Release #04.011
April 8, 2004

ALPA Reaction to Senate Passage of Pension Funding Equity Act

WASHINGTON, D.C.---The Air Line Pilots Association applauds the action by the Senate today in passing the conference report to H.R. 3108, The Pension Funding Equity Act of 2004, by an overwhelming bipartisan vote. The legislation, which will help save many airline workers’ retirement benefits, now goes to the President who is expected to sign it into law. ALPA members’ grassroots lobbying efforts were essential to clearing this critical hurdle.

"I want to thank every member of the House and Senate who voted for this bill, and I want to thank all the ALPA members who made their opinions known before the vote," said ALPA President Duane Woerth. "This legislation will be a critical part of the financial recovery plans of several of our carriers – and that will mean more pilots working and more pilots’ futures remaining secure."

ALPA has been part of a massive bipartisan effort working for passage of this legislation. The Act gives airlines and steel companies two years of partial relief from the Deficit Reduction Contribution (DRC) payments currently required if the funded level of their defined-benefit plans generally falls below 80 percent. (The DRCs still must be repaid, over a longer period of time.)

H.R.3108 temporarily replaces the discontinued 30-year Treasury bond interest rate used to calculate contribution levels of defined benefit plans with a rate based on a composite of long-term corporate bonds. This new rate would be used in 2004 and 2005 but will not apply to lump sum distributions, which will use the 30-year Treasury rate.

ALPA represents 64,000 airline pilots in the U.S. and Canada. Its Web site is

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ALPA CONTACT: John Mazor (707) 481-4440