host meetings for UAL workers
One-hour sessions to offer information on pension changes
By Chris Walsh, Rocky Mountain News
Thursday, February 9, 2006
Current and former United Airlines workers in the Denver
area will have an opportunity to hear firsthand how they'll
be affected by the carrier's move to terminate its pension
plans. The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., an agency that
insures corporate pension plans, will hold a series of
one-hour informational meetings next Tuesday, Wednesday and
Thursday at the Holiday Inn near Denver International
The purpose: "Bring basic information to workers about the
status of their benefits," PBGC spokesman Jeffrey Speicher
The meetings are for current and retired United ground
workers, flight attendants and management, administrative
and public contact employees. Additional sessions for
pilots will be announced at a later date. The PBGC is
holding similar meetings in United's hub cities around the
United is the largest airline in Denver and employs more
than 5,000 workers here. Thousands of retirees also live in
Last year, United terminated its pension plans covering more
than 104,000 workers and retirees in an effort to trim $645
million in annual costs. The pension plans, underfunded by
$10 billion, were transferred to the PBGC. But the agency
will cover only $6.6 billion of United's pension
liabilities, meaning many current and retired workers will
Some retirees have said their monthly paychecks will drop by
several hundred dollars or more. Others won't see any
changes. Current workers will stop accruing pension
benefits, although they can participate in a 401(k)-type
plan going forward.
Affected workers already should have estimates of how their
benefits will change. Those who want an explanation of how
the process works or who have questions about the estimates
should attend one of next week's meetings, the PBGC said.
"This is for people who need to hear what's happening from a
human being," Speicher said. "Some also might have
questions or might believe there's been an error."
United, the nation's second-largest airline, emerged last
week from a three-year bankruptcy in which it cut $7 billion
in overall costs.
The PBGC will hold one-hour meetings next week at the
Holiday Inn, 15500 E. 40th Ave., to talk to United Airlines
workers about changes to their pension benefits.
• Tuesday: 9
a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. for flight attendants and
management, administrative and public contact employees.
9 a.m. and 7 p.m. for flight attendants and management,
administrative and public contact workers; 2 p.m. for flight
attendants and ground workers.
• Thursday: 9
a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. for flight attendants and ground
• For more
information, contact the PBGC's customer contact center at
1-800-400-7242 or visit
walshc@RockyMountainNews.com or 303-892-2744