ALPA Holds Retirement and Insurance Seminar for Pilot Reps

October 7, 2009 - More than 55 pilots from 23 pilot groups throughout the United States and Canada gathered in ALPA’s Herndon Conference Center this morning to kick off the Association’s annual two-day Retirement & Insurance (R&I) Seminar, hosted by the ALPA R&I Department.

Capt. Bryan Green (Continental), chairman of the ALPA National R&I Committee; Bruce York, director of the ALPA Representation Department; and Steve Hodgson and Elizabeth Koby, managers in the R&I Department, welcomed attendees.

The chairmen of individual MEC R&I Committees gave brief reports on the status of R&I issues affecting their pilot groups, including strengths and weaknesses of the benefits areas of their current contracts, successes and suggestions, and lessons learned. Representatives from pilot groups that are new to the ALPA family were particularly effusive in their praise of the Association’s resources and the opportunity to learn from other pilot groups with a longer track record of negotiating—and enforcing—benefits.

ALPA’s president, Capt. John Prater, told the pilot volunteers, “What we’ve tried to do with the R&I committees and R&I Department is to make you an integral part of negotiations, from the very beginning to the end.”

He added, “I’m proud of each and every one of you because I know how much time you guys put into doing this volunteer work. I appreciate the job you do for your pilots and for our members as a whole. In addition to being airline pilots, you’ve dived into a whole new set of books that most of us wouldn’t dive into—you’ve learned a second profession and a new language.”

By tomorrow afternoon, seminar attendees will have heard presentations on

• the changing regulatory environment for retirement plans,

• investment options for defined-contribution plans,

• maximizing 401(k) plans,

• consumer-driven health care,

• retiree health care issues,

• Social Security concerns,

• legal developments in health-care plans,

• target date funds,

• health care reform,

• 401(k) plan fees and expenses, and

• ALPA membership insurance plans.

Speakers today included representatives from financial services giant Charles Schwab and Pacific Investment Management Company LLC (PIMCO), one of the world’s largest fixed income managers, with a presence in every major global bond market. Tomorrow’s luncheon speaker will be Phyllis C. Borzi, Assistant Secretary of Labor of the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA).

Stay tuned for more details on this event.