ability to make this election and save this plan is a tribute to their hard work and dedication.”
Delta also announced that it had made a $50 million voluntary contribution to the plan. “We made a commitment to our employees and retirees that we would make this voluntary contribution prior to our exit,” Bastian said. “With emergence less than 60 days away, we’re happy to be fulfilling that promise and look forward to introducing a new, competitive retirement package upon exit.”
The $50 million contribution is in addition to the required contributions that Delta will make under the funding schedule authorized by the Pension Protection Act. Under that funding schedule, Delta expects to contribute an additional $50 million during the remainder of 2007, and thereafter make contributions that we expect will average about $100 million per year for the next several years. Both the $50 million voluntary contribution and the ongoing required contributions are included in Delta’s business plan.
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